The Washington Stealth dominated the Edmonton Rush tonight, winning the National Lacrosse League West Division battle 18-10 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta. The Stealth never trailed in the game and evens its record at 5-5 this season.
The Stealth’s 18-goal outburst comes just two weeks after it scored 20 goals against the Colorado Mammoth in its last game. The 38 goals are the most scored in back-to-back games in Stealth history.
“We really wanted to continue moving forward playing like we did against Colorado,” said Stealth Head Coach Chris Hall. “We’re getting healthier and we need to keep building on this type of play.”
The Stealth jumped out to a 4-0 lead after one quarter of play. Lewis Ratcliff tallied three goals and one assist in the first quarter alone. The Stealth defense, anchored by goaltender Tyler Richards, held the Rush (2-8) scoreless in the opening frame. Richards made 13 of his 44 saves in the first.
“Things felt good early and I got some good looks,” said Ratcliff after the game. “Tyler [Richards] was unreal in goal and it really allowed the offense to play a little more relaxed.”
The Stealth’s All-Star defenseman, Mike Grimes, scored on the power play to open the second quarter scoring, extending the Stealth lead to five. The Stealth power play was stellar, converting on all three extra man opportunities. The Stealth went on to outscore Edmonton 5-3 in the second quarter, taking a 9-3 lead at the halftime break.
In the third, the Stealth built its lead to eight goals when Jeff Zywicki, in his first game since going on the injured reserve in the first week of the season, scored midway through the quarter to give the Stealth a 12-4 lead.
The Rush went on a run at the end of the third however, scoring five of the next six goals extending into the fourth. They cut the Stealth lead to four goals for the first time since the opening minutes of the second quarter.
It was as close as Edmonton would get. Luke Wiles scored a power play goal with 7:37 left in the game that sparked a four-goal Stealth run that lasted just one minute, 37 seconds. Bob Snider added another goal, the first of his NLL career, to give the Stealth an 18-9 edge. They went on to take home the 18-10 victory.
Ratcliff led all scorers with nine points (4g, 5a), moving into the top spot on the NLL points list.
Rhys Duch finished with three goals and two assists; he currently sits in a tie for the league lead in goals with 27. Craig Conn also recorded a hat trick, while Cam Sedgwick, Mike Grimes and Luke Wiles each added two goals.
Snider dominated the Rush at the face off circle once again, going 24-for-33 on draws. In three games against the Rush this season, he’s gone 76-for-96 (79%). He also grabbed ten loose balls in the game, the fourth time in five games he’s recorded double-digit loose balls.
“Once again Bobby [Snider] was fantastic for us,” said Hall. “He really gave us the opportunity to build that early lead by keeping the ball in our offense’s hands.”
Paul Rabil grabbed a game-high 15 loose balls and Grimes added 11. The Stealth won the loose ball battle 91-74.
“We’re finally playing to the level of the talent we have,” added Hall. “We have some new guys in the lineup and it’s taken a while to gain our chemistry, but we are certainly starting to find ourselves.”
The Rush was led by Corey Small, who tallied four goals and an assist. Gavin Prout finished with two goals and two assists. Goaltender Matt Disher made 30 saves in the loss.
The Stealth returns home for its next contest against the West Division leading Calgary Roughnecks. The game is set for Sunday, March 13 at 5pm at the Comcast Arena at Everett. Tickets for the game are on sale now, starting at just $13. Call 877-MY-75-TIX or log on to www.stealthlax.com to find out more about the Stealth’s special ticket packages.