The Washington Stealth (5-5) has a big game this weekend, as they host the National Lacrosse League West Division-leading Calgary Roughnecks (6-3) on Sunday, March 13 at 5pm. It will be the third and final meeting between the teams this season and with the series currently split between the teams, a win would give either team the all-important tiebreaker in the West Division standings.
The Stealth enters this weekend’s action playing its best lacrosse of the season. The club has won its last two games by a combined 21 goals, most recently an 18-10 drubbing of the Edmonton Rush. The Stealth offense scored 38 goals in those two games, a franchise record for back-to-back games. They currently boast the league’s highest-scoring offense, averaging over 13 goals per game.
“Everything has been working pretty well over the last two games and obviously we hope to keep that going,” said Stealth Head Coach Chris Hall. “We need to continue to execute our game plan and build on that recent success.”
In order to continue that success, the Stealth must slow down a Calgary Roughnecks team that has won four of its last five games, including two straight. Considered by many to be rebuilding prior to the start of the season, the Roughnecks have been riding a young and balanced attack that ranks third in the NLL with 11.5 goals per game. Six players have recorded at least 20 points, led by veteran Jeff Shattler with 41 points (17g, 24a).
The Stealth defense has been extremely effective in the last two games, allowing just 8.5 goals per game in the two wins. In the previous eight games this season however, the Stealth allowed 12.65 goals per contest, worst in the NLL. Stealth goaltender Tyler Richards will be a major factor in the game. He currently sits in second among NLL goaltenders with a .795 save percentage.
The road team has won each of the first two meetings between the teams, the most recent game a 19-14 victory for the Stealth on January 22. The Roughnecks won the first meeting 13-11 on the opening weekend of the 2011 season. Stealth All-Star forward Lewis Ratcliff has enjoyed a great deal of success against his former team, recording seven goals and eight assists in two games this season.
The Stealth and the Roughnecks square off at the Comcast Arena at 5pm on March 13. Tickets for the game start at just $13 and are available by calling 877-MY-75-TIX or at www.stealthlax.com.