Photo Credit - Dan Brodie
(Vancouver, BC – Saturday, February 8, 2014) – The Vancouver Stealth (2-6) lose their fifth-straight game as the Colorado Mammoth (4-5) held on at the buzzer for a 10-9 victory at Langley Events Centre on Saturday night. Colorado, who won their third game in a row take a 2-1 season series lead over Vancouver with all three games being decided by just one goal.
Early on it was a goalie showdown as only four goals were scored in the entire first half. Tyler Richards stopped 18 of 21 shots for the Stealth and Dillon Ward stopped 22 of 23 shots for the Mammoth,
“He was brilliant in the first half,” said Colorado Mammoth coach Bob Hamley.
“Our defense was sensational as well. As for Dillon, he had the answer all night. With the gaffe at the end of the game, Dillon bailed us out.”
In the second half, both teams seemed to find their scoring touch as the Stealth climbed back into the game, but the Mammoth seemed to always have an answer. In the end, it came down to the final shot as the Mammoth held a one-goal advantage and the ball with 10 seconds left. The Stealth's Tyler Digby intercepted Drew Westervelt's long pass intended to burn the clock and fed Matt Beers inside but he couldn't catch it cleanly. Vancouver's Brett Bucktooth scooped the ball and fired a desperation shot but Dillon Ward made the save, one of his 41 total stops on the night.
The Stealth continued their offensive struggles tonight as they were only able to score consistently in the second half of play. It was a bitter end to a comeback that fell just short as the Stealth once again got great goaltending from Tyler Richards who stopped 37 of 47 shots in a losing effort.
There were some other positives to take away from the game as Tyler Garrison continues to get better and better in the face-off dot going head to head with one of the best in the business tonight, in Bob Snider. The face-offs in this one were almost dead even with Snider winning 52% and Garrison winning 48%.
The Stealth also received some secondary scoring from a couple defensemen, as Matt Beers and Mike Grimes both collected three points each. Beers had two goals to go along with one helper and Grimes had three assists on the night.
John Grant, Jr. led the way for the Mammoth with five points (2+3) and was named the game's first star. For the Stealth rookie Tyler Digby, the NLL Rookie of the Month for January led the scoring charge with another strong performance, collecting four points (3+1) and his third hat trick of the season. Digby was also named the game’s second star.
These two teams will be back in action next week at the Pepsi Center in Denver on Friday February 14, at 6PM PST for their fourth and final meeting of the regular season.