Tyler Richards made 51 saves on 57 shots as the Washington Stealth (4-3) defeated the Colorado Mammoth (2-3) for the second time this season with a 13-6 home win at Comcast Arena on Saturday night.
“When you’re in the groove, you see the ball so well and [Richards] was technically so sound tonight," said Stealth head coach Chris Hall. "He was in the right place all the time. He knew where the shots were coming from and was just absolutely dead solid."
The Stealth scored twice in the first 3:34 of the game and never looked back as they led the rest of the way. With a 5-2 lead after the first quarter, Washington scored twice in the final 1:34 of the first half to take a commanding 8-3 lead into halftime. After widening their lead to 10-4 after the third quarter, the Stealth scored three more times in the final frame.
Stealth forward Rhys Duch scored a game-high three goals while teammates Athan Iannucci had a game-high six points (1+5) and Lewis Ratcliff recorded five points (1+4).
The six goals were the fewest scored by the Mammoth since 2003. Mammoth forward Adam Jones had a team-high four points (2+2), the only Colorado player to score more than once, while John Grant, Jr. was held goalless on 15 shots and finished with just one assist.
“We just didn’t give him the space on the floor that he likes to get,” Hall said. “I think the scouting reports were good, our film was good. They’ve had the same sort of trends for the last two or three games and gave us an opportunity to study them and what he likes to do.”
The penalty-filled game was chippy throughout as the teams combined for 79 penalty minutes in a contest marked by fights, misconducts and overall rough play. Tempers flared in the lopsided game as Stealth rookie Bill Hostrawser was injured during a fight with the Mammoth’s Ilija Gajic in the game’s final minutes. With concerns that he might be seriously injured, Hostrawser was fortunately able to walk off under his own power.
Washington finished the night 4-for-6 on the power play while Colorado went 3-for-7 with the man advantage.
"Our power play was not good," Hamley said simply.
The Stealth won despite being outshot 57-42, much in part to the strong play of Richards, who seems fully recovered from an injury that forced him to miss time earlier this season.
“[Richards] was really good tonight,” said Mammoth head coach Bob Hamley. “We’ve got to shoot down the pipes, and we didn’t shoot the ball very well tonight."
After just seven games this year, the Stealth have matched their total win production from all of 2012, when they failed to qualify for the postseason with a 4-12 record, and currently sit just a half game behind Calgary in the West Division standings.