The Vancouver Stealth (2-1) fought back to beat the visiting Colorado Mammoth (1-4) by a score of 14-13 in overtime on Friday night at Langley Events Centre. The Stealth’s Lewis Ratcliff sealed the deal about two minutes into OT with a goal just before the shot clock expired to give the Stealth a huge come-from-behind victory.
“The finish was unbelievable,” said Stealth Head Coach, Chris Hall. “But it’s not untypical of this league, games are tight and tense.”
There was one deciding factor the Mammoth couldn’t predict as the Stealth crowd proved to be a difference maker once again. Coach Hall definitely felt the energy of the home crowd and gave them praise following the game,
“The crowd provided energy for us tonight and we didn’t want to disappoint them,” said Coach Hall. “We fought hard to get back into this game. I think I lost track of how many times we had to climb back into this game, but there’s no question the fans were fantastic and kept us motivated.”
The Stealth didn’t get off to the start they were looking for but never quit fighting as they were down 4-1 early in the first period. The Mammoth led most of the way with a stellar performance from John Grant, Jr. who had 3 goals and 3 assists and was named first star.
“It’s a tough way to lose,” said Colorado’s Adam Jones, “but I think there are a lot of positives for us to take out of tonight.”
Earlier in the sudden-victory period, Jones, who entered the game leading the NLL in goals and points, buried a ball in the back of the net. Called no-goal on the floor, the official review upheld the call. It was awfully close.
“I think it was a goal,” said Jones. “There was a little hesitation from the ref, a good three seconds or so. I think if he would have called it a goal to begin with, then it would have been a goal. I don’t think the call was going to be reversed because it was too close.”
The Stealth were led by Lewis Ratcliff who netted 2 goals and 5 assists including the overtime winner. It was also another strong performance from both Stealth rookies Tyler Digby and Cody Bremner. Digby had 3 goals and Bremner added 3 goals and 3 assists.
The Mammoth jumped out to a 3-0 lead, and owned a 7-5 halftime edge – its first time leading at the intermission this season. After Colorado failed to score on a five-minute major penalty, momentum appeared to shift in favor of the home team. But Sean Pollock’s goal 12:16 into the frame – his third of the game – reestablished the Mammoth’s two-goal advantage.
In the fourth, a five-minute roughing major by Dan Ball was compounded by a two-minute delay-of-game call against Jones. Vancouver capitalized on the man-up.
“There were a couple tough breaks down the end, and it was anybody’s game there,” said Pollock. “We’ve just got to find a way to close those games out.”
Vancouver heads to Calgary to take on the Roughnecks on Saturday at 9 p.m. ET while Colorado heads home to Pepsi Center to host the Buffalo Bandits at 9 p.m. ET as well. Watch both games live on YouTube via The Lacrosse Network while the Mammoth vs. Bandits game also airs live on Altitude2.
Three Stars of the Game as selected by the media:
1) John Grant, Jr.
2) Lewis Ratcliff
3) Rhys Duch