The Edmonton Rush (4-0) are now the lone undefeated team in the NLL after an impressive second half for the 9-8 comeback road win over the Vancouver Stealth (2-3) at Langley Events Centre on Saturday night.
“I think that’s the nature of NLL games, there are always runs,” said Rush assistant coach Jeff McComb. “You have to stay positive. Even though they started really well, I thought we were getting chances. [Stealth goalie] Tyler Richards played awesome in net tonight. In the second half, things really turned around for us.”
Mark Matthews led the way for the Rush registering five points (2+3) and was named the first star of the game as Edmonton handed Vancouver their first home loss of the season after a 2-0 start at the LEC.
The Rush scored the first goal of the game but it was all Stealth for the rest of the opening half. Lewis Ratcliff and Rhys Duch both scored two goals apiece and Tyler Richards stopped 25 of 26 shots including a highlight reel save to end the first half. The Stealth held a 7-2 lead at halftime.
“We had good preparation and had an idea of how to attack their defense,” said Stealth head coach Chris Hall. “We did a great job in the first half, 'T-Rich' was great, and our defense was solid, but in the second half, the offense stopped doing what was so successful in the first half.”
Duch’s first goal of the game was also his 200th career NLL regular season goal as the NLL's leading goalscorer from a year ago continues to find the back of the net.
Vancouver had all the momentum going into the second half but Edmonton stormed back in the second half by outscoring the home team by a score of 7-1 which included seven-straight goals.
The Stealth got a goal from Rhys Duch late to pull within one but were unable to get the tying marker with possession of the ball in the final seconds.
The Rush will next face the two-time defending NLL champion Rochester Knighthawks (3-1) at home at Rexall Place on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 9 p.m. ET.
Meanwhile, the Stealth head out on the road for back-to-back games as they visit the Toronto Rock on Friday, Jan. 31 which can be seen live on TSN2 in Canada and on ESPN3 in the U.S. The next night, they travel to take on the Philadelphia Wings to complete the East weekend road swing.
Vancouver returns home to Langley Events Centre on Saturday, Feb. 8 when they take on the Colorado Mammoth (2-5) for a rematch of their overtime win in Week 4 as the teams meet for the third time this year.
Three Stars of the Game as selected by the media:
1) Mark Matthews
2) Rhys Duch
3) Cliff Smith