Vancouver Stealth (4-9) bombarded the Buffalo Bandits (8-5) with 12-8 home win on Saturday at the LEC. (Photo: Dan Brodie)
The Vancouver Stealth (4-9) inched one game closer to the final West Division playoff spot with a big 12-8 home win over the Buffalo Bandits (8-5) on 'Lacrosse Fights Cancer Night' at Langley Events Centre on Saturday.
Heading into tonight’s game the Stealth trailed the Colorado Mammoth by two games for the final playoff spot, but the combination of the Stealth’s win and a Mammoth loss tonight, now has the Stealth only one game back. The Stealth also have a game in hand on the Mammoth.
Tonight the goal scoring for the Stealth came quickly and often. It only took nineteen seconds for the Stealth to break the scoreless tie, as Rhys Duch brought the LEC crowd to their feet with the early strike.
“Too often this season we haven’t been aggressive enough early on,” said Stealth head coach Chris Hall. “We talked about getting some good shots early and being aggressive and we were successful with that tonight.”
Duch and the Stealth were far from done in the first half, outscoring the Bandits 9-5 in the opening half. Duch would go on to record his 500th career regular season point and more on the night, to lead the Stealth to victory. He finished with nine points (4+5) and was also named the game’s first star.
The Stealth scored three of their nine first half goals on the power play going 3 for 4 in the opening half. The Stealth also outshot the Bandits 35-19 in the opening half in what was one of the Stealth’s strongest opening halves in quite some time. It was a total team effort, with the Stealth getting contribution on both ends of the floor tonight.
The second half didn’t produce the same level of scoring but the intensity picked up, as tempers flared, producing a total of 47 penalty minutes in the game, 33 alone in the second half. Bandits head coach, Troy Cordingley knows his team has to stay out of the penalty box for them to be successful moving forward,
“It’s now three games in a row where we felt we were very undisciplined and we have to get back to putting the team first in order to be successful.”
The Bandits undisciplined play continued to fuel the Stealth in this one, as the Stealth’s power play stayed hot producing two more goals in the second half bringing their game total to 5 for 11 on the night,
“We were pretty structured in the first part of the season,” said coach Hall. “We’ve been working really hard on our two and three man game and it produced some great pick and roll goals tonight. We really spread the floor which was good as well.”
The Stealth’s fourth win of the season also came on a special night, as the Stealth organization raised a total of $13,365. All proceeds are being donated to the Canadian Cancer Society.
Three Stars of the Game as selected by the media:
1) Rhys Duch
2) Lewis Ratcliff
3) Anthony Cosmo