It has been a season to forget for the Vancouver Stealth as the team finished winless on they home floor.
The latest in a long string of disappointing defeats came on Saturday night with the visiting Calgary Roughnecks dominating in a 26-11 victory at the Langley Events Centre.
Calgary had nearly as many goal-scorers (10) as the Stealth did goals (11) with Vancouver finishing the home portion of their NLL schedule 0-9. They are also 2-15 on the season with just one game to go.
The Roughnecks — who are locked into the West Division’s No. 3 seed — improved to 8-9 on the season.
With the game meaningless to both teams, head coach Curt Malawsky said his team was only focused on themselves. “No matter what they were going to do or how they were game-planning, it wasn’t about them, it was about us,” he said. “We just need to continue to get better, week to week, game to game. “We wanted to make sure we kept that playoff mentality despite (Vancouver) out and us being in and locked into third.”
Rhys Duch opened the scoring for Vancouver 34 seconds in but Calgary led 4-2 after one quarter.
The Roughnecks led 11-6 at the half but blew the game wide-open in the third quarter with a 10-goal outburst to lead 21-8. Leading the way for Calgary were Curtis Dickson (four goals, eight assists) and Tyler Digby (four goals, one assist) with four-goal games while Holden Cattoni, Wes Berg and Dane Dobbie each had hat tricks. Cattoni also had six assists, while Berg set up five goals and Dobbie had four helpers. Mitch Wilde (two goals, three assists), Zach Currier (two goals, two assists), Riley Loewen (two goals, two assists), Chad Cummins (two goals, one assist) and Ryan Martel (one goal) rounded out the scoring.
The Stealth were led by Tony Malcom who had three goals and three assists, while Corey Small and Casey Jackson each had two goals and two helpers. Logan Schuss, Seth Oakes and Andrew Suitor had a goal and assist apiece while Duch finished with a goal and two helpers.
Following a lengthy autograph session on fan appreciation night, Schuss said the players know the season was unacceptable and frustrating.
The Stealth have the fewest goals scored (176) and the highest goals allowed (266). And regardless of whether they win or lose their finale, this will mark the team’s worst won-loss record in franchise history. Their previous low was four victories. “It is hard to put into words what this season felt like,” Schuss said. “I think this is a real eye-opener for what we have to do in the off-season.”
“Some new guys got a chance to develop and hopefully this summer it will translate into them becoming better players in the summer as well,” he added. “And hopefully when things start up again in the fall, we are that much maturer, that much more game ready for NLL.”