By Gary Ahuja | Staff Writer
The Vancouver Stealth have proven they can win on the road, but to have any semblance of success this season, the team needs to turn around their troubling home record.
Their first opportunity to correct that omes this Saturday as they welcome the Rochester Knighthawks (2-6) to the Langley Events Centre. Game time is 10 p.m. EST (7 p.m. PST).
The Stealth are 3-5 on the season, including 3-1 as the visitors, but are an abysmal 0-3 as the home side, the lone team in the National Lacrosse League who has yet to record a home victory.
Vancouver does come in on a bit of a high after ending a five-game losing streak, defeating Calgary over the weekend while the Knighthawks come in having lost four straight and at 2-6, sit in the East Division basement.
And to talk to most coaches and they will tell you the same thing: success starts with a strong defence and goaltending, both of which have been improved in the past two weeks for Vancouver.
Head coach Jamie Batley has said that if his team can hold the opposition to under a dozen goals, they should win.
And that scenario held true in the first two games of the season with the Stealth allowing 11 and nine goals, respectively, in those contests, both of which were victories.
Tyler Richards got the call in both wins, posting a .797 save percentage — the league average is .771 heading into this weekend.
And in Vancouver’s previous two games — a 10-9 overtime loss and a 13-10 victory — Tye Belanger stopped 87 of 107 shots, a save percentage of .813.
Whomever gets the call in the Stealth crease, will be facing the NLL’s lowest scoring team as Rochester has just 73 goals in eight games, an average of 9.1 And only twice have the Knighthawks reached double digits in goals.