By Gary Ahuja | NLL.com Staff Writer
For 30 minutes, the Vancouver Stealth looked to be primed for a third consecutive victory.
But for the second time this season, the Buffalo Bandits went on a lengthy-scoring run which the Stealth had no answer for.
The end result was a 15-11 Bandits victory on Friday night at the Langley Events Centre, improving Buffalo to 5-6 while Vancouver fell to 5-7 on the National Lacrosse League season.
The Bandits scored the only six goals of the third quarter and then extended their lead to 14-7 with two more goals early in the fourth quarter before the Stealth finally stopped the bleeding.
By the time Corey Small got Vancouver back on the board, it had been nearly 26 minutes since the Stealth scored. And by then, with four minutes to go in regulation, the team had little team to mount a full comeback, ultimately falling short by four goals.
The loss also dropped Vancouver to 0-4 against the East Division, a trend they will look to break this weekend when the visit Toronto’s Air Canada Centre to face the 6-5 Rock on Saturday night at 7 p.m. EST.
The game is the start of a home-and-home series between the two Canadian rivals as they will wrap up the two-game set on March 31 back at the LEC (10:30 p.m. EST).
And if Vancouver hopes to get back on track and move closer to a post-season berth — they currently hold a one-game lead over Calgary for the final spot in the West Division — they will need to tighten up defensively. During the team’s modest two-game win streak, the defence allowed 50-plus shots in both games, but limited many of those to the outside and Tye Belanger was up to the task, stopping a combined 108 shots.
But the Bandits burned Belanger and the Stealth, scoring 14 goals — the final came into the empty net — on the 42 shots Belanger faced. The 14 goals were one less than the 15 he allowed in the previous two games combined.
Tyler Richards would be called on for the final 9:28 and stopped all five shots he saw.