By Gary Ahuja / NLL.com Correspondent
Photo by Dan Brodie / Vancouver Stealth
The Vancouver Stealth are hoping getting back on the road can get the team back on the winning track.
The Stealth posted back-to-back road victories to open the National Lacrosse League season earlier this month, but failed to build off that momentum, dropping a 14-10 decision to the Calgary Roughnecks last Saturday at the Langley Events Centre in their home opener.
The Stealth scored the first goal of the game but then fell behind and could not get back on even terms the rest of the way.
“We have to play a full 60 minutes,” said Stealth head coach Jamie Batley. “We have to play better defensively. I thought we looked tired defensively.”
Timely saves would help as well. In the first two games, Tyler Richards stopped 79 of 99 shots. But Calgary chased him from the crease on Saturday in the second quarter after scoring eight goals on 17 shots. Tye Belanger filled in nicely, stopping 21 of 27 shots.
Another sore spot from Saturday’s defeat was the Stealth transition game, or more specifically, the lack of a transition. Not a single Vancouver goal came from the transition and Batley says that cannot happen again.
“When the ball is turned over, we have to be quick on our feet,” he said.
At 2-1 on the season, Vancouver is in better shape than their opponent on Saturday, the 0-2 Buffalo Bandits. The game takes place on Saturday, January 21st, at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo. The ball is set to drop at 7:30p.m. EST.
The Bandits are winless in two tries this season and will be without 2016 NLL MVP Dhane Smith for this weekend’s contest, as Smith left their last game with a lower body injury and has already been ruled out.
As has been the case early this season, the Stealth offense should be directed by Rhys Duch (10G-13A) and Corey Small (9G-11A), who rank first and second in league scoring respectively.