By Gary Ahuja for NLL.com
Coming off a loss, teams prefer getting right back into action as soon as they can, to erase the bitter taste of defeat from their mouths.
The Vancouver Stealth have had a long break to sit and stew in the midst of a four-game losing streak. But the team gets a chance to right the ship this Sunday as they welcome the Colorado Mammoth to the Langley Events Centre in National Lacrosse League.
The Stealth enter the game at 2-4 while the Mammoth sit at 3-3. Colorado also happens to be the last team Vancouver beat, and that came back on January 7. The team has been off since January 28 when they lost 14-12 to the Georgia Swarm.
That game marked a busy month of January, that saw the team play six times in 23 days, traveling nearly 17,000 kilometres in the process. “When you do lose, it is nice to get back at it the next night because you can get it out of your mind with a win,” said Stealth coach Jamie Batley. “But we have had this sitting in our minds for 12, 13 days. It is tough to do that because it is good to get the mental break and good to get the break to heal our wounds.”
The team did not practice at all last week, so Batley’s only contact has come via conference call with the players. And he could tell they are champing at the bit to get back up and running. I think the guys are excited to get back at it,” Batley said.
The last time these teams met, Vancouver won 15-9. And the nine goals against is a significant number according to the coach. The Stealth are allowing 14.2 goals against per game, second worst in the league.
They also need to improve the penalty kill as Vancouver has only successfully stopped the opposition on five of the 22 times they have been short-handed (.227). “(Those are) really where we need to focus,” he said. “I think offensively we are doing fine. As long as we continue to put up 12 (goals) a game, then we should be OK.”
This game will features the top three scorers in the league as Vancouver’s Corey Small (16 goals, 44 points) and Rhys Duch (16 goals, 39 points) combine to form a potent one-two punch from both sides of the floor. The Stealth also have Logan Schuss who is tied for fourth in goals (15) and tied for seventh in points (29).
Colorado counters with Callum Crawford (11 goals, 38 points).