Vancouver Stealth won their latest lacrosse game, against Colorado, earning them a position in the playoffs. (Vancouver Stealth photo)

Lacrosse team earns playoffs berth before Langley crowd

Vancouver Stealth’s coach Jamie Batley credits fans for Saturday night’s home win.

A triumph this weekend sends the Langley-based lacrosse team to the playoffs.

The Vancouver Stealth, which are 8 and 9 this season, defeated the Colorado Mammoth by a score of 13-7 at the Langley Events Centre on Saturday night.

The Stealth saved arguably their best performance of the season for fan appreciation night, said spokesman Trevor McManus.

The crowd, dawned in black Stealth gear for blackout night, were somewhat muted after the first quarter when Vancouver was down 3-2.

But after they shook off the first 15 minutes, the Stealth never looked back, McManus said.

They led 7-4 at the half, 11-7 after three and held the Mammoth goalless in the final frame.

With the victory, Vancouver will now have a berth in the 2017 NLL Playoffs, a goal that has eluded them since moving to the Lower Mainland.

“I think they are a very good team, but we play them hard,” said Matt Beers.

“We are 3-1 against them and it really does not matter to us if we play them here or in Colorado. We know they are going to want those wins back, but we are going to be ready for them,” he said.

Vancouver will play Colorado again, this time in round one of the playoffs. But the destination is unknown.

Heading into the final week of play, Vancouver still could host in the first round.

Doing some foreshadowing, said head coach and assistant general manager jamie Batley, said that with a Mammoth loss to Saskatchewan next week and a Stealth victory over New England, the first-round game would be played inside the Langley Events Centre.

“We obviously wanted this win, it is good for the franchise…” Batley said.

“The last couple of games we have had great support from the fans and they have really lifted us to these wins.”

Vancouver hits the road in Week 18 when they play the New England Black Wolves in their final regular season game.

Saturday night was a treat for those inside the Langley Events Centre who watched the game, but also for Lacrosse BC.

Stealth owner Denise Watkins and president and general manager Doug Locker presented a $30,000 cheque to the Lacrosse on the Move Fund.

The money was raised between 50/50 draws at home games and from the BC-themed jersey auction. Since 2014, the Stealth have raised more than $125,000 for the fund.