The Langley-based Vancouver Stealth (2-3) were defeated by the Saskatchewan Rush (2-2) 16-12 on Friday night.
It was a hectic first half for Vancouver.
Saskatchewan opened the scoring 22 seconds into the game and never looked back, said head coach and assistant general manager Jamie Batley.
It was a familiar name that sparked the offence, but he was wearing the wrong jersey. Jeff Cornwall had a pair of goals helping the Rush to an 11-7 lead after the second.
The goals seemed to slow down in the third quarter.
Saskatchewan managed to outscore the Stealth 2-1 and led the game 13-8 after forty-five minutes. Vancouver’s demeanour changed in the fourth.
The Stealth went on a run, scoring four of the next six goals of the game. The late push was not enough as they dropped the game 16-12 to the reigning NLL champions.
“We have had the same problem three games in a row, going down early and having to fight back. The first half was not ideal, but I thought we cleaned up our play in the second half,” said Batley.
“We are going to analyze this game on the plane, but the guys are in good spirits and we are already looking forward to tomorrow’s game.”
Corey Small continued his hot hand, scoring three goals and five assists for eight points. Rhys Duch scored two goals and four assists for six points.
James Rahe made his first appearance in the National Lacrosse League. Playing alongside Small and Duch, Rahe tallied two assists in his debut.
“It took a little bit to get going, it is a very fast game out there, the size and the speed are the major differences compared to other leagues,” said rookie James Rahe.
“It was exciting getting my first point, but when you play with such talented teammates, the assists can happen pretty easily,” he added.
It will be a quick turnaround for the Stealth as they head back to the Langley Events Centre on Saturday night, when they welcome the undefeated Georgia Swarm (3-0).
Saturday’s game is the “Stealth Experience” night where any youth wearing a minor sports jersey will get into the Langley Events Centre for free with an accompanying adult.
After the game, Stealth players will invite fans onto the turf where they will be playing games, hosting demonstrations and signing autographs.
Tickets are available at the Langley Events Centre box office at 604-882-8800, or Ticket Rocket.co.
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About the National Lacrosse League:
The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is North America’s premier professional indoor lacrosse league. Founded in 1986, the NLL ranks third in average attendance for pro indoor sports worldwide, behind only the NHL and NBA.
The league is comprised of nine franchises across the United States and Canada: Buffalo Bandits, Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Georgia Swarm, New England Black Wolves, Rochester Knighthawks, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock and Vancouver Stealth.