After an overtime defeat in Colorado on Friday, the Langley-based Vancouver Stealth played again Saturday night.
They took a 4 a.m. flight from Denver back home to Langley, only to be welcomed by the awaiting reigning NLL Champions, the Georgia Swarm.
The injury bug continued to bite the Stealth line up, including Peter McFetridge and Tye Belanger who missed Friday’s action and Jon Harnett, Casey Jackson and Evan Messenger who played the night before, noted the teams communications officer Trevor McManus.
“The Stealth welcomed back transition star Justin Salt, as well as forwards Joel McCready and Logan Schuss who were sitting out Friday night.”
How the game unfolded
The opening minutes began a little foggy for the Stealth as they found themselves in a 3-0 deficit in the first quarter, until McCready found the back of the net twice and Corey Small added a marker to finish the first quarter trailing 5-3.
Vancouver’s fortunes turned in the second when Small scored his second and third goal, Schuss added a hat trick in 4:56 of play, and the Stealth trailed the Swarm 8-7 at the half.
The teams traded goals and ended the third with Georgia on top 10-9.
But as the fourth wore on, the effects of the night previous were becoming apparent, McManus said.
Georgia’s transition began to swarm the Stealth as they scored the first four goals in the final frame before Small stopped their run.
Vancouver battled back with three straight goals, but the comeback was short-lived as the Swarm defeated the Stealth, 16-12.
Schuss led the way for Vancouver, scoring three goals and five assists, while Small, McCready, and Rhys Duch all had five points.
“We are half a game out of a playoff spot right now, that is the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Captain Matt Beers.
“We have a bunch of guys in here who are stepping up right now and with the veterans we have, I believe this a winning line up,” Beers added.
“Saskatchewan is a very good team and the bar is set high, but we want to challenge ourselves on the road. When we come back home, it is going to be an emotional night for us, that’s for sure.”
Vancouver’s next two games will be against the Saskatchewan Rush.
In Week 9, the Stealth visit Saskatchewan in a key west division showdown.
The following week the teams rematch inside Langley Events Centre.
The game will be a special evening for Stealth faithful, as they will be retiring the jersey of long-time Stealth player and captain Curtis Hodgson.
Tickets to the next home game on Feb. 10 are still available online at: StealthLAX.com.