Finally, the lacrosse gods have smiled on the Vancouver Stealth – with a whole lot of help from the Stealth, themselves.
The Stealth found themselves on the right side of a 14-13 score Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre, edging their National Lacrosse League rival Calgary Roughnecks in overtime.
Langley’s pro lacrosse team trailed by a seemingly insurmountable 6-0 deficit after 15 minutes of play, before clawing all the way back to win on an overtime goal from Corey Small.
Small played hero firing a shot from the middle of the floor that beat Roughnecks goaltender Mike Poulin between the legs to earn the victory for the Stealth. Logan Schuss had the only assist on the game winner against Poulin, who had replaced starter Frankie Scigliano between the pipes.
With the victory, the Stealth move to 3-4 on the season.
The Stealth finished the third quarter on a four-goal run led by hometown boy Garrett Billings with two goals.
In the opening minute of the fourth quarter, the Stealth were rewarded with a power play and were able to capitalize.
Schuss received a pass from Rhys Duch on the right side of the floor and fired a perfect bounce shot to the back of the net to get his team to within a pair of goals.
On the ensuing face-off, Small found a loose ball and went in one on one against Scigliano and beat him for his first of the game to make it six straight Stealth goals.
Scigliano would leave the game in favour of Poulin.
Small was not done there, as he recorded his second straight goal with a shot that beat Poulin over the right shoulder to even the score at 12-12. Duch and Schuss had the assists on Small’s 15th goal of the year.
At 11:55, Jordan Durston notched his first career hat-trick after finding a rebound and putting the ball past Poulin to give the Stealth their first lead of the game. Billings and Duch had the assists.
But with nine seconds to play in regulation, the Roughnecks pulled their goaltender and scored the equalizer off the stick of rookie Riley O’Connor and sent the game to overtime.
“Before we went out there for overtime, Kaleb Toth said there is no such thing as a bad shot in OT. Our offence was feeling it and it was nice to see the ball just cross the line,” said Small, who recorded a hat-trick.
The story of the game was the various types of runs both teams went on throughout the game.
Calgary scored as many as six in a row, while the Stealth had eight consecutive beginning at the 12:17 mark of the third quarter.
“We were hard on loose balls and rebounds in the later stages of the game, which turned out to be the difference for us,” Stealth head coach Dan Perreault said. “We have a special group of guys in that dressing room that never gave up, and they should be proud of what they accomplished.”
Rhys Duch, Garrett Billings, and Logan Schuss all had eight point games. For Schuss, it was his fourth straight game with recording at least eight points or more.
In goal, Tyler Richards picked up his first win of the season stopping 31 of 40 shots.
In a losing cause, Calgary star Curtis Dickson tallied five goals and added four assists to lead all scorers. All five of Dickson’s goals came in the first half of play.
The Stealth are back in action this Saturday, Feb. 27 in Colorado against the Mammoth. Game time is 2 p.m.
Vancouver’s next home game is next Saturday, March 5 versus the Buffalo Bandits. Game time is 7 p.m.
Tickets are available atstealthlax.com or by phone at 604-882-8800.
– by Brandon Astle, Vancouver Stealth media, stealthlax.com