Rock spoils Langley-based Stealth’s home opener

The Toronto Rock wrecked the Langley-based Vancouver Stealth’s Saturday night house party.

In their National Lacrosse League home opener against the Rock, the Stealth had one good quarter and three not-so-good ones, losing 20-11 to the visitors from the Big Smoke.

The Stealth led 4-2 after the first quarter in front of 4,724 fans at the Langley Events Centre, but after that, it was all Rock, who out-scored the home team 8-2 in the second quarter and 10-5 in the second half.

After opening their season with an 18-14 road win over the Calgary Roughnecks, the Stealth fell short in their attempt to go 2-0 to start their 2015 NLL campaign.

Toronto’s Josh Sanderson had a game for the ages with four goals and 10 assists. His teammate Rob Hellyer also had a big night offensively with six goals and four assists.

Rhys Duch led the Stealth with three goals and two assists. Tyler Digby scored twice and added three helpers for the home team.

The Stealth came out of the gates flying in front of the raucous home crowd, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first six and a half minutes of the first quarter.

Ilija Gajic opened the scoring 2:29 in when he beat Rock goaltender Brandon Miller.

“We came out with a lot of energy,” Gajic said. “We started fatiguing a bit in the second period. You could see guys getting tired and making foolish mistakes and as soon as we started doing that, a team like Toronto is going to beat you.”

The start of the second half was all Rock, who tallied the first five goals of the third quarter before the Stealth stopped the streak, scoring the last two goals of the frame but trailed 15-8 going into the fourth stanza

Despite the loss, Duch reached a very important milestone in Stealth franchise history. In the first quarter, he assisted on a goal by Digby, which made him the franchise’s all-time leading scorer, scoring his 531st point, surpassing Gary Rosyski.

“It’s great to be the team’s all-time points leader but I wish the end result was different,” Duch said.

Offence ruled the day, with the teams combining for 31 total goals and 99 shots.

The Rock’s Miller made 33 saves to pick up the win while the Stealth’s Tyler Richards had a tough night for Vancouver, suffering his first loss of the season despite making 31 saves.

“We have to follow our game plan,” Gajic said. “The games are not going to come easy. It’s a good wake-up call and we have to be better.”

The Stealth are back at home this Saturday, Jan. 17 when they welcome the Buffalo Bandits to the LEC. Faceoff is at 7 p.m.

Tickets can be had by clicking here, and, if available, at the door the night of the game.

FINAL BUZZER: The Stealth are looking to bounce back from a tough 2014 campaign where they finished with a 4-14 record, tied for worst in the NLL with the Minnesota Swarm.

The pre-game ceremony on Saturday included an emotional video tribute to the late Chris Hall, who was the Stealth’s bench boss in 2014 (their inaugural season in Langley) before retiring due to health reasons.

Hall passed away Dec. 21 after a four-year battle with cancer. He was 64.

Just Posted

Cloverdale nurse, Langley truck driver awarded for saving a police officer’s life

Angela Feltrin and Earl Hanes thanked by B.C. RCMP’s top cop

Annual Aldergrove Fair announces their 2019 theme: ‘Aldy on the Moon’

The fair is gathering space memorabilia as well as some of the people involved in the space program.

Aldergrove’s Fraser Highway to unveil another Starbucks

A commercial building on Fraser Highway will open its doors to two businesses instead of one.

Former Surrey mayor Bill Vogel dead at age 87

Vogel was Surrey’s 31st mayor, in the big chair from 1978 to 1980, and was alderman from 1973 to 1977

Langley woman’s caregivers pen unflinching book about her struggles

The authors and the woman they care for will be at an Abbotsford book signing on Saturday, Feb. 16.

VIDEO: How much snow do you have?

Langley residents are being asked to share images of their snow to enter for a $20 coffee card.

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Mayors approve SkyTrain extension to UBC

Next step is a business plan and public consultation

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Father to be charged with first-degree murder in Amber Alert case

11-year-old Riya Rajkumar was found dead in her father’s home in Brampton, Ontario

Police track armed kidnapping across Thompson-Okanagan

RCMP allege it was a targeted crime believed to be linked to the drug trade

St. Paul’s Hospital replacement slated to open in Vancouver in 2026

Announced many times, but this time there’s money, Adrian Dix says

Fourteen ‘dream’ homes ordered evacuated as sinkholes open in Sechelt

Sinkholes throughout the subdivision have prompted the District of Sechelt to issue evacuation orders

Most Read