Vancouver Stealth’s Ryan Fournier checks Colorado Mammoth’s Ryan Benesch during NLL action at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 8. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Stealth stymied in home opener

Not much to cheer in National Lacrosse League opener at Langley Events Centre

It may have been the first game of the season, but Vancouver Stealth coach Jamie Batley wasn’t making any excuses for his team.

“Our offence has to look themselves in the mirror and wonder why they shot from the outside all night when we told them you can’t do that against (Dillon) Ward,” Batley said, following his team’s season opening 15-8 loss Friday night at the Langley Events Centre.

“He’s a big goalie, he is a great angle goalie, he is one of the best in the world. We didn’t make him move.”

Ward is the reigning National Lacrosse League goaltender of the year.

And after allowing five goals on 15 shots in the first quarter, Ward settled into a groove and stopped 31 of 34 the rest of the way.

The Stealth were actually up 5-3 late in the first quarter but Colorado’s Chris Wardle and Tim Edwards scored eight seconds apart in the final 30 seconds to tie the game after 15 minutes.

Neither team scored for the first eight minutes and change in the second quarter before the Mammoth got consecutive short-handed goals form Jordan Gilles and Joey Cupido for a lead they would not relinquish.

“It just went south from there. We decided not to try and penetrate the offence,” Batley said.

The Stealth were blanked for the entire quarter and found themselves down 9-6 at the break. They did manage two goals in the third quarter but surrendered another six.

Goaltender Tye Belanger — who led the league with a .796 save percentage in 2017 — was yanked after the fifth goal of the period. He finished with 23 saves on 37 shots.

Brodie MacDonald allowed one goal on seven shots the rest of the way.

“I am not going to blame it all on our goaltending but 62 per cent (save percentage) is not going to win you anything, it is going to get you last place,” Batley said.

“(And) offensively, only thee of the seven (forwards) scored — we are not going to win when we do that.”

Joel McCready and Logan Schuss each had two goals up front while Evan Messenger had one.

The duo of Corey Small and Rhys Duch — who combined to lead the Stealth with 84 goals and 205 points last season — finished with zero goals on 19 shots and three assists total.

Justin Salt, Brandon Goodwin and Travis Cornwall had the other Vancouver goals.

Colorado was led by four goals and five points from Wardle and big nights from both Ryan Benesch (two goals, eight points) and Jeremy Noble (two goals, five points).

Ryan Lee (two goals, two assists), Eli McLaughlin (one goal, three assists) and Bryce Sweeting (one goal) also found the back of the net.

The Stealth were also hurt by the loss of their captain Matt Beers in the second quarter to what appeared to be an upper body or head injury.

Losing any player is crucial but Batley said it wasn’t the reason they lost.

The coach did say that he believes Beers is fine and holding him out for the rest of the game was more precautionary on the doctors’ part.

The Stealth will look for their first win of the season when they travel to Calgary for a game on Dec. 15.

 

Vancouver Stealth’s Ian Hawskbee is all over his Colorado Mammoth opponent during NLL action at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 8. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Vancouver Stealth’s Tony Malcom tries to get a step on Colorado Mammoth’s Tim Edwards during NLL action at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 8. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Colorado Mammoth’s Taylor Stuart bodies up Vancouver Stealth’s Joel McCready during NLL action at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 8. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Colorado Mammoth’s Dillon Ward makes a point-blank save on Vancouver Stealth’s Evan Messenger during NLL action at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 8. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Vancouver Stealth’s Chris O’Dougherty defends Colorado Mammoth’s Quinn MacKay during NLL action at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 8. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Vancouver Stealth’s Logan Schuss is watched by Colorado Mammoth’s Scott Carnegie during NLL action at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 8. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Colorado Mammoth’s Tim Edwards and Vancouver Stealth’s Ryan Fournier battle during NLL action at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 8. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Just Posted

FOCUS: Cloverdale group putting Surrey city council ‘to the test’

‘We need to see more infrastructure starting up,’ Mike Bola says

With ‘Night Watch,’ a former newspaper editor finds his thrills at Surrey theatre

‘I’m loving it,’ director Lance Peverley says about his work in community theatre

Surrey reviewing clothing bin safety in wake of deaths

City staff have been directed to review ‘safety precautions’ and an outright ban

Big year for construction in Surrey’s City Centre: mayor

McCallum says about 16 high-rise projects currently in ‘different phases’ of planning process

Council calls on province to make deadly Surrey intersection safer

Development application sparks discussion about ‘dangerous’ Highway 10 and 132nd Street intersection

VIDEO: Delta police officer swims 12 hours for a good cause

DPD Const. Kelly Seib was raising funds for a young North Delta woman’s brain cancer treatment

Millennial Money: Don’t let Instagram envy get you into debt

A full 48 per cent of U.S. households have credit card debt

Jury debates fate of man accused of killing 12-year-old B.C. girl 40 years ago

Police allege Garry Handlen told a cop how he abducted, sexually assaulted and strangled Monica Jack in May 1978

Letters on way to all homeowners in B.C. speculation tax communities

Property owners have to register to avoid vacant-home tax

New orca calf in Salish Sea ‘healthy and active’

Birth cause for celebration but things still dire genetically, expert says

Good Samaritan rescues cat found in heaps of garbage at B.C. landfill

The cat was abandoned and left to die at the Foothills Boulevard Regional Landfill, the BC SPCA says

Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna home to Canada’s most expensive rentals: report

According to PadMapper, units in larger B.C. cities cost $1,300 to more than $3,000

Former MP Svend Robinson wants to return to politics

Robinson is expected to be acclaimed as the NDP candidate in the riding of Burnaby North-Seymour

Most Read