Deficit too much for Stealth to overcome
A slow start proved costly as the Vancouver Stealth fell 17-9 to the visiting Toronto Rock.
The all-Canadian National Lacrosse League match-up was played Saturday night (April 5) at the Langley Events Centre.
"Right from the get go, we put ourselves behind the eight ball," said Stealth captain Kyle Sorenson, who returned the line-up after missing time with a knee injury.
"We battled back a bit after the slow start, but then we fell asleep again."
Vancouver battled back from an early 2-0 hole to briefly tie the game but the Rock led 6-2 after one quarter and 11-4 at the half.
The Rock's Garrett Billings was playing in front of about 50 family and friends as he returned to his hometown.
The 28-year-old entered the game leading the league in assists and points and was having an MVP-calibre season. And he had seven assists on the first nine Toronto goals before tearing his ACL.
Without their offensive leader in the second half, the Rock still managed to out-score the Stealth 6-5 over the final 30 minutes to win 17-9.
"We showed flashes of brilliance but that's not good enough," said Sorenson.
"We know we can play 60 minutes; we did it last week against Buffalo."
The Stealth were led by Rhys Duch's four goals while Brett Bucktooth had five assists. Lewis Ratcliff had two goals and an assist and Tyler Digby scored twice and set up another.
Cliff Smith and Jamie Lincoln had the other goals.
Matt Roik stopped 25 of 36 shots while Tyler Richards made four saves on 10 shots as the Stealth used both goaltenders.
The loss drops Vancouver to 4-10 on the season with four games to play. They trail the Colorado Mammoth (5-10) by a half game for the final playoff spot in the West Division.
The Stealth are on the road this weekend (April 12) in Rochester to face the Knighthawks in a rematch of the 2013 Champion's Cup final.