Stealth playoff hopes fading after another loss

The Vancouver Stealth’s margin for error is almost down to nothing in their bid to make the National Lacrosse League playoffs.

The Stealth went on the road and dropped a 10-7 decision to the host Rochester Knighthawks on Saturday at Rochester’s Blue Cross Arena.

The result leaves Vancouver at 4-11 on the season and a game-and-a-half behind the Colorado Mammoth (6-10) for the NLL’s third and final playoff spot in the West Division. The Stealth have three games left while Colorado has a pair.

Against Rochester, Vancouver had a great start to the game as they jumped ahead 2-0 on goals from Kyle Sorenson and Cliff Smith. But the lead did not last long as the Knighthawks scored three unanswered.

The Stealth did recover to lead 4-3 at the half but they failed to score in the third quarter and the Knighthawks took the lead for good, going ahead 5-4.

Vancouver did briefly tie the score at six midway through the fourth quarter before Rochester closed things out with four of the final five goals.

Smith and Lewis Ratcliff had two goals and an assist each for the Stealth while Tyler Digby had a goal and two helpers. Brett Bucktooth had a goal and an assist.

Matt Roik made 24 saves in the loss while Matt Vinc, the game’s first star, had 40 saves on 47 shots for Rochester.

The Stealth host the Philadelphia Wings (5-11) on April 19 at the Langley Events Centre (7 p.m.).

They close out the regular season with games against the top two teams in the division, in Edmonton (15-1) on April 25 and at home to Calgary (10-6) on April 26.

By comparison, Colorado’s remaining two opponents are a combined 9-23 on the season.

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