It is not a must-win, but it is getting pretty close to that for the Vancouver Stealth, who saw their post-season aspirations take a hit over the weekend.
The Stealth suffered a 16-12 loss to the Saskatchewan Rush on Saturday night in Saskatoon.
And to make things worse, one of the teams they are battling for a playoff spot, the Calgary Roughnecks (7-9), won their weekend game, taking a half-game lead over the Stealth (6-9) in the race for the National Lacrosse League’s final playoff spot in the West Division.
The good news is the Stealth still hold control if they hope to snap their post-season drought which has seen them miss the playoffs all three seasons since relocating to Langley for the 2014 season.
And the Stealth host Calgary this Saturday at the Langley Events Centre (7 p.m.) in a crucial NLL game as the regular season winds down. Vancouver has two games remaining following this weekend while Calgary will have just one more contest.
A win would be huge for Vancouver as it would give them the season series against Calgary, 3-1. Head-to-head is the first tiebreaker should the teams finish with identical records.
A loss, would not completely sink their playoff hopes; however, it would remove any margin for error in the team’s final two games.
In that scenario, Vancouver would need to win their final two games — April 22 at home against the Colorado Mammoth (8-7) and April 29 on the road against New England (7-8) — while hoping Calgary loses their regular season finale on April 29 at home to Saskatchewan (10-4).
Under that scenario, both teams would finish with identical 8-10 records, and while the season series would be tied at two wins apiece, the Stealth would possess the better divisional record (the second tiebreaker) at 6-5, compared to Calgary’s 4-7.