The Vancouver Stealth opted to try something different in hopes of breaking their home woes.
Winless in their four games at the Langley Events Centre in 2017, the Stealth stayed in a hotel the night before. And the move paid off with a 13-9 victory in National Lacrosse League action on Saturday night over the Saskatchewan Rush — coincidentally, the last time Vancouver had beat at the LEC, back in April of the 2016 season.
The Stealth improved to 4-6 while Saskatchewan fell to 6-3.
“It is nice to give it to the fans. They come out here week after week to support us,” said Vancouver goaltender Tye Belanger, the game’s first star after a 55-save performance.
The goaltender was also integral in keying the transition game, finishing with three assists with outlet passes to spring his teammates.
“It is nice to finally finish one out and celebrate in front of our home fans.”
The Rush led 5-3 after one quarter.
“We stayed even-keel and stayed to our systems. And defensively we played well.
“We didn’t allow shots from where they like to shoot from,” said Stealth coach Jamie Batley.
Another key was not panicking.
“The guys just chipped away and then we got it back to 6-6 and felt great about that and just kept that momentum,” Batley said.
The teams were tied at six at halftime before exploding for a combined seven goals in the third period, four of which went to the home side for a 10-9 lead.
But while in games past, Vancouver has been unable to pull out a victory in a tight game, that was not the case on Saturday as the Stealth scored the only three goals of the period.
“The key was winning the fourth quarter. We haven’t won many, if any, this year,” Batley said.
Corey Small and Logan Schuss led the Stealth attack with two goals and three assists apiece while Justin Salt, Joel McCready and Jordan Durston each had two goals.
Salt and McCready also had an assist apiece and Cory Conway had a goal and two helpers.
Matt Beers and Rhys Duch rounded out the scoring with a goal and a helper each.
The Stealth are back in action on Sunday as they visit the Colorado Mammoth (6-4) in Denver. The teams have each won once head-to-head so far this season.