The Vancouver Stealth played a near-perfect road game for three quarters on Saturday against the top team in the National Lacrosse League.
But the fourth quarter became the Adam Jones show as the Colorado Mammoth star scored six times — including the game-winner with one second to play — in an 11-10 come-from-behind victory.
The game was played on Saturday afternoon at Denver’s Pepsi Center.
The win improved Colorado to a league-leading 7-2 while Vancouver fell to 3-5.
The Mammoth entered the game with the league’s most potent power play, clicking at 60 per cent. But the Stealth penalty kill did its job, killing off all six Colorado man-advantage chances. That included a five-minute power play that bridged the third and fourth quarter and then another minor penalty shortly after.
“We just seemed to run out of gas,” said Vancouver coach Dan Perreault.
“It seemed like we used up a lot of energy killing penalties and then our offence never got in a rhythm (in the fourth quarter).”
The Stealth were in full control for much of the game, leading 3-1 after one quarter, 6-2 at the half and 9-4 after three quarters.
But Jones scored six of his team’s seven goals in the fourth quarter. By comparison, Vancouver only had seven shots on goal the entire period, and only one of those went in.
Rhys Duch and Logan Schuss led Vancouver with three goals and three assists apiece. Garrett Billings had four assists and Corey Small had a goal and a helper.
The team’s other three goals came from the transition game with Thomas Hoggarth, Tyler Hass and Travis Cornwall netting one goal apiece.
Tyler Richards made 47 saves in the loss.
The game was not without controversy, either.
With just over eight minutes to play, Colorado goaltender Alex Buque inadvertently put the ball in his own net. But with the referees looking up the floor, it was missed and the Stealth were out of video replay challenges after two unsuccessful challenges earlier in the game.
Had it counted, the score would have been 10-7 Vancouver, but on the ensuing play, Jones scored to cut the lead to 9-8.
Controversy aside, the Stealth let a win slip away.
“Bottom line is Jones got hot,” Perreault said. “Everything he was shooting, he was hitting corners. And we couldn’t buy a goal.”
The team was disappointed they let two points slip away.
“We were solid,” Perreault said. “You hold Colorado to four goals in three quarters of play, that is fantastic.
“Unfortunately the last 15 minutes, we didn’t get the job done.”
The Stealth return home on Saturday as they host the Buffalo Bandits (5-4) at the Langley Events Centre at 7 p.m. Vancouver looks for a third straight home victory.