Vancouver Stealth’s Ryan Fournier checks Colorado Mammoth’s Ryan Benesch during NLL action at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 8. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Vancouver Stealth’s Ryan Fournier checks Colorado Mammoth’s Ryan Benesch during NLL action at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 8. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Stealth stymied in home opener

Not much to cheer in National Lacrosse League opener at Langley Events Centre

It may have been the first game of the season, but Vancouver Stealth coach Jamie Batley wasn’t making any excuses for his team.

“Our offence has to look themselves in the mirror and wonder why they shot from the outside all night when we told them you can’t do that against (Dillon) Ward,” Batley said, following his team’s season opening 15-8 loss Friday night at the Langley Events Centre.

“He’s a big goalie, he is a great angle goalie, he is one of the best in the world. We didn’t make him move.”

Ward is the reigning National Lacrosse League goaltender of the year.

And after allowing five goals on 15 shots in the first quarter, Ward settled into a groove and stopped 31 of 34 the rest of the way.

The Stealth were actually up 5-3 late in the first quarter but Colorado’s Chris Wardle and Tim Edwards scored eight seconds apart in the final 30 seconds to tie the game after 15 minutes.

Neither team scored for the first eight minutes and change in the second quarter before the Mammoth got consecutive short-handed goals form Jordan Gilles and Joey Cupido for a lead they would not relinquish.

“It just went south from there. We decided not to try and penetrate the offence,” Batley said.

The Stealth were blanked for the entire quarter and found themselves down 9-6 at the break. They did manage two goals in the third quarter but surrendered another six.

Goaltender Tye Belanger — who led the league with a .796 save percentage in 2017 — was yanked after the fifth goal of the period. He finished with 23 saves on 37 shots.

Brodie MacDonald allowed one goal on seven shots the rest of the way.

“I am not going to blame it all on our goaltending but 62 per cent (save percentage) is not going to win you anything, it is going to get you last place,” Batley said.

“(And) offensively, only thee of the seven (forwards) scored — we are not going to win when we do that.”

Joel McCready and Logan Schuss each had two goals up front while Evan Messenger had one.

The duo of Corey Small and Rhys Duch — who combined to lead the Stealth with 84 goals and 205 points last season — finished with zero goals on 19 shots and three assists total.

Justin Salt, Brandon Goodwin and Travis Cornwall had the other Vancouver goals.

Colorado was led by four goals and five points from Wardle and big nights from both Ryan Benesch (two goals, eight points) and Jeremy Noble (two goals, five points).

Ryan Lee (two goals, two assists), Eli McLaughlin (one goal, three assists) and Bryce Sweeting (one goal) also found the back of the net.

The Stealth were also hurt by the loss of their captain Matt Beers in the second quarter to what appeared to be an upper body or head injury.

Losing any player is crucial but Batley said it wasn’t the reason they lost.

The coach did say that he believes Beers is fine and holding him out for the rest of the game was more precautionary on the doctors’ part.

The Stealth will look for their first win of the season when they travel to Calgary for a game on Dec. 15.

Vancouver Stealth

 

Vancouver Stealth’s Ian Hawskbee is all over his Colorado Mammoth opponent during NLL action at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 8. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Vancouver Stealth’s Ian Hawskbee is all over his Colorado Mammoth opponent during NLL action at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 8. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Vancouver Stealth’s Tony Malcom tries to get a step on Colorado Mammoth’s Tim Edwards during NLL action at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 8. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Vancouver Stealth’s Tony Malcom tries to get a step on Colorado Mammoth’s Tim Edwards during NLL action at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 8. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Colorado Mammoth’s Taylor Stuart bodies up Vancouver Stealth’s Joel McCready during NLL action at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 8. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Colorado Mammoth’s Taylor Stuart bodies up Vancouver Stealth’s Joel McCready during NLL action at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 8. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Colorado Mammoth’s Dillon Ward makes a point-blank save on Vancouver Stealth’s Evan Messenger during NLL action at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 8. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Colorado Mammoth’s Dillon Ward makes a point-blank save on Vancouver Stealth’s Evan Messenger during NLL action at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 8. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Vancouver Stealth’s Chris O’Dougherty defends Colorado Mammoth’s Quinn MacKay during NLL action at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 8. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Vancouver Stealth’s Chris O’Dougherty defends Colorado Mammoth’s Quinn MacKay during NLL action at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 8. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Vancouver Stealth’s Logan Schuss is watched by Colorado Mammoth’s Scott Carnegie during NLL action at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 8. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Vancouver Stealth’s Logan Schuss is watched by Colorado Mammoth’s Scott Carnegie during NLL action at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 8. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Colorado Mammoth’s Tim Edwards and Vancouver Stealth’s Ryan Fournier battle during NLL action at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 8. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Colorado Mammoth’s Tim Edwards and Vancouver Stealth’s Ryan Fournier battle during NLL action at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 8. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Stealth stymied in home opener

Just Posted

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat greets fans outside of the Abbotsford Centre prior to the Canucks exhibition game against the Ottawa Senators in 2019. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
More jobs posted for Abbotsford AHL team

Five new opportunities accepting applicants, Comets forward Lukas Jasek signs in Finland

Singer Ben Cottrill performs during the 2019 Arty Awards at The Reach Gallery Museum, the last time the event was held in person. Cottrill received the award in the performing arts category. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
Nominations now open for 2021 Arty Awards

Annual event hosted by Abbotsford Arts Council, with ceremony Sept. 25

Xauni de Figeuiroa of Abbotsford has been selected to attend a virtual space camp hosted by the Canadian Space Agency at the end of July.
Abbotsford student selected to attend virtual space camp

Xauni de Figeuiroa among 52 youth selected from across Canada

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read