On Saturday night in Calgary, it may have finally come back to bury them.
The Stealth fell to the Roughnecks 13-11 on Saturday night falling to 4-9 on the season. Meanwhile, the Edmonton Rush scored a 9-8 victory over the Minnesota Swarm to improve to 4-7, delivering a big blow to the Stealth's playoff hopes.
Washington players spent much of the first quarter in the penalty box allowing the Roughnecks to build a 5-0 lead after one quarter. The Stealth fought back to make it a game, but in the end, the five goals Washington spotted Calgary proved to be too much to overcome.
"It was the difference without question," Hall said. "What in the world are we doing? Getting down 5-0 in this building and expecting to win with two penalties being unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for yapping at referees. It's inexcusable."
The Stealth have just three games remaining in the regular season to surpass Edmonton or Buffalo (4-8) for the final playoff spot. The Rush own the tie-breaker over the Stealth, while the Stealth have the edge over Buffalo in the event of a tie.
"We are in deep, deep trouble," Hall said. "Somehow we are going to have to find a way to win out here."
Washington could have easily found themselves out of the game if it wasn't for goalkeeper Tyler Richards. Richards saved 48 of the 61 shots he faced.
"Obviously it's great to have an opportunity to try and get back in the game," Hall said. "No matter how many saves Tyler makes, it's a long road back."
The Stealth cut the Roughnecks lead down to just one goal late in the second half, but the Roughnecks scored three of the final four goals of the game to secure the victory. Hall said he knew after the first quarter that it was going to be very tough to come back.
"Think about how perfectly you have to play to go plus-six on a team in their building," Hall said.
The Stealth were led offensively by Athan Iannucci, who had his best game as a member of the Stealth, with four goals and one assist.
"It doesn't do much when Athan is doing his best and Tyler is doing well and the rest of the team is imploding," Hall said.
Scott Ranger led the Roughnecks with four goals. Dane Dobbie and Jeff Shattler each added three.
Roughnecks 13, Stealth 11
Washington 0 3 4 4 -- 11
Calgary 5 1 4 3 -- 13
First quarter scoring: C -- Ranger (PP) (Veltman) 2:19. C -- Rangel (PP) (Veltman, Dobbie) 2:29. C -- Dobbie (PP) (Ranger, Veltman) 4:04. C -- Evans (PP) (Shattler, Veltman) 5:24. C -- Dobbie (Kilby) 12:28.
Second quarter scoring: W -- Duch (PP) (Hill, Ratcliff) 4:23. C -- Shattler (Dobbie, Evans) 9:51. W -- Iannucci (Cummings) 12:35. W -- Iannucci (Bucktooth, Martin) 13:00.
Third quarter scoring: W -- Beers (Martin) 2:51. C -- Shattler (Conway) 4:36. W -- Hill (PP) (Zywicki, Iannucci) 5:57. C -- Shattler (Conway, Cornwall) 6:58. C -- Ranger Goal (Veltman, Conway) 9:51. W -- Ross (Bloom) 11:19. C -- Ranger (Dobbie, Evans) 12:31. W -- Hill (PP) (Zywicki, Duch) 13:50.
Fourth quarter scoring: W -- Bucktooth (Cummings, Ratcliff) 4:52. W -- Iannucci (Moleski, Snider) 5:35. C -- Dickson (Dobbie, Carnegie) 6:12. W -- Iannucci (Duch, Ratcliff) 9:12. C -- Dobbie (Conway, Veltman) 12:20. C -- McFetridge (EN) 14:03. W -- Cummings (Zywicki, Duch) 14:35.
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