ROCHESTER — The Washington Stealth let one slip away on Saturday.
For 57 minutes the Stealth were tied or held a lead against the Rochester Knighthawks.
But Rochester scored three goals in the final two minutes and 26 seconds of the contest en route to a 15-12 victory, sending the Stealth to their fifth loss of the season.
The Stealth took an early 4-2 lead after the first period thanks to back-to-back goals by Matt Beers and Rhys Duch, but it was only one of two times in the game the Stealth could string together two consecutive goals.
“We continued to trade goals with them throughout the game,” said Stealth assistant coach Art Webster, who has handled head coaching duties while Chris Hall recovers from throat cancer treatment. “We had plenty of opportunities to extend our lead beyond one or two goals and didn’t capitalize.”
Duch had a first-half hat trick for the Stealth and finished the game with four goals, but an injury limited his production in the second half. Lewis Ratcliff led the Stealth offensively, scoring four goals with three assists.
The Stealth’s newest member, Athan Iannucci, who was acquired on Monday in a blockbuster trade that saw Washington part ways with Paul Rabil, scored his first goal with the Stealth just 2:45 into the fourth quarter. Iannucci didn’t practice with the Stealth this week and learned the offense during the game on the fly, but still managed a goal and two assists.
“There are still things that need to get ironed out up front, but the ball moved well for most of the game with Iannucci in there,” Webster said. “But we are still allowing too many transition opportunities as we switch from offense to defense.”
The Knighthawks scored five goals in transition, including two in the fourth quarter.
Even with the team’s struggles in transition, the Stealth led 12-10 with 6:30 to play in the game. But the Knighthawks’ five unanswered goals sealed the Stealth’s fate.
Knighthawks 15, Stealth 12
1st Quarter—Scoring: WAS — Ratcliff Goal (Bucktooth) 2:17. ROC — McCready Goal 2:54. WAS — Duch Goal (Bucktooth) 3:06. ROC — Campbell Goal (McCready) 3:35. WAS — Beers Goal (Richards) 8:09. WAS — Duch Goal (Ratcliff, Bucktooth) 14:50. Penalties: Powless, ROC (Boarding, Minor, 2 min) 4:25.
2nd Quarter—Scoring: ROC — Vitarelli Goal (Accursi, Davis) 0:15. WAS — Duch Goal (Ratcliff) 0:34. ROC — Point Goal (Keogh, Davis) 2:38. ROC — Point Goal (PP) (Keogh, Vitarelli) 9:05. WAS — Bucktooth Goal (Ratcliff, Hill) 10:09. Penalties: Bloom, WAS (Holding, Minor, 2 min) 7:28.
3rd Quarter—Scoring: WAS — Grimes Goal 1:19. WAS — Duch Goal (Gajic) 1:42. ROC — Accursi Goal (Point) 5:49. ROC — McCready Goal 6:15. WAS — Ratcliff Goal (Iannucci) 8:04. ROC — Accursi Goal 12:40. Penalties: Smith, WAS (Illegal Substitution, Minor, 2 min) 3:36.
4th Quarter—Scoring: WAS — Iannucci Goal 2:45. ROC — Accursi Goal (Vitarelli, Powless) 3:18. WAS — Ratcliff Goal (PP) (Bucktooth, Sedgwick) 5:18. ROC — Powless Goal (Walters, Accursi) 5:44. WAS — Ratcliff Goal (PP) (Iannucci) 8:31. ROC — McCready Goal (Self) 9:44. ROC — Point Goal (Vitarelli) 11:30. ROC — Walters Goal (Davis, Point) 12:34. ROC — Powless Goal (Walters) 14:10. ROC — Self Goal (Cousins, Walters) 14:47. Penalties: Schiller, ROC (Holding, Minor, 2 min) 5:00. , WAS (Too Many Men, Minor, 2 min) 5:53. Powless, ROC (Slashing, Minor, 2 min) 7:15. Grimes, WAS (Unsportsmanlike Conduct, , min) 14:47.