By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
EVERETT — The hand sits above the panic button waiting to strike.
Washington Stealth players and coaches say it isn’t time to hit the button yet — but after Saturday’s 16-5 loss to the Edmonton Rush — they might be a little closer.
Unlike the previous two losses this season for the Washington Stealth, when it was easy to pinpoint one or two things that led to defeat, what happened on Saturday was simply a beat down. Nothing went right for the Stealth.
With the loss, the Stealth fell to 0-3 in front of a crowd of 4,168 — and things are beginning to look bleak.
“It’s just frustration right now,” forward Rhys Duch said. “I haven’t even taken time to step back and think about it really. I’m just trying to keep my cool.
“… It’s not quite time to push the panic button, but something has got to change.”
It all started with a disastrous first two minutes of the game that saw the Stealth give up the first three goals of the contest and it never really got any better.
After giving up 10 goals, goalkeeper Tyler Richards was benched. The Stealth scored just one goal in the entire second half and the dynamic duo of Rhys Duch and Lewis Ratcliff that have been so prolific the past two seasons were held to one goal apiece.
“Our (defense) and goaltending has been holding us in for the last couple of games and doing a great job,” said Stealth assistant coach Art Webster, who is handling the coaching duties in the absence of Chris Hall, who is undergoing treatment for throat cancer. “And then tonight all of the sudden our D goes sideways. I thought T-Rich was strong. He let in a couple and I couldn’t leave him in there any longer because I could see the direction that we were headed.”
Webster added that pushing the panic button is the last thing the Stealth should do.
“I don’t think it’s time to panic,” Webster said. “This is a time where we need to actually stay closer together and get tighter — not panic by any means. There are some things that we need to clean up and I think we still have the personnel in that locker room to do it. But, like I said, it’s not time to go sideways, it’s a time to get tighter and work together.”
Shawn Williams led the Rush offensively with three goals and three assists. Zack Greer also scored three goals and Corey Small scored two goals and dished out seven assists for Edmonton (1-1).
No player scored more than one goal for the Stealth.
The Stealth’s five goals were the least they have scored since the 2009 West Division Championship — a 17-5 loss to Calgary.
Rush 16, Stealth 5
1st Quarter — Scoring: EDM — Quinlan Goal (Evans) 1:31. EDM — Small Goal (Johnson, Small) 1:53. EDM — Corbeil Goal (Toll) 2:00. EDM — Wilson Goal (Evans, Small) 4:56. EDM — Johnson Goal (Ward, Williams) 9:06. WAS — Hill Goal (Rabil, Ratcliff) 9:33. EDM — Greer Goal (Ward, Small) 10:36. WAS — Ross Goal (Beers) 13:56. Penalties: Quinlan, EDM (Illegal Equipment, Minor, 2 min) 5:45. Bold, EDM (Roughing, Minor, 2 min) 5:45. Ross, WAS (Roughing, Minor, 2 min) 9:06. Hill, WAS (Slashing, Minor, 2 min) 9:33.
2nd Quarter — Scoring: EDM — Johnson Goal 2:28. WAS — Ratcliff Goal (PP) (Duch, Sedgwick) 4:41. EDM — Small Goal (Evans) 5:11. EDM — Williams Goal (PP) (Evans, Wilson) 5:13. EDM — Evans Goal (Johnson, Williams) 8:20. WAS — Hodgson Goal (Duch) 10:30. EDM — Wilson Goal (Ward, Williams) 14:59. Penalties: Sorensen, WAS (Interference, Minor, 2 min) 5:13. Beers, WAS (Illegal Cross Checking, Minor, 2 min) 14:59.
3rd Quarter — Scoring: EDM — Williams Goal (PP) (Small) 1:22. EDM — Greer Goal (Small, Wilson) 11:48. WAS — Duch Goal (Bucktooth, Grimes) 11:57. EDM — Evans Goal (PP) (Small, Ward) 12:23. Penalties: Codron, EDM (Illegal Cross Checking, Minor, 2 min) 6:49. Ratcliff, WAS (Holding The Stick, Minor, 2 min) 12:20.
4th Quarter — Scoring: EDM — Greer Goal (Small, Johnson) 6:32. EDM — Williams Goal 13:40. Penalties: Mydske, EDM (, Minor, 2 min) 1:38. Smith, WAS (Holding, Minor, 2 min) 8:50. Evans, EDM (Roughing, Minor, 2 min) 8:50. Williams, EDM (Slashing, Minor, 2 min) 8:50.
Aaron Lommers covers the Washington Stealth for The Herald. Read his live blogs at www.heraldnet.com/blog34, follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at email@example.com.