By Kevin Brown Herald Writer
EVERETT — Friday was a night of firsts for the Washington Stealth. But no one in the home locker room felt like celebrating.
The Stealth, the National Lacrosse League’s highest-scoring team, were shut out in the opening quarter — their first goal-less period of the season — and never recovered as they suffered their first home loss, falling to the defending NLL champion Calgary Roughnecks 13-9 at Comcast Arena.
The West Division-leading Stealth have lost two straight to slip to 6-2. Calgary improved to 4-3.
After giving up a season-high 16 goals in last week’s loss at Minnesota, the Stealth spent a good portion of Thursday’s practice and Friday morning’s shootaround working on their defense.
“We pretty much went back to Defense 101,” Stealth coach Chris Hall said. “We weren’t executing the basics of defense either one-on-one or collectively.”
Looks like they still have some work to do.
Calgary scored on its first possession of the game and held a 4-0 advantage at the end of the first period.
“I think our defense in the first half was terrible,” Hall said. “We go down early on two things we worked on the night before: We got beat underneath and we got beat back door, two things we had talked about. That’s players not paying attention, just not focusing.”
Washington can usually count on its offense to keep it in the game, but that was not case Friday. The Stealth didn’t score their first goal until the 3:24 mark of the second quarter.
Especially frustrating for the Stealth and their fans was a brief two-man advantage in the first quarter that failed to produce a score. Washington trailed just 1-0 at the time.
“When that power play didn’t cash early, it opened the flood gates,” Hall said.
Calgary scored the next seven goals to open an 8-0 advantage. Hall pulled starting goalie Matt Roik when the score reached 6-0. Tyler Richards went the rest of the way, making 30 saves.
Of course, it didn’t help that the Stealth lost one of the league’s top forwards, Rhys Duch, to a sprained ankle less than two minutes into the game. Duch (13 goals, 25 assists) did not return.
Penalties also played a role in the Stealth’s offensive struggles. Officials whistled Washington for 13 penalties. “It’s pretty hard to score when you’re sitting in the penalty box,” Hall said.
After trailing 10-1 at halftime, the Stealth showed some life in the second half, outscoring Calgary 8-3. Jeff Zywicki, the NLL’s No. 2 scorer coming into the game, led the charge, scoring four goals in a 10-minute span of the third quarter to cut the difference to 11-5. But it was too little, too late.
“If there was one thing I was pleased with, it was that we tried to fight back and we showed we could do some good things against a very good lacrosse team,” Hall said.
Zywicki led Washington with five points (four goals, one assist). Paul Rabil and Cam Sedgwick each scored two goals.
Kaleb Troth, who had a hat trick in the first quarter for Calgary, finished with four goals and three assists.
The Stealth played without standout defender Eric Martin. Martin pulled a hamstring in practice Thursday, Hall said.
First quarter: 1, Calgary, K. Toth 3 (S. Ranger), 0:53. 2, Calgary, K. Toth 4 (B. Codd), 9:36. 3, Calgary, K. Toth 5 (S. Ranger, J. Shattler), 11:22. 4, Calgary, D. Dobbie 14 (T. Kelusky, J. Sanderson), 14:18 (pp). Penalties-R. Kirkby Cgy (cross checking), 3:01; A. McBride Cgy (slashing), 4:38; M. Beers Was (cross checking), 13:18; J. Bloom Was (checking from behind), 13:18.
Second quarter: 5, Calgary, C. Conn 9 (K. Toth, D. Dobbie), 2:39 (pp). 6, Calgary, J. Shattler 7 (S. Ranger, J. Sanderson), 3:12. 7, Calgary, J. Sanderson 16 (K. Toth, S. Ranger), 3:34. 8, Calgary, C. Conn 10 (K. Toth, J. Sanderson), 10:29 (pp). 9, Washington, P. Rabil 5 11:26 (sh). 10, Calgary, J. Sanderson 17 (N. Heavenor), 12:19 (pp). 11, Calgary, T. Kelusky 13 (D. Dobbie), 13:52 (pp). Penalties-M. Beers Was (cross checking), 0:49; B. Hunt Was (high sticking), 7:50; L. Ratcliff Was (cross checking), 13:27.
Third quarter: 12, Washington, J. Zywicki 20 (L. Ratcliff, L. Wiles), 1:31. 13, Washington, J. Zywicki 21 (J. Koesterer), 5:34. 14, Calgary, K. Toth 6 (M. Carnegie, A. McBride), 6:50. 15, Washington, J. Zywicki 22 (L. Ratcliff), 7:35 (pp). 16, Washington, J. Zywicki 23 9:56. Penalties-J. Moleski Cgy (slashing), 7:08.
Fourth quarter: 17, Calgary, D. Dobbie 15 (S. Ranger, T. Kelusky), 3:05. 18, Washington, C. Sedgwick 12 4:29 (pp). 19, Washington, P. Rabil 6 (L. Ratcliff), 7:41 (pp). 20, Calgary, J. Shattler 8 (B. Codd), 12:24 (en). 21, Washington, C. Sedgwick 13 (J. Zywicki), 12:43. 22, Washington, C. Hodgson 3 (P. Morgan), 14:04. Penalties-C. Manning Cgy (high sticking), 4:12; J. Bloom Was (cross checking), 6:29; M. Beers Was (roughing), 7:32; J. Shattler Cgy (roughing), 7:40; M. King Cgy (delay of game), 8:48.
Shots on Goal: Calgary 13-14-10-15-52. Washington 12-11-13-12-48.
Power Play Opportunities: Calgary 5-of-8; Washington 3-of-7.
Faceoffs: Calgary 16-of-26; Washington 10-of-26.
Goalies: Calgary, King 3-2-0 (48 shots, 39 saves). Washington, Roik 3-0-0 (15 shots, 9 saves); Richards 3-2-0 (36 shots, 30 saves). A—3,450