Stealth struggling to put it all together

  • By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
  • Saturday, January 21, 2012 10:43pm
  • SportsSports

(Each week after the Stealth games I will write a blog post about what I saw during the game and at the end of each blog post I will include a player of the game, Stealth offensive and defensive player of the game and the unsung hero of the game)

It’s safe to say that this isn’t how the Washington Stealth wanted to start the season.

The Stealth fell to 0-2 Saturday after a 10-9 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Wings. For the second straight week, it appeared that they had outplayed their opponent in the basic aspects of the game, but failed to capitalize on the intangibles necessary to earn the victory.

In week 1, it was giving up goals in transition. On Saturday, it was failing to take advantage of the power play. The Stealth finished the game just 2-for-8 on the power play, including failing to score on a 5-on-3 situation in the first half.

“We had a number of power play chances that we didn’t finish,” Stealth assistant coach Art Webster, who is leading the team in the absence of head coach Chris Hall as he battles throat cancer, said. “If they had gone 50 percent we would have won.”

It’s not necessarily time to panic for the Stealth. But falling to 0-2 in a competitive league that will probably call for at least eight wins to make the playoffs means that the Stealth’s collective finger might not be far from the panic button.

Webster said that the team will make personnel changes if necessary.

If we have to make personnel changes, we will,” Webster said. “We can’t keep going down this road.”

After two games, the Stealth don’t have to worry about their five-on-five defense. That has been stellar. The play of goalkeeper Tyler Richards has been equally as strong.

The points of emphasis for the Stealth need to be putting away the chances that they are getting on the offensive end — especially the ones that Lewis Ratcliff and Rhys Duch are getting. Duch got four goals in last weekend’s 13-10 loss to Calgary, but was shut out against the Wings. Ratcliff has scored just two goals in two games. Thus far that is a far cry from the numbers that the “dynamic duo” were putting up last season as they finished second and third in the league in scoring.

“I don’t think think Duchie has gone goose-egg since he has been in this league,” Webster said.

But somehow the Wings held him to that on Saturday.

The Stealth haven’t played that bad, yet after two games they are 2 1/2 games out of first place trailing a Colorado Mammoth team that is 3-0 in the Western Conference. Washington has shown moments that make me believe that they will be there come playoff time, but right now, something isn’t clicking and they don’t have the luxury of being able to take the time to figure it out.

Saturday’s player of the game: Kevin Crowley (F), Philadelphia, The rookie scored five goals, including the game-winner three minutes and 27 seconds into the overtime session. Crowley recorded a hat-trick in the first period, but was shut down by the Stealth’s defense for the following two quarters. The Stealth’s five-on-five defense has been solid so far this season, but they struggled with a young, very talented Crowley on Saturday.

Stealth’s offensive player of the game: Matt Beers (D), It isn’t necessarily a good things when your defensive player of the game is a defenseman, but Beers put away two shots on Saturday and helped give the Stealth a lead in the second half.

Stealth’s defensive player of the game: Tyler Richards (G), Richards saved 35 of the 45 shots he faced in the contest. For the second straight week, Richards had a strong performance in goal, but it wasn’t enough. If the Stealth can correct the problems around him, they way Richards is playing should help Washington get back in the playoff chase.

Stealh’s unsung hero of the game: Brett Hickey (F), Hickey scored the Stealth’s second goal of the game and it was the first goal of his young NLL career. It was a nice moment for Hickey, but more importantly seemed to spark the Stealth’s offense during a run that saw them scored five-unanswered goals to take a 5-3 lead in the third period. Unfortunately for Hickey and the Stealth, the game still ended in disappointing fashion.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Who’s that frog? A local high school tennis player, that’s who

Arlington tennis player Robbie Balderas worked as AquaSox mascot Webbly this season, and the busy junior also runs a landscaping business.

Mountlake Terrace’s Zaveon Jones is pulled to the ground by a diving Nicholas Mouser of Monroe on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, at Monroe High School in Monroe, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Swarming Monroe defense keys win over Terrace in Wesco 3A South showdown

The Bearcats slow down the Hawks’ potent ground game, and quarterback Blake Springer tosses three TDs in a 35-10 victory.

Arlington players lift the Stilly Cup in the air after beating Stanwood on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023 in Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Arlington re-claims Stilly Cup after short hiatus, routs Stanwood 42-7

Leyton Martin registers 277 yards, 4 TDs as Eagles notch fifth straight game with at least six TDs.

Marysville Pilchuck’s Christian Van Natta lifts the ball in the air to celebrate a turnover during the game against Marysville Getchell on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 29

Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 29: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report… Continue reading

Marysville Pilchuck’s Dominik Kendrick (9) runs with the ball during a football game between Marysville Pilchuck and Stanwood at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. Marysville Pilchuck takes the win, 36-7. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Marysville Pilchuck proud of 4-0 start, but has loftier goals

The Tomahawks aren’t listening to the outside noise, including a No. 1 WIAA RPI ranking, as a tough stretch lies ahead.

Stanwood players react to their coach bringing them the Stilly Cup on Sept. 30, 2022 in Arlington. The Spartans snapped a 12-game losing streak in the rivalry matchup last year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
4 games to watch in Week 5 of the prep football season

An in-depth look at the best games the area has to offer, plus a full schedule of the local action in Week 5.

Prep roundup for Friday, Sept. 29

Prep roundup for Friday, Sept. 29: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Houston Astros relief pitcher Hector Neris (50) gestures to Seattle Mariners' Julio Rodríguez (44) after striking Rodríguez out to end the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
MLB investigating Astros pitcher’s alleged use of homophobic slur

The incident occurred during a heated exchange between Houston’s Hector Neris and M’s star Julio Rodriguez on Wednesday night.

Prep roundup for Thursday, Sept. 28

Prep roundup for Thursday, Sept. 28: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Most Read