The Washington Stealth are headed to the NLL Championship Game for the third time in four years after their 14-13 road win over the Calgary Roughnecks in the West Division Final at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday night.
”Two great lacrosse teams and some phenomenal lacrosse players,” said Stealth head coach Chris Hall. “You are watching some of the best athletes on the planet when you watch these two teams go at it.”
Despite seven second-half goals by Roughnecks forward Curtis Dickson, the Stealth held on for the win in a game that came down to the final possession. Down by one goal with the goalie pulled, Calgary failed to get a shot off with 10 seconds left before Washington cleared the ball down the floor to help the remaining time expire.
Washington lead 2-0 after the first quarter, 8-5 at halftime and 11-10 after the third quarter in a game in which they never trailed.
Stealth forwards Athan Iannucci and Rhys Duch both scored three goals and finished with seven points while goaltender Tyler Richards made 39 saves on 52 shots to help them get back to the title game.
Dickson finished with eight points (7+1) and was the first NLL player to score seven goals in a postseason game since Buffalo Bandits transition player Mark Steenhuis accomplished the feat in 2008. Dane Dobbie scored a hat trick as the only other Roughnecks player to score more than once. Calgary forward Shawn Evans, the NLL’s regular season scoring champ with 112 points, opened the scoring for the Roughnecks early in the second quarter but finished with just three assists the rest of the way.
”Two great lacrosse teams and some phenomenal lacrosse players,” Hall said. “You are watching some of the best athletes on the planet when you watch these two teams go at it.”
The first quarter set the scene for a physical battle in the “Rough House” with both teams setting the pace high and pushing for momentum. The Stealth went up 2-0 after the first quarter, despite the Roughnecks controlling for the better part of the first.