April 19, 2014, Vancouver (ISN) – The Vancouver Stealth (4-12) fell 15-11 to the Philadelphia Wings (6-11) on Saturday night and were officially eliminated from playoff contention. The Wings were eliminated the week before, after a loss to the Toronto Rock.
It was a tale of two halves for the Stealth on Saturday, as they got off to a great start scoring early and often. Justin Salt found the back of the net just a 1:01 into the first quarter. Then Ilija Gajic put the Stealth up 2-0 with a goal nine seconds later, but the Wings would quickly answer with some quick strikes of their own, as a total of 12 goals were scored in the opening quarter alone.
At the half, the Stealth held an 8-6 advantage and were outshooting the Wings 29-25. In the second half the lack of offense that’s plagued the Stealth all season long turned out to be their undoing, as the Wings outscored the Stealth 9-3 in the second half on route to the 15-11 victory.
Jordan Hall and Tracey Kelusky led the charge for the Wings adding five points apiece. Hall, who was named the first star of the game, finished with three goals and two assists, while Kelusky finished with one goal and four assists and was named third star. Brett Bucktooth and Jamie Lincoln each added a hat trick for the Stealth and Lincoln was named the second star of the game.
It appeared the result of the Colorado game which concluded earlier Saturday evening, played a factor in the Stealth’s second half. The Colorado win officially eliminated the Stealth from playoff contention and seemed to affect the team, but as the Stealth’s Cliff Smith describes, there was much more to play for,
“We knew the outcome but at the end of the day that game is irrelevant,” said Smith.
“We have to play with pride every game no matter what.”
Whether the thought of already being eliminated played a role, or not, the Stealth just weren’t able to sustain enough offensive pressure,
“We’re better then what we showed this year,” said Smith.
“We need to show a level of effort next week, that our fans should expect game in and game out because what we showed this year was not our best.”
The Wings were also looking to finish off the season strong and their offensive coach, Jim Milligan thinks they took a step in the right direction tonight,
“Our goal was to finish with the best record possible,” said Milligan.
“We have a lot of guys who wanted to compete in the room. We lost a lot of tight games this year so I don’t think our record reflects our teams compete level, and I think our guys want to finish strong and tonight was a good start.”
The Stealth finish up their regular season next weekend with a game in Edmonton Friday night, followed by a home game on Saturday night against the Calgary Roughnecks at 7:00PM PST at the LEC. The Stealth will look to finish on a high note and work towards improving for next season,
“When the season ends we will have to re-evaluate,” said Smith.
“We need to focus on playing a full 60 minutes, not 58, but 60. That’s the biggest hurdle we need to overcome next year.”
Vancouver Stealth 2015 Season Tickets are also on sale now, starting at just $99 plus fees. Buy or renew before April 26 to be entered into a draw for a chance to win a trip for 2 to a Stealth road game in a Canadian city next season. Also buy or renew before May 26 and receive priority access to 2014 Grey Cup tickets.