By Brandon Astle
February 13, 2016- Rochester, NY- The Vancouver Stealth lost to the Rochester Knighthawks 16-15 in overtime on Saturday night at Blue Cross Arena. It was the only meeting of the season between the two out of division teams with Eric Penney starting in net for the Stealth, while Matt Vinc played for the Knighthawks.
The Stealth got the scoring started with an unassisted goal from Garret Billings at 2:12 of the opening quarter. After Cody Jamieson tied the game at 6:01, former Knighthawk Joel McCready took a pass from Rhys Duch and scored his 9th goal of the year in tight on Vinc. At 7:36, Billings scored his second of the game with a bullet shot from the outside that found the top right corner. Logan Schuss and Jordan Durston had the helpers. Craig Point would make it a 4-2 score at 10:21 with a 6 on 5 goal, but McCready responded with his second of the game after taking a behind the back pass from Billings near the crease. With less than two minutes to go in the first quarter, Cory Vitarelli got his team to within a pair of goals going into the second quarter.
31 seconds in, Billings capped off the hat-trick picking the top right corner on Vinc again to make it 6-3 Stealth. Schuss and Corey Small had the helpers. The Stealth continued to pour it on getting markers from Small and Duch to gain a five goal lead with less than seven minutes to play. After Vinc was pulled in favour of Angus Goodleaf, Rochester would take over getting three straight goals from Jamieson, Vitarelli, and Stephen Keogh in under a two-minute span. Vancouver would take an 8-6 lead going into the second half and outshot the Knighthawks 31-21. Logan Schuss led all players in scoring with five assists.
After a Joe Walters goal opened up the third quarter, Schuss put away his first of the game with a power play goal at 6:20. Duch and Billings were in on the assists. That goal seemed to spark the Knighthawks as they scored four consecutive goals from Mike Kirk, Dan Dawson, Walters, and Vitarelli to take an 11-9 lead. However, with less than two minutes left, Durston and Schuss scored back to back to even up the score going into the fourth quarter.
At 4:08 of the fourth quarter, Small scored his second of the game assisted by Duch and Durston, but Jamieson replied for the ‘Hawks 33 seconds later to make it 12-12. Small was not done there, as he recorded his hat-trick goal at 5:01 with a quick stick shot that fooled Goodleaf. McCready and Billings earned the assists. The Stealth would then pad their lead to two goals with Justin Salt scoring his first of the season on a breakaway after taking a perfect pass from Penney. The lead did not last long though, as Vitarelli and Resetarits scored consecutively to knot up the game at 13-13. With under a minute to play in regulation, Dawson was able to find room between Penney’s leg with time winding down on the shot clock to put his team up a goal with 40 seconds left. With the goaltender pulled and the game on the line, Rhys Duch took a pass from Billings on the left side of the floor and fired perfect shot to the top right corner on Goodleaf to send the game to overtime.
In the next goal wins’ scenario, both teams had multiple opportunities to win the game, but couldn’t beat both goaltenders for over five minutes. At 7:15 of overtime, Jamieson scored the game winning goal for the Knighthawks with a hard shot over the shoulder of Penney for his fourth of the night.
With the loss, the Stealth fall to 2-4 on the season, but scored over 13 goals for a third straight game. Logan Schuss continued his dominance with a third consecutive 9-point effort (2 goals, 7 assists), while Duch (3 goals, 5 assists), and Billings (3 goals, 5 assists) were right behind him with 8 points each.
The Stealth are back in action on Saturday, February 20 against the Calgary Roughnecks at the Langley Events Centre at 7:00pm PST. It is ‘Rivalry Night’, with the first 1500 fans through the door receiving a free Stealth team poster.
STEALTH NOTES: FINAL SCORE: Knighthawks 16 – Stealth 15, SHOTS ON GOAL: Stealth 59 – Knighthawks 51, LOOSE BALLS: Stealth 80 – Knighthawks 63, FACE-OFFS: Stealth 21-36 – Knighthawks 15-36, POWERPLAY: Knighthawks 3-3, Stealth 3-4.