Vancouver Stealth's Tyler Digby shields the ball from Colorado Mammoth's Dan Ball during National Lacrosse League action at the Langley Events Centre on March 21. Digby scored three times but that was not enough as the Mammoth beat the Stealth 12-6 on Sunday, March 29 at Denver's Pepsi Center.

Vancouver Stealth's Tyler Digby shields the ball from Colorado Mammoth's Dan Ball during National Lacrosse League action at the Langley Events Centre on March 21. Digby scored three times but that was not enough as the Mammoth beat the Stealth 12-6 on Sunday, March 29 at Denver's Pepsi Center.

Mammoth rookie shuts Stealth down

Vancouver drops third straight game, fall 12-6 to Colorado Mammoth in Denver

A promising start — a pair of power-play goals in the first 7:11 — was snuffed out by a rookie goaltender making his first career start, as the Vancouver Stealth dropped a third consecutive game.

The Stealth were in Denver on Sunday night, where they fell 12-6 to the Colorado Mammoth in National Lacrosse League action at the Pepsi Center.

Alex Buque, making his first career start, stopped 49 of the 55 shots he faced to help ground the Stealth attack.

The win gave the Mammoth a sweep of the home-and-home series and Colorado (7-5) stretched their lead for second place in the West Division to 2.5 games over Vancouver (4-7).

After the Mammoth took a five-minute major penalty in the opening minutes, Tyler Digby connected twice to give the visitors a 2-0 lead.

But the offence dried up after that, as the Mammoth seized control, leading 3-2 after one quarter and 5-3 at the half. After Colorado pulled ahead 8-3 in the third quarter, Digby scored his third and Rhys Duch also tallied to make it 8-5 with 15 minutes to go. But the Mammoth scored four of the five goals in the final period.

“Disappointing, disappointing loss,” Stealth coach Dan Perreault told NLL.com after the game.

“Six goals on offence … we had a lot of shots, but a lot of ones that weren’t on net.”

The six goals marks a season-low for the squad and they have just 24 goals during their three-game losing streak. In their last victory, Vancouver scored a season-high 21 goals.

Against Colorado, Vancouver led in every statistical category — shots were 55-47, loose balls were 56-51 and face-offs were 14-8 — except the scoreboard.

A big advantage for Colorado was their power play, which burned the Stealth with five goals in six man-advantage opportunities. Vancouver was three-for-six on power plays.

“We know they have a very good power play,” Perreault said.

“We took some undisciplined penalties and we paid for it.

“We can’t have games where the offence is going well and the defence is struggling (or vice versa). We just have to find ways to get it together for 60 minutes offensively and defensively.”

Corey Small and Joel McCready both had a goal and two assists for the Stealth while Duch had three helpers to go along with his goal.

Colorado was led by John Grant Jr. (three goals, four assists), Eli McLaughlin (two goals, four assists), Jeremy Noble (two goals, three assists) and Drew Westervelt (one goal, four assists).

Things don’t get any easier for the Stealth as they face the division-leading Edmonton Rush (7-4) in a home-and-home series this weekend.