A great start and finish helped the Vancouver Stealth break back into the win column.
Facing the National Lacrosse League’s hottest team, the Stealth went into Denver and returned with a 13-12 victory over the Colorado Mammoth.
The Mammoth (9-4) had won six straight while the win was just the second in 14 tries for the Stealth (2-12), ending an eight-game losing streak.
The Stealth scored the first four goals and the final three, including Pat Saunders’ winner with less than two minutes to play.
Saunders — who also had two assists — was one of four Vancouver players to finish with two goals, alongside Travis Cornwall, Casey Jackson and Tony Malcom. Malcom also had three helpers as both he and Rhys Duch (one goal, four assists) had five-point games.
Corey Small (one goal, three assists), Joel McCready, Brandon Clelland and Andrew Suitor rounded out the team’s scoring.
Eric Penney finished with 44 saves.
And now the team needs to build off that victory to keep their slim playoff hopes alive with four games to play.
The team hosts the Calgary Roughnecks on March 31 at the Langley Events Centre.
The Roughnecks are 5-8 and are the team Vancouver must pass if it hopes to sneak into the post-season.
A Calgary victory would eliminate the Stealth.
“We are two teams that are battling hard and we both need a win, it is going to be a good game next week,” said Stealth head coach and assistant general manager Jamie Batley.
“Our guys know that we have turned a corner the last four games and we are excited to come back home.”
This is the first of three straight home games for the club.