Vancouver Stealth forward Garrett Billings (#13) tries to shake Buffalo Bandits captain Billy Dee Smith during Saturday night’s National Lacrosse League game at the Langley Events Centre. The Bandits raced out to a 6-1 lead after one quarter en route to the 13-8 win. The loss was the first in three home games for the Stealth, who fell to 3-6 on the season.

Vancouver Stealth forward Garrett Billings (#13) tries to shake Buffalo Bandits captain Billy Dee Smith during Saturday night’s National Lacrosse League game at the Langley Events Centre. The Bandits raced out to a 6-1 lead after one quarter en route to the 13-8 win. The loss was the first in three home games for the Stealth, who fell to 3-6 on the season.

Stealth struggle with consistency

Vancouver can't overcome early deficit, fall 13-8 to Buffalo at Langley Events Centre

The good news is the Vancouver Stealth are in a playoff spot at the midway point of the National Lacrosse League season.

The bad news is the team has struggled with consistency.

Through nine games, the Stealth sit at 3-6 — a half-game ahead of the Calgary Roughnecks (3-7) in the race for third place in the West Division — following a 13-8 loss to the Buffalo Bandits at the Langley Events Centre on Saturday night.

The Bandits, who improved to 6-4, scored the first four goals and led 6-1 after the first quarter as the Stealth could never get within four goals.

“This league is one of those leagues where anyone can win on any given day so if we don’t come to play, then we are not going to win,” said Stealth defender Matt Beers, who tried to spark his team with a scrap to start the second half.

“We have to find that consistency that a lot of teams are searching for,” he said, referring to the fact that only four of the nine teams in the league sit above .500.

“We are a veteran group but we have to fid it quick before it is too late.”

The Stealth dropped to 2-3 on their home floor, but another troubling trend continued for the team as for the third time in those five games, they faced a deficit of five or more goals in the first half.

Beers said it is frustrating, especially since the team is putting in the work on the practice room and in the film room to correct those problems.

“We come out and are getting beat to loose balls; we are getting outplayed and that simply can’t happen,” he said. “We are all professionals and we are all here for a reason.

“We have to do our job out there.”

The Bandits did a great job of containing the Stealth offence to the outside as Vancouver failed to reach double digits for the first time in four games.

A major part of the problem was an inability to hit the net and the failure to generate second chances off resets, said Stealth coach Dan Perreault.

“Offensively, we didn’t have enough quality chances, We relied on the outside shots and our shots were off,” he said.

Entering the game, Rhys Duch has at least three goals in each of his last five contests, but he was held goal-less against Buffalo. He did register four assists.

Rhys Duch had at least three goals per game in his last five contests but was held goalless. He did have four assists.

Logan Schuss had been on a tear of late with 33 points in his last four games but was held to one goal and three helpers.

Garrett Billings had a goal and four helpers. Rookie Jordan Durston paced the offence with three goals.

The Stealth will look to right the ship as they play in Toronto on Sunday against the 2-6 Rock. Toronto is coming off back-to-back victories after an 0-6 start to the season.

Vancouver is 0-3 against the East Division.

The game will be played at the Air Canada Centre at noon PST and will be broadcast on TSN2.