He didn’t score two goals in his debut like one fan guaranteed in a Twitter post, but it was still a great debut for Kyle Belton.
“It was unreal; playing in your hometown, and to be able to contribute to a big win, felt pretty awesome,” Belton said.
Belton grew up in Langley and played through the ranks of the Langley Minor Lacrosse Association.
And he was an off-season trade acquisition of his hometown Vancouver Stealth, coming over from the Toronto Rock.
But Saturday night was the first time he suited up this National Lacrosse League season.
Belton finished with one assist and was second on the team with five loose balls as the Stealth won their third straight game at the Langley Events Centre, defeating the Minnesota Swarm 21-15. The win improved Vancouver to 4-4 as they head into a bye week.
“I was very happy with Kyle,” said Stealth coach Dan Perreault.
“Each week he has practiced hard and competed hard and kept his chin up even though he wasn’t in the line-up.
“It is all about opportunity and Kyle got a chance and he certainly didn’t disappoint.”
Belton got the call with Tyler Garrison on injured reserve. Both are transition players.
Prior to that, Belton has spent the first eight weeks on the practice roster.
Belton, who turns 28 later this month, is in his third year in the league.
“It is tough watching your teammates battle every week and not contributing,” he said.
“But that’s the way she goes in this league and you just have to keep mentally prepared and when you get the call, you have to be ready.”
And he said it is important not to try and do too much when you do get your shot.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about the team. You don’t want to overdo it,” Belton said.
“You want to make sure you are getting noticed and putting your best effort out there but at the end of the day, you have to play within the systems and go from there.”