Stealth soar past Wings, to lock in home playoff date Saturday, April 27
Scoring 11 of 12 goals through the middle of the game the Washington Stealth secured a first-round home playoff game with a decisive 17-13 win over the Philadelphia Wings, Saturday before 4,352 at Comcast Arena in Everett. The win gives the 9-7 Stealth their first winning season since its 2010 NLL championship year, and combined with an Edmonton loss to Calgary earlier on Saturday, sets up a West Division Semifinal with the Rush Saturday, April 27 at Comcast Arena.
Rhys Duch became the NLL regular-season goals champion on the final day of the season with four goals on the night including a shot just 40 seconds into the second quarter that was the second of a six-goal Stealth run and among 11 of the next 12 for Washington for a 14-6 lead with 9:28 remaining in the third.
The run, beginning with a Dean Hill score with 57 seconds remaining in the first and ending on a Bob Snider goal with 9:28 to go in the third, was interrupted only by a single score from the Wings' Drew Westervelt at 6:01 of the second to make it 9-6 Philadelphia. The power play score was Westervelt's 300th career point. Philadelphia would capitalize on a five-minute major penalty assessed to the Stealth's Justin Pychel, whistled for a slash with 6:24 to go in the third, to work its way back into the game. Scoring four straight goals - three on power plays resulting from the non–releasable infraction to Pychel, eventually narrowed the Washington lead to 14-10 with 13:29 to go.
Duch added his fourth of the night just 29 seconds later to make it 15-10, before the Wings' Jordan Hall and and Brendan Mundorf scored back-to-back goals to close the gap to 15-12 with 7:10 to go.
But that was all for the Wings as Dean Hill and Cliff Smith added the final two for Washington to finish the scoring. Duch finished the night with four goals and five assists for nine points, while Cliff Smith had two goals and five assists for seven points.
Hall and Mundorf led the Wings, each scoring two goals and adding three assists for five points apiece. Philadelphia’s Paul Rabil, a former Stealth player, was held scoreless for the night. The Stealth open its 2013 post-season run to the NLL championship with a 4:30 p.m. start Saturday, April 27 against the Edmonton Rush at Comcast Arena.