March 29, 2009

San Jose, Portland Break Even

from press release

In the final game of the weekend, San Jose defeated Portland 13-8 on Sunday at Rose Garden. Colin Doyle scored four goals for the Stealth, who improved to 5-8 and are just a half game behind Minnesota for fourth place and the final playoff spot. Portland falls to 6-5 but remains in second place in the West Division.

It was a close game for most of the first half. San Jose led 4-3 midway through the second quarter. The Stealth then scored four unanswered goals to take control of the game. Tom Johnson had three first-half goals as San Jose took an 8-3 lead into halftime.

Holding a 10-6 lead early in the third quarter, the Stealth once again went on a run, scoring the final three goals of the quarter to take a commanding 13-6 lead into the fourth quarter. That was more than enough for Stealth goaltender Tyler Richards, who relieved starter Matt Roik five minutes into the game. Richards held Portland to six goals for the remainder of the game.

Colin Doyle scored four goals, and Tom Johnson added three for San Jose. Tim Campeau scored three goals for Portland, while Peter Jacobs added two.

Both teams return to action on Friday night; San Jose hosts Minnesota, while Portland plays at Edmonton.

Saturday: Portland 14, San Jose 12

In yesterday's game, the Portland LumberJax gained an important road victory and delivered a blow to the San Jose Stealth's playoff chances on Saturday, winning 14-12 in the first part of this weekend's home-and-home series between the two teams. Transition player Brodie Merrill paced the LumberJax with three goals and six assists while forward Ryan Powell added two goals and five assists. Goaltender Matt Disher got the victory in net, playing the entire contest and stopping 37 of 49 shots.

San Jose scored the first goal of the game when Rhys Duch got one past Disher with 2:17 off the clock in the first quarter. The Stealth held that same lead until LumberJax forward Derek Malawsky scored on a transition goal exactly six minutes later to tie the score at 1-1. Cory Conway then gave Portland its first lead with under two minutes left in the first, but Paul Rabil answered back with a laser from the outside shortly after to tie it at two. The LumberJax responded by outscoring the Stealth 5-2 in the second quarter and took a 7-4 lead into halftime.

The Stealth didn't take long to return the favor, catching fire in the third quarter and scoring the first seven goals of the stanza after also scoring the last goal of the first half to make the score 11-7; the streak was highlighted by four goals courtesy of Duch. Portland finally broke through with a second-half goal when Scott Stewart scored with just 12 seconds left in the third quarter. The LumberJax kept the momentum going and scored the first six goals to open the fourth and take a 14-11 lead; the latter four goals in the Jax run came during a span of 63 seconds. Stealth forward Cam Sedwick closed the scoring at the 13:13 mark of the final quarter, making the final score 14-12.

Duch led the Stealth with five goals and three assists. Goaltender Matt Roik played 53:48 in goal and picked up the loss; he allowed 13 goals and stopped 28 shots.

Portland improved to 6-4 with the win. The Jax can inch closer to clinching a playoff berth if they win today. San Jose fell to 4-8 with the loss. The Stealth are likely looking at a "must-win" situation for the remaining four games in order to make the playoffs.

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