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Ratcliff scores three as Stealth get revenge against Rush

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Associated Press
1/26/2013 12:40:30 AM
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EDMONTON -- The Washington Stealth weren't about to give up another game to the Edmonton Rush.

After losing their first game of the season to Edmonton, Lewis Ratcliff had three goals and an assist to help the Stealth get some revenge with a 12-10 victory Friday over the Rush in National Lacrosse League play.

Rhys Duch had a pair of goals and the rest came from Justin Salt, Mitch McMichael, Cliff Smith, Athan Iannucci, Kyle Buchanan, Kyle Sorensen and Dean Hill for the Stealth, who retained their spot atop the West Division with a 3-1 record.

"We played a totally different game tonight than we did last week," Ratcliff said, referring to the 18-10 loss to Edmonton on Sunday. "We laid a bit of a egg in that game. We got to the places we wanted to get to tonight and we were much improved offensively. We got the open spaces and helped each other better. It was 100 times improved.

"We have a good team. We just have to come to play. It was a huge road win for us tonight."

Stealth coach Chris Hall was impressed with his team's defensive play in the second, holding the Rush to just two goals.

"Keeping a team to two goals in a half, that doesn't happen very often in this league," he said. "Especially against a team that pumped 18 goals in on us last week. We learned from mistakes we were making and worked hard to correct those. We got our butts kicked pretty good at home last week and this was a bit of a gut test to see how we would respond to that.

"We obviously did very well."

Corey Small led the way with three goals for the Rush, who fell to 1-2 on the season. Additional Edmonton goals came from Ryan Ward with two, Jimmy Quinlan, Mike Burke, Mark Matthews, Jarrett Davis and Alex Turner.

"Winning 18-10 is a fluke," said Rush head coach and GM Derek Keenan. "It doesn't happen in this league and you can't think it's going to happen again. I think when we led 6-2 that we sensed this was going to be easy again and they just outworked us."

The Stealth started the scoring seven minutes in on a goal by Salt, but the Rush quickly responded on a marker from Small.

The Rush surged ahead 3-1 with five minutes remaining in the first quarter, as captain Quinlan scored his first of the season on a breakaway, followed quickly by rookie Burke getting his first-career goal.

Duch got one back for Washington to make it 3-2 heading into the second frame.

Matthews continued his torrid pace to start his rookie year, scoring his eighth of the season on a long distance laser shot to restore Edmonton's two-goal edge.

Edmonton went ahead 6-2 midway through the second on a pair of quick goals from Davis and Turner on Washington goalie Tyler Richards.

The Stealth got one back on a highlight-reel goal by McMichael as he shot the ball through his own legs while facing the other direction from Rush goalie Aaron Bold, then made it 6-4 a minute later on a goal by Ratcliff.

The teams traded goals as Duch and Small each scored their second of the night before the Stealth closed the score to 7-6 at the half on a goal by Smith.

Washington tied the game six minutes into the third on a bouncing shot by Iannucci and then quickly took a 9-7 lead within the next minute on a pair of quick goals by Ratcliff and Buchanan.

Brodie MacDonald came in to replace Bold in the Edmonton net.

The Stealth made it 10-7 early in the fourth quarter on Ratcliff's third goal.

Edmonton attempted to claw back into the game with their first goal in 20 minutes in the second half as Ward scored on the power play. However, Washington got that goal right back on a scoring play by Hill.

Edmonton made a final push with a goal by Ward with two-and-a-half minutes left and made it interesting on Small's third of the night with eight seconds left, but ran out of time to try to tie it up as the Stealth's Sorensen scored an empty-netter.

"Too little, too late," Small said. "I think we let them rattle our cage a little bit in the first half. You beat a team 18-10 and you know they're going to come at you harder than they did last game. Once we got up there, we sat back and we thought it was going to be another cakewalk for us."

The Stealth are back at it on Saturday night as they travel to Minnesota to face the Storm. The Rush are off until next Saturday when they will play host to the Calgary Roughnecks.

NOTES - First overall draft pick Mark Matthews tied a Rush team record with nine points in the previous meeting between the teams. contest. Matthews led the Rush with 14 points in his first two games in the NLL, but was held to three points on Friday ... The Stealth came in with an 11-8 record against the Rush all-time, however the Rush had won five straight and seven of the last eight meetings ... Stealth forward Rhys Duch entered the match in a tie for the league lead in goals with nine with Colorado's John Grant Jr. Teammate Cliff Smith led the NLL in scoring with 16 points despite being held to just one assist last week by the Rush ... Washington goalie Tyler Richards made his return to the lineup from a lower-body injury ... Edmonton defender Kyle Rubisch was tossed from the game late in the second for a cross-checking major.

Washington Stealth (Photo: TSN)

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(Photo: TSN)
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