Toronto Rock vs Vancouver Stealth, National Lacrosse League action at Langley Events Centre on Jan. 6. Toronto’s Rob Hellyer goes airborne. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Stealth embarrassed by Rock on home floor

Langley Events Centre crowd witnesses epic beatdown at the hands of visiting Toronto Rock squad

Loud yelling with a few profanities were audible at the start of the 40-minute private chat between head coach Jamie Batley and his Vancouver Stealth players.

But once he emerged from the locker room, he was calm and even apologetic for keeping everyone waiting so long.

His Stealth team was coming off an embarrassing 24-7 loss in National Lacrosse League action to the Toronto Rock on Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre.

The Rock improved to 2-2 while Vancouver is the league’s lone winless squad at 0-4.

“Obviously we are not happy with the game,” Batley said, declining to share what his post-game message was to the team. “We will learn from the mistakes (and) try and correct some of the chronic errors.

“It is basically throw it away and move on.”

Toronto set a new NLL record with 17 first half goals as they led 10-0 after one quarter and 17-1 at the half.

It was so bad that after the Rock made it 11-0 in the opening minute of the second quarter, Toronto had as many goals as Vancouver had shots on goal.

The Stealth have a myriad of problems right now: their offence isn’t scoring, their goaltending can’t come up with a save and the team is playing without any confidence.

“We are gripping our sticks,” Batley said. “Our expectations were really high and we are 0-4.”

The Rock had begun the season 0-2 but have now won two straight, scoring 44 goals in the process.

“We have played desperate the last two games,” said Tom Schreiber, the reigning NLL rookie of the year who led his team with five goals and a dozen points.

“We have played hungry … and we didn’t over-complicate it. We just stuck to the game plan and not got too rattled with the bad performances in the beginning.”

In Saturday’s game, both Stealth goaltenders were bombarded by the Rock attack.

Tye Belanger got the start and surrendered 15 goals on 43 shots. Brodie MacDonald allowed nine goals on 36 shots as the netminders took turn getting ventilated by a ruthlessly effective Rock offensive attack.

“I have been playing lacrosse for a long time and I don’t think I have been a part of an explosion like that before,” Schreiber said. “Just a great effort all around.”

Adam Jones (four goals, 10 points), Rob Hellyer (three goals, nine points), Kieran McCardle (three goals, nine points) Dan Craig (three goals, five points) and Brett Hickey (two goals, five points) all had multi-goal games while Challen Rogers, Sheldon Burns, Billy Hostrawser and Reid Reinholdt each had one goal. Reinholdt also had a pair of assists.

“You don’t anticipate that. You never think you are going to put that number on the board, but we will take it,” said Toronto coach Matt Sawyer, who was part of the Montreal coaching staff which put up an NLL record 32 goals in a game back in 2001.

“The way their team plays defence and the way we want to play offence, we thought it was a good match up for us.

“I thought we played well and put them in some tough positions — a lot of those shots were bar and in.”

The Rock finished with a 75-45 advantage in shots with Nick Rose stopping 33 of the 40 he faced before Riley Hutchcroft came on in the latter stages of the fourth quarter.

The Stealth were led by Logan Schuss’ two goals and five points while Corey Small had a goal and four assists. Tony Malcom (one goal, two assists), Evan Messenger, Peter McFetridge and Ryan Fourier had the other goals.

“Our expectation is our offence is going to score more than seven goals,” Batley said. (But) tonight we weren’t winning the game. (Toronto) played a great game tonight they ran really well and they shot the ball really well, They could have beat any team in the league tonight with that effort.”

Vancouver returns to action when they visit the Buffalo Bandits on Jan. 13.

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Toronto Rock vs Vancouver Stealth, National Lacrosse League action at Langley Events Centre on Jan. 6. Vancouver’s Matt Beers defends against Toronto’s Brett Hickey. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Toronto Rock vs Vancouver Stealth, National Lacrosse League action at Langley Events Centre on Jan. 6. Vancouver’s Andrew Suitor. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Toronto Rock vs Vancouver Stealth, National Lacrosse League action at Langley Events Centre on Jan. 6. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

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