The San Jose Stealth and the Arizona Sting will have their playoffs fates decided this weekend when they play each other in a home-and-home series on Friday and Saturday nights.
The first three Western Division playoff berths were secured two weekends ago by Colorado, Calgary and Portland.
Despite having lost five straight, the streak the Stealth can still reach the playoffs with a sweep of Arizona this weekend. The team that secures the final playoff berth will visit the Calgary Roughnecks on April 22 in the first round of the playoffs.
Calgary would be a solid match up for the Stealth, who have split the season series with the Roughnecks this season, including a Stealth overtime win in San Jose. The Roughnecks evened the series in Calgary by defeating the Stealth, 12-10.
The Stealth are looking to return to the playoffs for the second time in three years. The team went 11-5 in their inaugural season in San Jose, but were eliminated by Calgary, 15-14.
The Sting have struggled to stay consistent this season, a year after losing the National Lacrosse League Championship game to the Toronto Rock, 19-13.
When the Stealth and Arizona meet each other this week, it will be the first time the teams have met this season. Last season, the Stealth lost the season series, 1-2. All three games were decided by a combined four goals.
Stealth fans will notice a couple of familiar faces on the Sting during the final weekend of the regular season. Goaltender Rob Blasdell and forward Curt Malawsky, who played for the Stealth last season, will now be gunning to knock San Jose out of postseason contention.
Blasdell is the Stealth’s the all-time franchise leader in saves, but became expendable when the Stealth acquired two-time NLL All-Star Anthony Cosmo last year in a trade with Toronto.
Malawsky was with the Stealth through this season when he was released to make room for Luke Wiles and Chad Thompson after they were picked up in a trade with Philadelphia. Malawsky is the brother of current Stealth star Derek and last season was fourth on the team with 47 points (21 goals, 26 assists).
An entire season will be decided on a single weekend – win and get in, lose and go home.
Tickets for the Saturday April 15 game can be purchased at Tickemaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations, by calling 409-999-5700, 408-998-TIXS, 510-625-TIXS or at the HP Pavilion box office.