It’s official. The Stealth are on a winning streak.
After edging out the New York Titans, 12-11, in New York on Feb. 24, the Stealth capped off two straight road wins with a come-from-behind victory against their Western Division rivals, the Edmonton Rush, 11-9, on March 2. The Stealth improved to 3-5 and is now in fourth place in the Western Division.
Goaltender Anthony Cosmo had a stellar game in net, making 39 saves against Edmonton, including 30 in the fourth quarter. The Stealth attack was led by sophomore sensations Jeff Zywicki and Luke Wiles. Zywicki had three goals, including the game winner. Wiles had a goal and five assists.
New Stealth acquisition Andrew Burkholder contributed to the win at Edmonton by scoring back-to-back goals in the fourth quarter. Burkholder came to San Jose from Colorado on Feb. 7 and has scored two goals and added three assists in two games. Since adding Burkholder to the lineup, the Stealth are a perfect 2-0.
With the top four teams in each division earning playoff berths, the Stealth’s ascension up the Western Division standings leaves the team with postseason possibilities.
"One of our goals from the beginning of the season was to make the playoffs,” said Stealth Head Coach Walt Christianson. “The last two games have put us in a position to achieve that goal. The next five of our six games are against Portland and Edmonton, the two teams we need to beat to make the playoffs. This puts us in control of our own fate. We don't have to hope some else does it for us.”
This two-game winning streak comes just before the 2007 All-Star Game, which will be held in Portland on March 10 and feature Stealth forwards Colin Doyle and Jeff Zywicki.
Doyle came to the Stealth from the Toronto Rock on Dec. 26, 2006 and has ignited the offensive unit, leading the team in assists (31) and points (40). Doyle notched a franchise record nine assists against Calgary in the Stealth’s overtime win on Jan. 12 and passed Gary Gait for fourth place on the NLL All-Time Scoring List on Jan. 26 against Chicago. This will be Doyle’s first appearance as a Western Division All-Star, after representing the Rock on the Eastern Division team in five All-Star Games.
Zywicki, who was named NLL Offensive Player of the Week for week three, leads the Stealth in goals (24) and ranks eighth in NLL scoring after only eight games. The sophomore sensation scored a franchise record seven goals against Calgary on Jan. 12 and a season high eight points against Chicago on Jan. 26. Zywicki has notched three or more points in every game this season.
“I’m honored to play in my first All-Star Game and represent the Stealth and the Western Division,” said Zywicki.
The Stealth (3-5) return home to play the Portland LumberJax (2-8) on March 17 at 7:30 p.m. at HP Pavilion. Family Packs of four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas and four chips are available for only $48. For ticket information please call (408) 999-5700 or visit www.ticketmaster.com