Sports

Stealth drop preseaon opener

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It was a tale of two halves for the Vancouver Stealth.

The National Lacrosse League squad hosted the Calgary Roughnecks in a preseason match at the Langley Events Centre fieldhouse on Saturday night.

And the Roughnecks, who dressed what very well could amount to their opening day roster, were up 8-2 at the half.

The Stealth, who had two separate squads which each played a half, nearly pulled off the comeback, losing 9-8.

“I didn’t dislike too much other than the fact we were down 8-2 at the half,” said Stealth coach Chris Hall.

“(But) I am never too concerned about the outcome of exhibition games. I am more concerned about the assessment of talent along the way.”

“We don’t really pay any attention to the opposition other than knowing that it is another team going through the same exercise,” he added.

The game was more about giving the players someone to go up against for the first time, rather than hitting each other.

“It is a good gauge to see where you are in your camp progression relative to someone else in the league,” Hall said.

“And we get to see how some of our rookies and free agents stack up against other teams in our league.”

The Stealth began training camp in late November and the team must be down to 20 players — plus four on the practice roster — by Monday at 9 a.m.

Hall said it has been a competitive camp.

“The competition has been awfully tough and the players know there are only certain spots available,” he said.

“The competition has been fierce and the players are fighting for spots.”

The team will hold practice on Saturday morning and then an intrasquad game that evening. There will be one final practice on Sunday morning before Hall, the coaching staff and general manager Doug Locker sit down on Sunday afternoon to make the final cuts.

“This weekend is the final kick at the can for guys to show us what they have to make the team,” Hall said.

The Stealth begin the NLL season on Jan. 4 and they play their home opener in the Langley Events Centre arena bowl on Jan. 11.

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