Assistant coach Kaleb Toth had a simple message for his team.
“Before we went out there for overtime, (he) said there is no such thing as a bad shot in OT,” said Vancouver Stealth’s Corey Small.
“Our offence was feeling it and it was nice to see the ball just cross the line.”
After Calgary failed to score on their first possession of overtime, Small took a pass from Logan Schuss and unleashed a shot from the middle of the floor that beat Roughnecks goalie Mike Poulin between the legs, the ball sneaking through and trickling over the goal-line before he could clear it.
The goal — Small’s third of the game — capped off a wild, 14-13 come-from-behind victory over the visiting Calgary Roughnecks in National Lacrosse League action at the Langley Events Centre on Saturday night.
The win improved Vancouver to 3-4 while Calgary fell to 3-5.
The Roughnecks led 6-0 after one quarter, 8-3 at the half and 12-6 with three minutes to play in the third quarter.
But the Stealth scored four times in a 83-second span to close the quarter and then struck for four goals in the fourth quarter to take an improbable 13-12 lead.
Calgary’s Reilly O’Connor would force overtime with the tying goal with nine seconds to play but the Roughnecks failed to score on their opening possession of overtime, setting the stage for Small’s heroics.
“We were hard on loose balls and rebounds in the later stages of the game, which turned out to be the difference for us,” said Stealth coach Dan Perreault.
“We have a special group of guys in the dressing room that never gave up and they should be proud of what they accomplished.”
Rhys Duch (four goals, four assists), Garrett Billings (two goals, six assists) and Logan Schuss (one goal seven assists) each had eight points for Vancouver while Small and Jordan Durston finished with three goals and five points apiece. Joel McCready rounded out the scoring with a goal and two helpers.
In goal, Eric Penney gave way to Tyler Richards in the first quarter. Penney allowed four goals on 11 shots with Richards stopping 31 of the 40 shots he faced.
Calgary was led by Curtis Dickson (five goals, four assists, Tyler Digby (three goals, three assists), Jeff Shattler (one goal, five assists) and O’Connor (two goals, four assists).
Vancouver is on the road on Saturday (Feb. 27) against the NLL’s top team, the Colorado Mammoth (6-2). The teams have gone 1-1 head-to-head so far in 2016.