Colorado Punches Their Ticket To The Final

Gary Groob
All Lacrosse All The Time  – A Division of Edge of Philly Sports Network

The Colorado Mammoth visited the Pechanga Arena to face the San Diego Seals in a “Do or Die” match-up in front of 7,114 fans.  The winner would be heading to Buffalo to face the Bandits next week for the NLL Championship, in a best of three series.

“It’s certainly interesting for me,” says Steve Govett, who was president, GM and governor of the Mammoth from 2002 to 2017 before subsequently spearheading the Seals expansion. “You know, it’s a bit of a throwback for me, sentimental of course, nostalgic.

“We both have a job to do, we’re both trying to get to the finals. But here we are, on the precipice of one of these teams going to the NLL championship.”

Once again the goalie battle was Dillon Ward for the Mammoth against Frank Scigliano for the Seals.

Fans have been treated to absolutely exceptional lacrosse throughout this series, and game was no exception.  While San Diego had everything going for them in the first half, a stingy defense, and strong goaltending stopped the Seals in their tracks during the second half.

An absolutely crazy fourth quarter had the Pechanga Arena in a frenzy, but in the end Colorado won 15-13 and they will now play Buffalo for the championship.

To the game…

Colorado got off to a quick start when Erik Turner (1g,0a) fired a Chris Wardle pass past Frank Scigliano at 3:17.  San Diego tied the game on a delayed penalty when Zach Greer (2g,0a) quick sticked a Jeremy Noble pass at 5:25.  Zed Williams (2g,3a) gave Colorado the lead once more when he fired a laser off an Eli McLaughlin pass at 11:18, but Zach Greer answered back again with a a bounce shot past Ward at 12:46.

After one quarter, San Diego 2 Colorado 2.

Second Quarter:

The Mammoth opened the second quarter scoring on the power play.  Tyson Gibson (1g,3a) converted an Eli McLaughlin pass at 4:51, but the Seals again answered back when Wes Berg (4g,2a) fired a Jeremy Noble pass in at 5:15.  

Casey Jackson (1g,1a) gave San Diego their first lead of the game when he made a great individual effort coming from behind the net, diving across the crease for the goal at 6:32, followed by Austin Staats (2g,2a) firing a howitzer past Ward 0:20 seconds later. 

Colorado got one back on a bit of a flukie goal.  Connor Robinson (3g,5a) bounced a knuckleball over Frank Scigliano while he was down that wound up in the net at 7:19 to cut the Seals lead to one. 

The Seals’ Patrick Shoemay (1g,5a) scored an unassisted goal in transition at 8:42, followed by Wes Berg with his second of the night converting a Dane Dobbie pass at 10:21.  Dobbie (2g,3a) then added to the lead coming in by himself going high to high at 11:11, but Eli McLaughlin scored going across the crease 0:28 seconds later to stop San Diego’s run. 

Tre Leclaire  1g,2a) scored once more for San Diego when he converted a Dane Dobbie pass at 13:46.

At the half, Seals 9 Mammoth 5.

Third Quarter:

The message given in the Mammoth dressing room at the half resonated loud and clear with the team.  Colorado definitely came out for the second half a much more driven team.

Tyson Gibson (1g,3a) opened the second half scoring for Colorado on the power play at 5:21.  Connor Robinson may have scored the prettiest goal of the night falling backwards with a no look shot that beat Scigliano at 6:01 to make this a two goal game. 

Eli McLaughlin scored next for the Mammoth off a Tic-Tac-Toe play at 8:11, making this just a one goal game again. 

After three quarters San Diego 9 Colorado 8.

Fourth Quarter:

Both teams season’s had come down to whomever played the better quarter was moving on.

Connor Robinson tied the game up for Colorado firing a howitzer from the outside off an Eli McLaughlin pass at 2:46, followed by Joey Cupido in transition with an absolutely incredible individual effort at 3:50.

Eli McLaughlin added to the lead firing a laser to the far corner off a Connor Robinson pass at 5:23. 

Chris Origlieri relieved Frank Scigliano in the San Diego net after the last goal.

Wes Berg brought San Diego back within a goal, scoring on the power play, but Jalen Chaster came right back in transition for Colorado to score the biggest of his short career at 6:34. Zed Williams scored another highlight reel goal for the Mammoth off an Eli McLaughlin pass at 8:26 to give Colorado their first three goal lead of the game. 

Dane Dobbie was awarded a penalty shot, and made no mistake, to bring this game within two with just under five minutes left.  Austin Staats then scored at 11:00 minutes to bring this back to a one goal game.

San Diego challenged a play, but while the play went on, the Mammoth scored.  The challenge was deemed no goal, but the Mammoth goal by Eli McLaughlin did count.  McLaughlin scored yet again at 14:00. 

The Seals kept pushing with Wes Berg scoring at 14:15, but Colorado was able to hpld on for the victory .

Final score, Colorado 15 San Diego 13.

The Three Stars:

  • First Star…………Eli McLaughlin
  • Second Star…….Dillon Ward
  • Third Star………..Wes Berg

Game Stats:

  • Shots on goal were 55-49 in favor of San Diego.
  • Faceoff were in favor of Colorado 19-13.
  • The loose ball battle was won by San Diego 64-44.
  • Colorado went 2 for 2 on the power play, while San Diego went 1 for 2.

Top Scorers:

Colorado Mammoth:

  • Eli McLaughlin 6g, 6a
  • Connor Robinson 3g, 5a
  • Zed Williams 2g, 3a

San Diego Seals:

  • Wes Berg 4g, 2a
  • Dane Dobbie 2g, 3a
  • Jeremy Noble 0g, 5a
Gary Groob
Gary Groob

Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.

An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.

Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.

In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.

Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).

Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.

Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.