Shawn Slaght, All Lacrosse All The Time – A Division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network
Trailing most of the game, the Colorado Mammoth was able to complete the comeback to defeat the Calgary Roughnecks 9-8 on Saturday night.
This game was everything that you would have expected. It was a low-scoring affair with two of the best goaltenders in the league in Dillon Ward and Christian Del Bianco. Despite the loss, Del Bianco stood on his head by stopping 37 of 47 shots. Meanwhile, Ward was just as impressive as he made 49 saves off of 57 shots
It was a night of celebration for the Mammoth. Before the game, they raised their 2022 NLL Championship banner to the rafters. Then, with 2:10 left in the first quarter, Rhys Duch scored to become only the 12th player in league history to reach 1,000 points.
After playing catch-up for most of the game, Colorado got a big third quarter, outscoring Calgary 5-2, to help them keep pace. The Mammoth would add two more goals in the fourth quarter to Calgary’s one to complete the comeback.
Connor Robinson scored the game-winner with 9:38 left in the fourth quarter on a bit of a throwaway shot. Robinson shot with the shot clock winding down and got by Del Bianco for the game-winner.
A milestone in the first quarter
It was a low-scoring affair in the first quarter. Calgary jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead. Jesse King opened the scoring only 31 seconds into the game. Tyler Pace would then make it 2-0 with 10:40 left on the clock.
With Calgary called for an illegal substitution penalty, Duch left a shot from the outside go with 2:10 left in the quarter to narrow the lead to 2-1 after the first quarter of play.
As mentioned above, Duch’s goal put him in the company of some elite players that have scored 1,000 points in their careers.
Calgary pulls away in the second
Colorado got a wake-up call in the second quarter of Calgary began to extend their lead.
Robinson would score at 11:18 to tie the game to two, but after that Calgary took control.
The Roughnecks went to their bread-and-butter with the transition game as Eli Salama scored unassisted with 9:36. Tanner Cook scored his first of two goals 3:04 later on the power play. King rounded out the scoring with 4:20 left in the first half to make it 5-2 for the ‘Necks at the half.
Mammoth begins the comeback
Calgary’s three-goal cushion didn’t last too long. Colorado opened the second half with two quick goals to get back into the game.
Eli McLaughlin got on the board 1:17 into the third frame followed by Robinson 1:42 later and suddenly Calgary’s lead was cut down to 5-4.
Cook scored his second at 10:28 to put Calgary back up 6-4.
The Mammoth would tie it up off a two-goal run starting with McLaughlin’s goal at 9:28. Chris Wardle would then take advantage of a Shane Simpson tripping penalty. He crashed the net for a goal at 6:10 and we were all tied up at six.
Calgary went back to what they do best. Seth Van Schepen scored on transition with 4:48 left in the quarter to restore the Roughnecks’ lead.
Robinson would strike again with 3:50 left in the quarter to make it 7-7. It was anyone’s game as it remained tied heading into the final quarter.
Robinson with the winner
Robinson continued to go on a tear, scoring two minutes into the fourth quarter to give Colorado their first lead of the game 8-7.
Pace would reply for Calgary 4:17 into the fourth to once again tie up the game.
With 9:38 left, Robinson took a pass from Duch. He quicked turned around to shoot as the shot clock was expiring. The shot got by Del Bianco and would hold up as the game-winner and Robinson’s fifth goal of the game. The Mammoth would complete the comeback to win 9-8.
Connor Robinson, 5g 1a
Rhys Duch, 1g 4a
Eli McLaughlin, 2g 2a
Mike Burke, 4a
Jesse King, 2g 3a
Tanner Cook, 2g 2a
Tyler Pace, 2g 1a
Dan Taylor, 3a