Mammoth Get First Win With Improbable Comeback

Eduardo Curros – Pacific Correspondent, All Lacrosse All The Time

It’s Week 5 in the National Lacrosse League. Curt Malawsky’s revamped Vancouver Warriors faced the winless Colorado Mammoth at Ball Arena in Denver. The Warriors are 1-2 after a close loss to Rochester last week. Meanwhile, the Mammoth have been facing a uphill battle thanks to a roster riddled with injuries, coming in with a record of 0-2. They appeared to be headed to 0-3, but battled back from a six-goal halftime deficit, holding the Warriors scoreless in the second half to win in overtime, 12-11.

Dolans Bar

Mammoth down six at halftime

The Warriors started the game with five consecutive goals. Kevin Crowley drilled the first at 1:15, with help from Keegan Bal and Adam Charalambides. James Rahe followed up, thanks to help from Bal and Tyson Kirkness at 1:59. Riley Loewen scored a third after a pass from Kyle Killen and Charalambides at 3:12. Crowley drilled his second with help from Ryan Martel at 3:35 and Charalambides scored at 4:58 with help from Rahe and Loewen.

Zed Williams broke the run for the Mammoth, scoring at 9:03 with help from Connor Robinson and Tyson Gibson. Crowley got his hat trick with help from Martel at 9:38. Mammoth goaltender Dillon Ward was pulled in favor of Tyler Carlson following Crowley’s hat trick goal.

Colorado responded with unassisted goals from Williams at 10:03 and Jordan Gilles at 12:38. But Crowley’s fourth of the night, from Charalambides and Brayden Laity at 13:51, put the Warriors up 7-3. Robinson cut the lead to 7-4 with help from Williams and Robert Hope with 15 seconds left in the first quarter.

Vancouver continued to press in the second quarter, with Crowley scoring his fifth goal of the game at 3:26. Gibson scored 15 seconds later to make it 8-5. Charalambides then sandwiched two power play goals (11:13 and 14:49) around a goal from Bal at 14:01 to give the Warriors an 11-5 lead going into halftime.

Mammoth hold Warriors scoreless in second half

The Colorado comeback started with Gibson scoring at 6:30, assisted by Robinson and Eli McLaughlin. Robinson followed at 7:19, with help from Chris Wardle and Williams. McLaughlin, from Tim Edwards and Brett Craig at 7:38, then Robinson again at 7:47, cut the Mammoth deficit to 11-9 going into the fourth quarter.

Just 10 seconds into the fourth quarter, Edwards made it a one-goal game. McLaughlin then tied the game at 9:08, thanks to a pass from Williams and Robinson, forcing the game into overtime. Vancouver appeared to have won the game in the extra frame on a crease dive by Bal. But video review showed his glove touched down in the crease before the ball crossed the goal line and the goal was disallowed. Several possessions later, Robinson ended the game 4:12 into overtime with his fourth goal of the night. 

Curros’s Corner

Carlson allowed just six goals on 33 shots in relief of Ward for the win. Robinson finished with four goals and three assists, while Williams had two goals and four assists. Crowley’s five-goal night was tempered by Vancouver going just 2 for 5 on the power play, including a 5-minute stretch in the third quarter that did not yield any points. Charalambides had three goals, four assists, and 10 loose balls in the game. Vancouver netminder Aaron Bold finished the game with 41 saves. These teams meet once more at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Friday January 26.

“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk

“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk was formally introduced to box lacrosse when he attended a New England Black Wolves game on a whim in 2016. Instantly hooked, he has since become an avid follower of the National Lacrosse League. Following the postponement of the 2019-2020 NLL season, he was offered the chance to share his wealth of statistical knowledge and unique insights with the lacrosse community at large. He cheerfully accepted, and currently serves as Edge of Philly’s correspondent for both the Albany FireWolves and New York Riptide.