For the first time since 2006, the Colorado Mammoth defeated the Calgary Roughnecks to overcome the Calgary Curse.
Heading into the match, the Mammoth were 1-10 all-time in the playoffs against Calgary, with the lone victory coming in overtime in 2006.
Friday night would be different as a huge second half would lead the Mammoth to a 16-12 road playoff win over Calgary.
To the game…
The game started off exactly as expected, a track meet. Colorado opened the scoring with Jordan Gilles scoring on transition 4:31 into the game.
Calgary replied in transition as well with Haiden 28 seconds later.
Then Connor Robinson began his reign of terror on the Roughnecks. He’d score back-to-back goals to make it 3-1 for the road team.
Calgary would regain the lead with a three-goal run to round out the first quarter. Scoring for Calgary were Tyler Pace, Zach Herreweyers and Jesse King to make it 4-3 Roughnecks after one.
Eli McLaughlin would tie up the game 1:12 into the second quarter. We’d see another lead change at the 3:51 marker with Robinson burying a power play goal.
With Anthony Joaquim in the box for cross checking, the Roughnecks would capitalize with Pace finding the back of the net to make it 5-5.
Goals from Ryan Lee and McLaughlin 24 seconds apart would put the Mammoth up by two. Herreweyers would score on the man advantage at 13:59 to make it 7-6 in favour of Colorado at the half.
A pair of goals by King to open the score half would put Calgary back in the lead.
McLaughlin and Herreweyers exchanged goals before the Mammoth would go on a 4-0 run.
Mammoth pull away in the second half
A goal from Chris Wardle and a pair from Robinson would give the Mammoth an 11-9 lead heading into the final frame.
Lee would find the back of the net 3:48 into the fourth quarter to give Colorado a three-goal cushion, the largest lead of the game up to that point.
Dan Taylor would score a minute later to make it 12-10. Calgary’s dangerous transition game came alive as Eli Salama would score at 8:27.
Colorado would break the Calgary Curse with a four-goal run late in the game to pull away for good. Potting goals for the Mammoth were Zed Williams, Tyson Gibson, Joey Cupido, and Gilles to make it 16-11.
Pace would score with the extra attacker with 45 seconds left in what would prove to be a fruitless goal.
Dillon Ward picked up the win between the pipes, stopping 35 of 47 shots. At the other end of the floor, Christian Del Bianco stopped 37 of 52 shots.
Colorado now awaits the winner of the San Diego/Philadelphia playoff game.
Ryan Lee, 2g 8a
Connor Robinson, 5g 1a
Eli McLaughlin, 3g 3a
Jesse King, 3g 3a
Tyler Pace, 3g 3a
Curtis Dickson, 6a
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Shawn Slaght has been a sports reporter across the Canadian prairies for over 10 years and has experience covering everything from junior hockey to World Cup skiing to all levels of lacrosse. He is the Saskatchewan correspondent for All Lacrosse All The Time.