The Colorado Mammoth hosted the Panther City Lacrosse Club at Ball Arena Friday night in the rubber match of their season series. Last week’s matchup saw Panther City beat Colorado to tie the series and move a game and half ahead of the Mammoth for what would be the Wild Card spot in the West Division. That game also saw tempers flare into a line brawl late in the fourth quarter.

The Mammoth looked to snap a three-game losing streak, and hoped the return of star forward Ryan Lee would help their cause. Lee’s return did just that, as his 2 goals and 8 assists propelled the Mammoth to a 14-12 victory. The win moves Colorado back to .500 (5-5), while Panther City falls to 6-5. Although Panther City still holds the Wild Card spot in the West by a half-game, they would lose the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Mammoth should the teams have identical records at the end of the regular season.

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Mammoth up by two after feisty first half

From the opening faceoff, it was apparent that the tension from last week had not subsided. Within the first three minutes, six players were sitting in the penalty boxes. Panther City was awarded a penalty shot after all the infractions were handed out. Callum Crawford (2g, 4a; 2:24) converted the shot for a 1-0 PCLC lead. Jonathan Donville (1g, 2a; 5:56) followed to extend the lead to two.

The Mammoth responded with a four-goal run into the second quarter. Zed Williams (3g, 1a; 7:23) started with a power play goal, then Lee found the back of the net (10:49) for his first goal of the season. Ty Thompson, playing in place of Eli McLaughlin, started his own big night (3g, 1a; 14:18) with a goal. After the first 15 minutes of play, Colorado had a 3-2 lead.

Things settled down in the second quarter, with no penalties called. Brett McIntyre (8:25) gave Colorado a 4-2 lead, but Will Malcom (1g, 3a; 9:50) ended the run, bringing PCLC within one. Lee’s second goal of the game (14:10) pushed Colorado’s lead back to two, 5-3, before the half.

Mammoth break game open in third, hold on in fourth

Colorado opened the third quarter big, with power play goals from Thompson (1:32) and Connor Robinson (2g, 3a; 3:59). Another even-strength goal from Dylan Kinnear (1g, 2a; 6:20) extended the Mammoth lead to 8-3. Patrick Dodds (4g; 6:54) scored on a power play to stop the run, but Jalen Chaster (7:22) pushed the lead back to five. Crawford tallied his second (10:35; power play), then Panther City cut the deficit to three on an unlikely play. The Mammoth attempted to restore the five-goal edge with an extra attacker on the floor. However, after making a save, PCLC goalie Nick Damude (35 saves; 11:21) fired a shot the length of the floor. The ball reached the opposing net before Mammoth goalie Dillon Ward could sprint back from his bench to cover. It was the second goal of Damude’s career and pulled Panther City to within three again, 9-6.

Thompson’s hat trick goal (14:03) and Mathieu Gautier (14:31; power play) rounded out the third quarter with the Mammoth leading 10-7. Williams (0:30) opened the fourth quarter putting Colorado up 11-7. A goal from Tony Malcom (1g, 1a; 5:25) and the second power play goal from Dodds (6:04) halved the deficit. Robinson’s second (7:01) and a marker from rookie Evan Downey on the ensuing faceoff (7:06) put the lead back at four. Dodds struck twice (9:36; 10:12 power play), and Josh Medeiros (11:09) narrowed the gap to 13-12. Williams’ hat trick goal (14:10) provided extra insurance for Colorado, and Panther City could not respond.

Other Stats of Note

Penalty Minutes: PCLC 14; COL 31

Power Play: PCLC 5 for 12; COL 3 for 5

Tim Edwards (COL): 14 Loose Balls (led all players); 2 Caused Turnovers

Dillon Ward (COL): 46 saves

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“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.