Shawn Slaght, All Lacrosse All The Time – A Division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network
Panther City was able to win a crucial game in the battle for fourth place in the West Conference, defeating the Colorado Mammoth 13-7 on Saturday night at Dickies Arena.
Heading into this game, the Mammoth and Panther City were neck-and-neck for the fourth, and likely final, playoff spot in the West. With the win, Panther City improves their record to 6-4 and takes over sole possession of fourth place. Meanwhile, the defending champs drop to 4-5 and are on the outside looking in.
Nick Damude was outstanding in goal for Panther City as he continues to have a career year. He stopped 40 of 47 shots en route to the victory. On the other side of the floor, it was an uncharacteristic night for Dillon Ward. He stopped 40 of 52 shots in the loss.
First-quarter lead for the Mammoth
It would be Colorado that would get on the board first in this crucial game. Eli McLaughlin scored 2:25 into the game to make it 1-0. Will Malcom would tie it up for Panther City at 10:57.
Jordan Gilles would regain the lead for the Mammoth at 4:33 in what would be an event night for him. But we will get to that later. McLaughlin scored on the power play with 2:53 to play in the first quarter to extend the lead to 3-1.
Phil Caputo rounded out the scoring with 36 seconds left in the quarter to make it 3-2 for the Mammoth after one quarter of play.
Panther City rallies back
A four-goal run by Panther City to start the second quarter would break the game wide open. It started with a hard outside shot from Jonathan Donville 1:08 into the second. Callum Crawford followed that up with a quick stick goal 28 seconds later to make it 4-3 for the home team.
Caputo would find Will Malcom open for Panther City’s third goal for the quarter at 12:29. Mathieu Gautier rounded out the four-goal run on the power play at 11:09.
Zed Williams would get Colorado back within two goals, but Donville’s buzzer-beater made it 7-4 for Panther City at the half.
The purple and black pull away in the third
Tyson Gibson opened the third-period scoring for Colorado on the power play at 10:14. Panther City, however, would continue to pull away as Crawford scored at 8:12 and Patrick Dodds got on the board at 2:23.
Connor Robinson tried to swing momentum Colorado’s way with 1:27 left in the quarter with a power play marker. It was short-lived as Donville found the back of the net with 41 seconds left to make it 10-6 with one quarter left to play.
Tempers flare in the fourth
Panther City would put this game well out of reach in the fourth quarter as tempers flared at the end of the game.
Crawford extended Panther City’s lead to 11-6 only 55 seconds into the fourth quarter. Gautier would then make it 12-6 with 6:04 left on the clock.
McLaughlin scored his hat trick goal at 3:46 for the fourth quarter, but Josh Medeiros would put the crucial game away with 2:49 to make it 13-7.
Then the rough stuff took place. A line brawl nearly broke out with 11 seconds left in the game that resulted in a combined 38 penalty minutes. For Colorado, Josh Sullivan and Jalen Chaster each received two minutes for roughing and game misconducts. Robert Hope was called for slashing and Warren Jeffrey got five minutes for cross-checking. Dylan Hutchison received five minutes for checking from behind for Panther City, while Mederios was called for slashing.
Almost immediately after the ball was blown back into play, five seconds to be exact, Caputo and Gilles dropped the gloves and threw haymakers to finish off the game.
Jonathan Donville, 3g 4a
Callum Crawford, 3g 4a
Will Malcom, 2g 4a
Eli McLaughlin, 3g 1a
Zed Williams, 1g 3a
Tyson Gibson, 1g 2a
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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.