Ben McIntosh Scores Four, Including Game Winner in Overtime
In a game that could be a preview of the western conference final, the Saskatchewan Rush (7-3) needed overtime to defeat the Colorado Mammoth (6-5) 12-11 in front of another sold out crowd of 15,037 at the Sasktel Centre.
Ben McIntosh, who scored four on the night netted the game winner at 1:24 off a feed from Robert Church. With the stingy Colorado defense all over McIntosh he was looking for one more pass. With only a few seconds left on the shot clock he found an opening just big enough to fire the ball low to Dillon Wards stick side for the game winner.
Colorado would start out quick by scoring three straight with 9:17 remaining in the first quarter. Robert Church and Mark Matthews would both register their first goals of the games and cut the lead to one. Chris Wardle would register a hat trick at the 10:47 mark for Colorado and they would double up the Rush 4-2.
McIntosh and Church then scored goals 41 seconds apart and tie the game. Colorado would never see the lead again. Brett Mydske would score with only ten seconds remaining in the quarter and Saskatchewan would hold a 5-4 lead.
Colorado tied the game at five just four minutes into the second quarter on the power play, but Saskatchewan would score the next three goals and Eli McLaughlin would score for Colorado to close the first half scoring as Saskatchewan led 8-6.
With the start of the third quarter, the defense took over for both teams as they combined to only allow three goals with Colorado scoring twice. Crawford and Keogh would be the goal scorers. Keogh’s goal came with three seconds left to draw the Mammoth within one at 9-8.
Mark Matthews would open the scoring for the Rush at 3:07 of the fourth off a feed from Robert Church, but just 29 seconds later Chris Wardle would score twice in 34 seconds to tie the game at 10. Matthews would register his second of the quarter at 7:14 to give the Rush the lead, but Stephen Keogh would score four minutes later to tie the game. Both teams would have plenty of opportunities in the final minutes, but goalies Dillon Ward and Aaron Bold came up with some big saves as they headed to overtime.
Saskatchewan got the first chance in overtime, but Ward would make the save and the Mammoth would grab the loose ball and have their chance. But just as Ward thwarted the Rush, Bold returned the favour by denying the Mammoth.
Saskatchewan would recover the loose ball and call timeout. The Rush would start a rotation play, passing the ball around, giving everyone a touch before Adam Jones would feed Church behind the net. Church found McIntosh along the boards and Big Ben rolled to his right and fired through an opening to net the game winner.
Chris Wardle (5G), Callum Crawford (1G/6A), Stephen Keogh (2G/2A).
Dillon Ward stopped 51-63 shots and registered one assist.
Ben McIntosh (4G/GWG), Mark Matthews (3G/3A), Robert Church (2G/3A).
Aaron Bold stopped 34-45.
Colorado will host Vancouver tonight at 9pm.
Saskatchewan will return to action with games on March 24th as they host Calgary 9:30pm, followed by a rematch the following night March 25th as they travel to Colorado at 9pm.