Photo: Di Miller
On Saturday March 8, 2014, the Colorado Mammoth (4-7), hosted the Calgary Roughnecks (6-3), at The Pepsi Center for their Lacrosse Out Cancer night. This was a special night for Mammoth forward Sean Pollock #17, as he was playing in honor of his wife who is a breast cancer survivor.
The Mammoth players had each chosen a type of cancer as their cause, and donned that on their jerseys. The fans that bid on, and won those jerseys had the name of a family member or friend whom they wanted to honor on this special night, displayed on the back of that players jersey, and those fans were on the field after the game for the Jerseys Off Our Back Ceremony where they got to meet the player, and be presented with their tribute jersey.
Colorado had some major changes this week with a new coaching staff, three former Mammoth players, Pat Coyle, Chris Gill, and Dan Stroup; as well as the return of forward Jamie Shewchuck #85, his third stint with the Mammoth. Their goal was to beat their Western Division rivals, and take the regular season series.
The Roughnecks would be the first to score at 9:06, when forward Jeff Shattler #17 would put the ball in net, assisted by forwards Dane Dobbie #44, and Daryl Veltman #36. Shattler would score again at 11:40, with the assist going to forward Shawn Evans #15. Only six seconds later, Riggers transition Geoff Snider #4 would score unassisted. Veltman would put the next ball in net at 13:46, assists to Evans, and Dobbie.
In the first quarter, at 2:56 the Roughnecks would find three men in the penalty box. Snider, and defenseman Mike McNamara #7, would both be called for roughing; and Dobbie for goaltender interference, all receiving two-minute minors. Mammoth forward Shewchuck got knicked for roughing, and also received a two-minute minor. The only other penalty in the quarter would be called against the Roughnecks at 3:45 for too many men on the field. The score at the end of the quarter would be in favor of Calgary 4-0.
Mammoth fans were wondering when their team would score. Unfortunately for the Mammoth, only 34 seconds into the second quarter, Rigger defenseman Dan MacRae #3 would score, assists to Evans, and transition Karsen Leung #21.
Colorado came alive and went on a nine-goal run, five of which came in the second quarter. Mammoth forward Joel Dalgarno #96 would start that run scoring at 2:49, assisted by defenseman Colton Clark #10, and goaltender Dillon Ward #45. Forward Casey Powell #22 put an unassisted goal in net at 5:52; followed by forward Drew Westervelt #26 (PPG), assists to Powell, and John Grant Jr. #24. The Mammoth would score again at 11:34 when forward Sean Pollock #17 hit net, assists to Powell, and Westervelt. At 13:54, Westervelt would score again (PPG), assisted by Dalgarno, and Grant Jr.
Calgary would receive two more penalties in the second quarter. Snider was called for slashing at 8:43; and defenseman Jon Harnett #53 would receive a penalty for checking from behind at 13:36, heading to the box for a two-minute minor. The Mammoth had tied the game 5-5 going into the half.
Only one goal would come in the third quarter at 4:41, when Mammoth forward Athan Iannucci #23 would score, assists to Westervelt, and Grant Jr. But the penalties were abundant. The Roughnecks would receive five penalties during the quarter. Defenseman Curtis Manning #10, received a two-minute minor at 2:32 for an illegal cross check; Evans was called for slashing at 6:22, another two-minute minor; and at 12:41, Dobbie was called for roughing, and Snider for slashing, each receiving two-minute minors; and defenseman Andrew McBride #37 received a two-minute minor at 14:31 for roughing. Mammoth forward Powell received a two-minute minor at 12:41 for roughing; and Shewchuck went to the box at 14:31 for roughing, also receiving a two-minute minor. The Mammoth would take the lead 6-5.
There would be seven goals scored in the fourth quarter. The Mammoth would score the first three. Powell at 7:26 (PPG), assists to Grant Jr., and Shewchuk; Pollock at 9:07, assisted by Dalgarno, and Iannucci; Grant Jr. at 9:21, assists to Clark, and defenseman Bob Snider #41.
The final four goals of the quarter went to Calgary. Shattler would score at 9:29 (hat-trick), assist to Snider; at 10:07 Shattler would score his fourth goal of the game, assist to Evans; forward Curtis Dickson #17 would score his only goal of the game at 13:54, assist to Evans; and the final goal in regulation also tying the game 9-9, would go to Veltman at 14:21, assisted by Evans, and Dickson.
The only penalty in the fourth quarter would go against the Roughnecks, when Manning was called for high-sticking at 3:56 receiving a five-minute major with a little over 11 minutes left in regulation.
With the score tied at the end of regulation, the Mammoth fans were on the edge of their seats going into OT. Mammoth face-off specialist Snider would win the opening face-off. Calgary would have only one SOG compared to the Mammoth who had three, and the game winner at 9:10 when Pollock would score (hat-trick), assisted by Dalgarno, and Grant Jr. The final score in an exciting, nail-biting game would end with the Mammoth victorious 10-9.
Mammoth net-minder Dillon Ward was spectacular. He didn’t allow a goal for over 30 minutes of playing time; 44 SOG; 35 saves; 10.55 GAA; and a save percentage .795. He received the MVP award for the game, and has moved up to fifth place in NLL league leaders with five wins.
Calgary’s Geoff Snider would surpass his brother Bob Snider in face-off wins 186 to 185; and also loose balls, 133 to 117.
The Riggers penalties allowed the Mammoth seven opportunities for man-up situations, and the Mammoth capitalized on three of those. In all, Calgary had 25 penalty minutes compared to the Mammoth who had only 10.
Players of the game:
- Sean Pollock—3 goals; 9 SOG; 2 LB; and a .82 SOG percentage
- Dillon Ward—44 SOGA; 35 saves; and a .795 save percentage
- Jeff Shattler—4 goals; 9 SOG; 4 LB; and a .82 SOG percentage
The Mammoth now sit at 5-7, while the Roughnecks record is 6-4, and the Mammoth taking the series 2-1.
On March 15, Colorado heads to First Niagara Center in Buffalo to face the Bandits who sit atop the NLL Eastern Division with a record of 7-2. The last meeting of the two teams at The Pepsi Center on January 18, the Bandits beat the Mammoth by the score of 16-9. Can the Mammoth take the momentum from tonight’s win to Buffalo for the final meeting of the two teams in the 2014 regular season and even the series? If the Mammoth play like they did against Calgary, they may very well give the Bandits their third loss of the season.