Despite the Calgary Roughnecks and the Colorado Mammoth having already clinching their spots in the 2022 NLL Postseason, there was still the matter of home field advantage to settle. If you thought either team was satisfied to coast into the playoffs, then it took only six seconds for you to change your mind.
Colorado’s Zed Williams absolutely wall-papered Ethan Ticehurst off the opening faceoff with an illegal body check and the tone was set. Calgary controlled the game for three quarters before a furious comeback by the Mammoth drew the game to within a goal. However, Calgary was able to hold on and emerge with a 14-11 victory securing them home-floor advantage for Round 1 which, as it turns out, will be against Colorado.
A season high 15,891 fans came out Saturday night to cheer on the Roughnecks in their final regular season game of the year. As he’s done countless times before, Curtis Dickson put on a clinical performance scoring six goals and finishing the season with a team leading 42 goals.
“That was incredible. I’ve been a part of, however many, sold out arenas here and it never gets old. It’s incredible playing in front of that type of atmosphere. They willed us to a win tonight,” said Dickson.
Entering the fourth quarter, Colorado found themselves down by seven and could have rolled over and given up. That, of course, was not an option for a Pat Coyle coached team and the Mammoth rallied, scoring six in a row and had a legitimate chance to tie the game with 1:43 remaining. In the loss, Colorado was led by Eli McLaughlin’s four goals, while Zed Williams and Chris Wardle scored two apiece.
Calgary’s big guns paced the Roughnecks’ attack. Dickson had 6G and 2A, Jesse King had 1G and 4A and Tyler Pace had 3G and 3A. For King and Pace, the 2022 season marks their best professional seasons to date. King established himself as one of the premier feeders finishing with 66 assists and 95 total points. Tyler Pace easily surpassed his previous best of 42 points with a 67 point season.
Also, with the conclusion of the regular season, it’s worth recognizing a couple of standout performers from each team.
Colorado’s high flying Ryan Lee had a season to remember. Lee put up a franchise-best single-season point total with 119 and finished second only to Dhane Smith in league scoring. Lee’s point total surpassed the previous Colorado record held by the incomparable John Grant Junior.
On the Calgary side of the ball, Zach Currier delivered an MVP calibre season. The Peterborough native collected a whopping 237 loose balls – an astonishing number from a non-faceoff taker. While loose balls are Currier’s specialty, he was also challenged to be better defensively. Currier responded by setting the single season record for caused turnovers with 62.
Round One is set for this Friday. The Colorado Mammoth take on the Calgary Roughnecks at the Scotiabank Saddledome at 9:30 EST. The game can be seen on TSN.ca and ESPN+.