After three evenly contested quarters, the hometown Saskatchewan Rush scored four times in the final frame to defeat the Colorado Mammoth by a 9-7 score Saturday night.
Colorado drew first blood on the very first possession of the game when Jacob Ruest snapped a shot at a bad angle on net late in the shot clock. The shot snuck past Rush goaltender Evan Kirk, putting the Mammoth on top just 33 seconds in.
Saskatchewan’s Chris Corbeil answered a few minutes later to tie the game, beginning a see-saw battle in the first half, where neither team was able to get the upper hand for any length of time. A goal by the Rush’s Ryan Keenan put them up by a single goal with less than a minute left in the half, but neither team was able to hold the momentum.
The Rush added to their lead less than two minutes into the second half when Ben McIntosh recorded his first goal of the night, but the Mammoth responded with two goals of their own in the quarter, leaving the two squads deadlocked at 6-6 going into the fourth quarter.
In that fourth quarter, the teams exchanged goals in the first three minutes before Saskatchewan finally pushed ahead, scoring the next two goals and re-establishing their two-goal lead. Colorado’s Eli McLaughlin scored at the 9:08 mark to reduce the lead to one, but less than a minute later, McIntosh scored his second of the night to seal the deal.
McLaughlin led all scorers in the game with five points (3 goals, 2 assists) while McIntosh (2 G, 2 A) and Robert Church (4 A) paced the Rush attack.
Kirk made 33 saves to earn the win and the game’s first star while Mammoth netminder Dillon Ward made 45 stops in the losing effort.
The Rush now sit atop the West Division with a 4-2 record, while the Mammoth drop to fourth place, at 4-6.
Next up for Saskatchewan is a visit to Halifax to face the Thunderbirds while Colorado hosts the San Diego Seals. Both games are next weekend, on February 15.