The Colorado Mammoth beat the Calgary Roughnecks 13-12 in overtime last weekend after scoring four times in the final five minutes of regulation to tie the game.
The Roughnecks controlled the game for the first 55 minutes of the contest before the Mammoth made their comeback. But the wheels fell off in the dying moments and Calgary couldn’t put it back together again in OT.
Shawn Evans led Calgary’s offense, scoring four goals with three assists. Scott Ranger, Dane Dobbie and Jeff Shattler added four points each.
Daryl Veltman was a healthy scratch for last weekend’s game but may dress for the trip to Denver.
Calgary’s Geoff Snider is so good in the faceoff circle that Colorado’s Ilija Gajic conceded most of the faceoffs on Saturday, opting to intentionally blow the draw and get a man back into position on defense.
This strategy kept the Roughneck’s quick transition off the draw under control, but Snider still managed to pick up three points on the night to go along with his 22 faceoff wins, 12 loose balls and nine forced turnovers.
The star of the game for Calgary, however, was goalie Mike Poulin, who was nothing short of miraculous late in the game trying to hold off the Mammoth onslaught. He eventually turned away 41 shots on the night in the loss.
For Colorado, it was once again the John Grant Jr. show.
Grant scored eight goals and added two assists against Calgary and earned the NLL’s Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Defensively, Colorado outdid Calgary, collecting 12 more loose balls over the course of the game.
Calgary blew out Colorado in the pre-season, earning a 20-11 win. But John Grant Jr. didn’t dress for that game. With Junior in the lineup, these teams are very evenly matched and a close game can once again be expected Friday in Denver, with the win possibly going either way.
Calgary then travels to Philadelphia for a Sunday matchup against the Wings. Philly is currently the only undefeated team in the NLL, but that may have changed after they play the Buffalo Bandits on Saturday.
With a travel day to rest between games, Calgary might have a slight advantage over the Wings, who will probably be roughed up after dealing with the Bandits and their notoriously aggressive style of play.
Nevertheless, this should be another close game. Wings goalie Brandon Miller has been outstanding so far, leading the NLL in goals against and save percentage. And the Kevins—Crowley and Buchanan—have done an excellent job of pacing the offense.
Look for another hard-nosed contest and no more than a one or two-goal difference in the final score.