The San Diego Seals landed home field advantage for their first ever playoff run in their inaugural season by sweeping the season series against the Colorado Mammoth with their 12-7 win on Friday night at Pechanga Arena. San Diego also defeated the Mammoth 13-10 in March.
The Mammoth clinched the final Western Division playoff spot via Vancouver’s loss on Saturday.
Patrick Merrill, head coach of the Seals, remarked, ” We knew [Colorado was] going to be a little bit desperate; they were a little banged up on the front end… I thought we did a pretty good job of weathering the storm and wearing them down as the game went on.”
The first quarter ended with a 2-2 tie with San Diego goals coming from Dan Dawson and Turner Evans. Colorado had goals from Kyle Killen and Chris Wardle. Killen assisted on Wardle’s goal while Wardle assisted on Killen’s goal.
The second quarter saw San Diego take the lead after Garrett Billings scored. Colorado came back and added two goals from Brad Self, recently back from injury, in a span of 54 seconds. San Diego quickly fought back with Casey Jackson netting a pair to make sure San Diego stayed up in the quarter at 5-4.
Dan Dawson continued the drive into the third quarter, netting his second of the game just 17 seconds into the quarter. Kyle Buchanan added to the tally before Killen scored his second goal of the game. Jackson and Buchanan each added a goal before Colorado found its footing. Goals from Jeff Wittig and Ryan Lee made it appear that there was some life still left in the Mammoth who were looking for a win to send them to the post-season.
But, such was not the case. San Diego sent the Mammoth home without allowing any goals in the fourth quarter. They added to their point total with goals from Dawson on a power play, Buchanan shorthanded, and Jackson on a penalty shot. Jackson’s was memorable as it was the first penalty shot for the Seals.
The game was quite physical for two teams who have been banged up all season. There were 15 penalties resulting in 39 minutes spent in the boxes. This was pretty surprising since San Diego is playoff bound and Colorado was still in the hunt.
San Diego clinched home playoff advantage but they have one more game before that starts. They will take on the Buffalo Bandits in San Diego on 4/27 in the last regular game of the season. One expects that the game will be less physical as both teams prepare for post-season play.