A high-scoring first quarter proved to be the difference in the game as the Colorado Mammoth edged the Calgary Roughnecks 8-7 on Saturday night. The win puts the 8-3 Mammoth solidly in second place in the West Division and clinches a playoff berth for them. The Roughnecks drop to 4-7 on the season, but remain 3.5 games up on the last-place Vancouver Stealth.
Calgary opened the scoring when Holden Cattoni beat Colorado netminder Dillon Ward just 1:19 into the game. Brad Self tied the game back up only a minute and a half later, starting a three-goal run for the Mammoth and building a lead they would hold for the next 43 minutes.
The two teams exchanged goals over the next two-and-a-half quarters, with only five goals scored between them in that time, until Curtis Dickson finally tying the game again at the 3:32 mark of the fourth quarter. Two minutes later, Joey Cupido’s eighth goal of the season gave the Mammoth the lead again and they were able to hang on the rest of the way to earn the victory.
Colorado’s Ryan Benesch led all scorers on the night with five points (1 goal, 4 assists) while Dane Dobbie led the Roughnecks with four points (2 G, 2 A). But the real stars of the game were the goalies. After a surrendering eight goals between them in the first quarter, they only allowed seven more combined the rest of the game. Ward made 44 saves in the win while Calgary’s Christian Del Bianco turned aside 42 shots in the loss.
With the win, Colorado takes the season series versus Calgary, two games to one—if Calgary is able to tie them by the end of the season, the Mammoth would host the first round of the playoffs.
The Mammoth next travel to Vancouver to face the Stealth on March 17 while the Roughnecks host the Rochester Knighthawks that same night.