A goal by Shawn Evans 1:23 into overtime earned the Calgary Roughnecks a 16-15 win over the Colorado Mammoth Saturday night. With the victory the Roughnecks move on in the playoffs and face the Edmonton Rush in the West Division Finals beginning next weekend.
For Evans, it was his fourth goal and ninth point on the night, as well as being the fourth straight Roughnecks goal to which he had contributed, earning him First Star honors for the game.
Calgary jumped out to a quick lead when Dane Dobbie beat Colorado goaltender Dillon Ward just 1:24 into the game, but Colorado would answer with a three goal run to take the lead. The two teams would then trade a flurry of first half goals, with the Mammoth able to extend to as much as a three-goal lead and the Roughnecks able to tie the game on two occasions. Still, Colorado was able to take a one-goal lead to the locker room at halftime.
The Roughnecks would retake the lead early in the third quarter by reeling off three straight goals in the first five minutes but the Mammoth would continue to press, scoring four of the next six goals to knot the score at 14-14 going into the final frame.
Adam Jones would beat Calgary goalie Mike Poulin just 41 seconds into the fourth quarter and both defenses would tighten things up for the next several minutes while netminders Poulin and Ward shut the door with big saves. Curtis Dickson would finally notch the tying goal mid-way through the quarter, but neither team would surrender another goal in regulation.
In sudden death overtime, both teams would get good opportunities to put the game away but it was Evans finally gaining separation from his defender with a step-back shot for the win.
Evans led all scorers with nine points on the night while Dane Dobbie added four goals and four assists. John Grant Jr. paced the Mammoth with seven points (2 G, 5 A) while Adam Jones scored five goals.
Although their save percentages don’t necessarily reflect it, Ward (42 saves) and Poulin (35 saves) both made several huge stops over the course of the game, particularly in the fourth quarter with the game on the line.
Calgary nearly gave the game away in the second half with a rash of penalties. Colorado was able to score twice in the third quarter while on six-on-five delayed penalty call situations and scoring their lone fourth quarter goal on the power play. In spite of those lapses, the Roughnecks defense—and Poulin in particular—were able to make critical stops late in the game to give the team a chance to win.
Also of note in the second half, Geoff Snider suffered an injury during a faceoff and had to leave the game late in the third quarter. He did not return, forcing Curtis Manning to take the draws for the remainder of the game. While Geoff had been more than a match for younger brother Bob in the faceoff circle to that point, winning 20 of 28 draws, Manning was completely overmatched, with Bob Snider taking six of seven faceoffs against Manning.
If Geoff Snider is unavailable next week against the Rush, it will take a huge team advantage away from Calgary. They may need to dress Matthew Dinsdale as their next best faceoff option if that’s the case.
Calgary will host Game One of the West Division Final on Saturday, May 10, with Game Two being held the following weekend in Edmonton.