The Mammoth captured its fourth overall and third-consecutive victory of the season during a defensive Western Conference matchup Saturday evening as Mammoth goaltender Dillon Ward paved the way to a 9-4 win in front of a lively Loud House crowd.
Mammoth forward Ryan Lee paced the team with seven points (4g, 3a) in Saturday’s win, while Connor Robinson (2g, 4a), Eli McLaughlin (1g, 3a), Chris Wardle (1g, 3a) and Zed Williams (1g, 1a) rounded out Colorado’s top scoring efforts on the evening.
Zed Williams opened the contest, scoring five minutes into the first quarter by receiving a dish from Ryan Lee outside Vancouver’s crease and finishing past Warriors’ goaltender Alex Buque.
As the result of an Owen Barker cross-checking penalty against Vancouver, Lee gave his club a 2-0 lead by taking advantage of an extra pass and converting on the man advantage.
The forward went on to record his second of the night with two minutes remining in the opening marker after finding some space, faking his defender and burying a saucer in the back of the net with an underhand strike.
Former Mammoth forward Kyle Killen logged the first of the evening for Vancouver with a breakaway transition goal, immediately following a disagreement at the other end of the turf, to make it a 3-1 game.
Chris Wardle decided to get the boys back on the board with a tally of his own 30 seconds later to restore Colorado’s three-goal lead with 11 minutes remaining in the second.
Eli McLaughlin was next to get in on the fun, as the forward collected a Zed Williams shot rebound, positioned himself behind Buque and quickly dunked one past the goaltender’s right side.
Despite Colorado being called for an illegal cross-check, Dillon Ward sent an amazing, soaring pass to a streaking Connor Robinson, who logged his ninth marker of the season in transition fashion.
In his first game of the year with Vancouver, forward Ryan Martel logged the opening marker of the second half six minutes in to bring the Warriors back within four.
Lee completed his second hat trick of the year surging from the right side after collecting a pristine dish from McLaughlin and sending a heater past Buque, creating a 7-2 contest.
Robinson picked up his second of the evening nearly two minutes later as the benefactor of some one-two-three passing, stepped down and sent a powerful bid over Buque’s shoulder to give Colorado its first six-goal lead of the night.
Rookie defenseman Reid Bowering logged his fourth of the year with an impressive shorthanded tally to make it an 8-3 game. Teammate Riley Loewen added another for the Warriors at the 7:03 mark.
But the Mammoth weren’t done scoring just yet, as Lee notched his fourth goal of the evening in thrilling fashion. After collecting a rebound from a Robinson shot, Lee quickly controlled the ball, dove across the crease and logged his 14th on the year to solidify a 9-4 final score.
Mammoth faceoff specialist Tim Edwards won seven faceoffs Saturday, passing Paul Cantabile in the franchise’s all-time faceoff wins record book, now ranking second with 782 wins.
Joey Cupido recorded five loose balls on the evening while surpassing longtime Mammoth defenseman John Gallant to become the franchise’s new all-time loose ball leader with 786.
With Mitch Jones (injury), Jordan McBride (scratch) and Logan Schuss (scratch) unavailable for the Warriors Saturday, Vancouver’s offense struggled to produce against Ward and the Mammoth, as newcomer Ryan Martel was the only Warriors player to record more than one point on the evening. Warriors’ faceoff specialist Tyrel Hamer-Jackson was credited with 10-of-17 opportunities on the evening.
Through five games, forward Ryan Lee’s 34 points (14g, 20a) trail only Kevin Crowley (42 points in eight games) and Lyle Thompson (35 points in six games) among NLL scoring leaders this year and also leads the Mammoth in points, goals and assists.
Tickets to Colorado’s Feb. 5 Lacrosse Out Cancer matchup against the Calgary Roughnecks, and all Mammoth home games, can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com. Mammoth road games can be streamed live via ESPN+.