Colorado secured its fourth-consecutive victory by defeating the Calgary Roughnecks on Lacrosse Out Cancer Night at Ball Arena. The streaky, 14-10 contest featured a Mammoth comeback effort fueled by forward Connor Robinson’s sock trick effort (6g, 1a) and another stellar performance from goaltender Dillon Ward.
Mammoth forward Ryan Lee led the team with nine points (0g, 9a) in Saturday’s win, while Eli McLaughlin (2g, 1a), Dylan Kinnear (2g, 1a), Chris Wardle (1g, 1a) and Zed Williams (1g, 1a) headlined scoring efforts for Colorado Saturday. Defensemen Joey Cupido and Josh Sullivan each chipped in transition goals of their own.
Mammoth forward Chris Wardle opened the scoring by converting a power-play tally under three minutes into the game, as the offense opted into spreading Calgary’s defense and via the extra pass, found a wide-open Wardle on the backside.
Teammate Connor Robinson helped fuel Colorado’s quick start, adding an even-strength goal a minute later.
Calgary’s leading scorer, Jesse King, got the Roughnecks on the board at the 5:46 mark after the forward established position down low, received a nice feed and buried one past Mammoth goaltender Dillon Ward to create an early 2-1 contest.
Zed posted up his defender with five minutes remaining in the opening period, faked right and fired left, sending one five-hole past Del Bianco.
Colorado allowed a rare power-play conversion three minutes later, as a missed shot took an odd bounce off the boards and found its way past Ward, after bouncing off the goaltender’s backside.
Robinson earned it back 23 seconds later, as the forward turned on the jets, created space and dragged his defender to the net, before finishing far side with a diving effort.
Fellow B.C. native Eli McLaughlin kept the good times rolling with a step-down, overhand hurl from the point, which connected past Roughnecks’ netminder Christian Del Bianco’s left shoulder, cementing a 5-2 lead to end the first.
Another unfortunate bounce gave Calgary its third score of the night, as Ward made an impressive stop, but the ball carried momentum and trickled past the goal line. Roughnecks’ forward Dan Taylor, moved to the active roster earlier that morning, launched a bid past Ward to bring Colorado’s lead down to one. Haiden Dickson added another for Calgary, connecting on a bouncing shot to tie the game at five.
King recorded his second of the night and fourth-consecutive tally for the Roughnecks with a side-armed shot from the point, giving Calgary its first lead of the night. The Roughnecks logged its fifth in a row with another bouncer past Ward, creating a 7-5 contest.
After fourteen-and-a-half minutes of scoreless, second-quarter action, defenseman Josh Sullivan logged his first goal of the year with a transition finish, sending a bouncer through Del Bianco’s five-hole to bring Colorado within one at the intermission mark.
Dylan Kinnear opened the second half scoring after the forward got knocked to the ground just outside the crease and sent a desperate bid at the net, which found twine.
Calgary went on to record three-consecutive in the third, receiving a pair of tallies from Kyle Waters and another from Zach Herreweyers, establishing another three-goal lead over Colorado.
Ryan Lee drew the attention of several defensemen on the right side before sending a fiery pass to C-Rob, who took a quick step and converted, creating a 10-8 score halfway through the third. Robinson called heat check on the team’s next possession, this time receiving a transition pass from defenseman John Lintz outside the crease and slamming one home to bring the Mammoth within a goal.
Lightning struck with just over five minutes remaining in the third, as Ward sent a high-flying pass to Joey Cupido, who finished a one-on-none opportunity to tie the game at 10.
McLaughlin re-enacted his first goal of the evening by replicating the same overhand, step-down shot two minutes later to reclaim the lead for Colorado.
Robinson notched a career-best fifth goal of the night as the Mammoth continued to heat up in the third. In his first season with Colorado, Robinson got the Loud House jumping a minute into the final quarter by recording his sixth of the evening and first career sock trick.
Kinnear sent a bouncing shot at Del Bianco with five minutes to play, which found its way over the Coquitlam product’s left shoulder and cemented a 14-10 final score.
Mammoth forward Tyler Digby recorded two assists Saturday, with the first representing the veteran’s 400th career point. With nine helpers on the night, Ryan Lee also surpassed the 100 career assist mark.
Calgary’s lineup, which only featured two players who had recorded double-digit point totals coming into the contest, was without veteran forward Curtis Dickson Saturday, who was a late scratch. Jesse King (2g, 4a) and Dan Taylor (2g, 4a) paced the Roughnecks’ scoring effort, with Zach Herreweyers (2g, 2a) and Kyle Waters (2g, 0a) pitching in as well.
Through six games, forward Ryan Lee paces Mammoth players with 43 points and 29 assists, while Connor Robinson leads Colorado with 16 goals. Lee’s 7.16 points per game represent the highest total among NLL players this season, as the forward continues to quarterback the Mammoth offense to success. Robert Hope’s 10 caused turnovers and 60 loose balls are both team-best totals, as the veteran captain continues to lead his defense.
Tickets to Colorado’s Feb. 20 Essential Workers Night matchup against the Saskatchewan Rush, and all Mammoth home games, can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com. Mammoth road games can be streamed live via ESPN+.