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Colorado Completes Comeback Over Calgary, Takes Lead Into Saturday’s Game 2

The Colorado Mammoth captured an 8-7 victory over the Calgary Roughnecks Thursday night inside the Loud House in Game 1 of the West Conference Finals. Mammoth goaltender Dillon Ward stopped 36-of-43 in earning his second-straight postseason victory after being named the 2022 NLL Finals MVP one year ago. Building on the successful night, he became just the seventh player in NLL history to record 1,000 minutes of postseason action.

After making a huge impact in last weekend’s Quarterfinals victory, Tanner Cook got the away team on the board first five and a half minutes into the opening quarter. Doubling down two minutes later, this time on the power-play, after Jalen Chaster was called for goaltender interference, Cook fired confidently, beating Colorado netminder Dillon Ward to make it 2-0.

Despite the potent weapons scattered throughout the floor, the first 15 ended with a 2-0 mark, but picked up quickly once quarter two began.

Just 10 seconds in, Calgary came away from a draw with another possession before suddenly Zach Currier placed the ball in the back of the net during an odd-man rush, now three-straight for Calgary.

Keeping the active second going strong, Zed Williams Wilkes himself onto the scoreboard, beating Roughnecks’ goaltender Christian Del Bianca just 33 seconds later.

Representing the third conversion in the opening 60 seconds of second-quarter play, Jeff Cornwall erased the effort with a goal of his own a mere 11 seconds later, as the No. 2 seed continued to showcase its willingness to press the pace.

After failing to record a goal in last weekend’s postseason opener, Connor Robinson did what he does best, find twine, as the B.C. native earned his first of the 2022 playoffs after serving as a pillar during last year’s postseason run.

In transition effort and courtesy of a beautiful pass from fellow defenseman Warren Jeffrey, Jordan Gilles accepted the lob and finished, beating CDB and reducing Calgary’s lead to one three minutes later.

Relentlessly keeping the Mammoth from getting a lengthy score streak brewing, Seth Van Schepen responded with six minutes to play in Quarter 2, creating a 5-3 advantage inside Ball Arena.

With the scoring slowing down as the half came to a close, the Roughnecks carried that same 5-3 lead into the break, as Cook’s quick start served as the biggest factor within the first 30 minutes of play.

At the same time the Denver Nuggets we’re enjoying a 20-point lead over the Phoenix Suns, veteran forward Chris Wardle finished an amazing dunking attempt just 27 seconds into the second half, now down just one, as the team competes the extra-man effort.

Less than two minutes later, and despite having two defenseman draped all over him, Eli McLaughlin tied the game at fives with a short-handed effort, as the softer crashed the crease while accepting a pass and quickly slamming it back Del Bianco.

Scoring back-to-back extra-man tallies for the squad after logging just seven throughout the regular season, Wardle was cleared for flight, soaring across the crease and beating CDB to give Colorado its first lead of the night at 6-5.

Dan Taylor was able to even the game at six midway through the second. Moments later, he made it two in a row for.

Following a scoreless slate of action, Connor Robinson got the good guys back in the spring column, as the magic man netted his second of the night with a missile.

Provider of thrills, scorer of goals, Robinson made it two-straight by completing his hat trick from long distance on the power-play, improving Colorado’s count of special teams’ goals to five, as the Mammoth regained a late lead.

The magician’s effort would prove the be the game-winning-goal, as Colorado posted an 8-7 final and successfully defending its series-opening home turf advantage.

Connor Robinson paced Mammoth producers with a team-high five points (3g, 2a), while Ryan Lee (0g, 4a), Zed Williams (1g, 2a) and Eli McLaughlin rounded out primary scoring efforts. Chris Wardle provided a pair of clutch goals (2g, 0a), while defenseman Jordan Gilles chipped in a pair of points (1g, 1a) in the win.

Colorado will now head north of the border for a Game 2 matchup at Scotiabank Saddledome as the Mammoth look to close out the series in one weekend. If not, the teams will conclude the best-of-three series next weekend on Saturday, May 20, back in Calgary.

Fans can stay tuned to and Colorado Mammoth social media channels for the latest updates on everything NLL Playoffs while keeping an eye on the East Conference Finals, as the Toronto Rock and Buffalo Bandits get set for a pair of back-to-back matches Friday, May 12 and Saturday, May 13.


Colorado Mammoth Pro Lacrosse Team