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Mammoth Complete Epic Comeback in 12-11 Overtime Win

DENVER – Don’t call it a comeback. Call it the first victory of the season!

Needing extra time to finalize the decision, the Mammoth captured a dramatic 12-11 overtime win over the Vancouver Warriors Saturday night in front of another sold-out LOUD HOUSE crowd!

Just 75 seconds into the game, veteran forward Kevin Crowley finished a set play by getting free just outside of the crease and accepting a lob pass from a teammate before beating Mammoth goaltender Dillon Ward to give the Warriors an early advantage.

Doubling down for the away team 44 seconds later, it was forward James Rahe who quickly made it two-straight for Vancouver, recording his second goal of the season. As the shot clock expired and his four other teammates already exchanging personnel for defenseman, forward Riley Loewen extended his squad’s early lead to three just three minutes into the contest.

The run continued less than a minute later, as Crowley secured his second of the night with a strike, beating Ward and forcing goaltender Tyler Carlson to enter the 4-0 game. Forward Adam Charalambides recorded Vancouver’s fifth goal in the opening five minutes, as the clock read 10:02 and scoreboard showed a 5-0 advantage in the Warriors’ favor.

Following a moment to reset on the bench, Ward returned to play early in the first quarter.

Midway through the opening period, forward Zed Williams casually pulled up and sent a fiery shot at Vancouver netminder Aaron Bold, which trickled past the white line and into twine to give the good guys their first goal of the night.

Completing his hat trick just 26 seconds later, Crowley notched his third of the opening quarter to restore a five-goal lead for the Warriors.

But as the back-and-forth affair sequence continued, Williams answered back, this time in diving fashion. Returning to the bench, kissing his stick and locking in for his next shift, it’s easy to see why he’s had such a huge impact in Colorado. And even easier to understand why the fans love him.

Seeing Crowley continue his productive opening half, he tallied his fourth of the quarter, clearly feeling himself on the final Saturday night showdown of 2023. Carlson then returned to the game, eventually playing 8:28 to Ward’s 8:42, and continued to occupy the net into the second.

Stealing back some momentum as the quarter came to a close, Mammoth scoring extraordinaire Connor Robinson pulled up from his favorite spot and got the LOUD HOUSE rocking once again, picking up his fourth goal of the season and bringing Colorado back within three.

Able to finish off a second-effort attempt, Crowley secured his fifth of the night, now just one conversion away from a sock trick.

With forward Eli McLaughlin keeping his man busy and weighing his options, he quickly connected with a wide-open Tyson Gibson, who slammed home his first goal of the night to create an 8-5 deficit.

Williams was called for holding with five minutes remaining in the half, which led to a power-play goal from the Warriors, as Charalambides secured his second of the contest with just under four minutes to play.

Answering that tally with a strike of his own less than a minute later, dunking expert Chris Wardle surprised Bold, diving vertically across the crease from the goaltender’s backside and sneaking one past him to bring his home team back within three.

But after Vancouver challenged the play, the call was reversed, as the officiating crew believed Wardle’s glove made contact with the crease before the ball made it over the goal line.

With just under a minute to play, Keegan Bal found his way to the scoresheet, sending a long-range laser past Carlson with 58 seconds remaining.

Adding to the team’s spicy opening half, Charalambides completed his first-half hat trick with 17 seconds to play, granting the Warriors an 11-5 lead heading into the break.

Getting the scoring started midway through the third quarter, Gibson picked up his second of the night and fourth on the season, restoring some momentum inside Ball Arena. Pulling another trick out of his sleeve, the Magic Man Connor Robinson made it two in a row less than a minute later.

Forcing the LOUD HOUSE to erupt, forward Eli McLaughlin peeled inside his defender and turned on the burners, finding twine and netting his first of the contest not long after.

The place was roaring and the score was now 11-8. Three straight for the burgundy boys!

Okay, if it was loud before … When Robinson slung a nasty heater on net and it went in, the entire place went bonkers, as the tally represented the team’s fourth goal in 77 seconds.

Just 10 seconds into the final 15 minutes, defensive specialists (who can still score the rock) finished off a little give-and-go action, as Joey Cupido, in his first game back since early February, distracted both his defenseman and the goaltender while faceoff pro Tim Edwards slipped under his man and accepted a pass, quickly beating Bold to bring the Mammoth back within one.

Who else would tie the game up in dramatic fashion other than McLaughlin? Burying a slick side-armed bid with six minutes to play, Liger logged his second goal of the night and fifth of the season as nearly 10,000 fans inside Ball Arena rose to their feet in approval.

If the first half belonged to the Warriors, the second half was all Mammoth, as Carlson managed to hold the Warriors to zero goals throughout the final 30 minutes of play.

Rising to the occasion in extra time, Carlson continued his successful streak, willing his squad to its first win of the season. Providing the goal-scoring effort itself, the Magic Man, Connor Robinson.

But it wasn’t the goal that reigned supreme.

It was the celebration. The postgame quotes from TC. Celebrating as a team for the first time.

In the winner’s column.

Connor Robinson paced the team with a season-high seven points (4g, 3a), while Zed Williams (2g, 4a), Eli McLaughlin (2g, 2a) and Tyson Gibson (2g, 1a) rounded out the three-plus-point club. Defensemen Tim Edwards and Jordan Gilles also provided some depth scoring in a game where each and every goal counted, while Carlson stopped 27-of-33 on the night, including each and every shot he faced after the midgame break.

Forwards Adam Charalambides (3g, 4a), Kevin Crowley (5g, 0a) and Keegan Bal (1g, 4a) highlighted Vancouver’s top scoring efforts, while goaltender Aaron Bold managed 40 saves on 52 shots against.

The Mammoth will now prepare to travel east next weekend during an NLL Finals rematch with the Buffalo Bandits Jan. 6 before returning home Jan. 13 for a showdown with the San Diego Seals inside the LOUD HOUSE during Military Appreciation Night!

Limited tickets for the next showdown inside Ball Arena remain available!

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