The Colorado Mammoth dropped a 13-9 final to the Calgary Roughnecks Saturday night inside Scotiabank Saddledome as Colorado falls to 4-4 on the season, having dropped three of its last four contests. Colorado will now prepare for its Feb. 18 matchup against another West Conference opponent in Panther City Lacrosse Club, as the organization travels to Texas next weekend.
This one was all Calgary to stat, as Tyler Pace got the scoring started early, establishing position inside and beating Ward high. Dan Taylor doubled the early lead for the Roughnecks with a five-hole bouncer two minutes later, while recent trade acquisition forward Josh Currier cashed in a minute later to create an early 3-0 advantage.
Colorado would hold Calgary scoreless for the next 10 minutes of play, but weren’t able to establish any quality offensive looks themselves.
Currier picked up his second of the night with two minutes remaining in the opening quarter, only to see Pace finish off the first 15 with a second of his own, coming with 13 seconds to play. Taking the perfect 5-0 lead into the second period, the Roughnecks struck again, as Pace recorded his hat trick feat within the opening 18 minutes of play, this time via the power-play, after picking one up the previous night in the team’s win over Saskatchewan.
The Mammoth eventually got on the board when forward Chris Wardle dunked a sick shot from behind Christian Del Bianco’s net, creating a 6-1 ball game.
But, Calgary forward Haiden Dickson would quickly match the effort, logging his first of the night less than a minute later to reinstate the six-goal lead for the Roughnecks. Taylor followed it up three minutes later, increasing the deficit to seven.
Veteran forward Eli McLaughlin recorded his first of the night midway through the second quarter, converting on the right side of the offense as the lefty peeled across the crease before accepting a pass from teammate Zed Williams and slamming one past Del Bianco.
Two minutes later, it was Calgary’s turn again, as Currier completed his first half hat trick with a long-range strike which found its way past Ward’s left side. Ward exited the game down 9-2, as Tyler Carlson assumed duties in net from there on out.
That wouldn’t stop the Roughnecks from giving their best effort though, as Tanner Cook scored with three minutes left in the opening half with an elite transition effort, quickly followed 52 seconds later by another Currier strike, creating an 11-2 score heading into the break.
In just his second game with the team this season, young forward Ty Thompson tried to provide a spark for Colorado early in the second half, picking up his third goal of the season 92 seconds into the third quarter.
Cook would erase the score less than three minutes later with a strike of his own past Carlson, but it was mostly Mammoth for the rest of the game.
Defenseman Evan Downey continued to show off his ability to operate in transition by beating Del Bianco with a streaking strike halfway through the third quarter. Followed up by a Rhys Duch conversion 25 seconds later, a quick stick strike from the back side, Colorado began to find some momentum.
Doing his best Connor Robinson impression with a step-down saucer from the point, McLaughlin recorded his second of the contest with a fierce bid, reducing the lead to six with four minutes to play in the third.
Seeing the quarter conclude with a 12-6 result, McLaughlin got right back to the work in the fourth, again sneaking to Del Bianco’s back side and eventually getting high and dunking a quick strike over the netminder’s left shoulder to, minimizing the home team’s advantage to five.
Just over three minutes later, Williams got on the scoreboard, as the forward faked his defender outside before turning inside and finding twine as the team’s resilience was on full display. But, Colorado’s five-goal scoring streak eventually came to an end, as Pace netted his fourth of the contest at the 9:31 mark.
McLaughlin went on to tally his fourth goal of the night with five minutes to play, an impressive conversion after taking advantage of some space in isolation, but it wouldn’t be enough.
Despite outscoring the Roughnecks 7-2 in the second half, Calgary captured the 13-9 final as the squad completed its weekend doubleheader at home Saturday night.
Eli McLaughlin recorded his 200th career goal en route to leading the Mammoth in scoring Saturday with six points (4g, 2a). Zed Williams (1g, 3a) and Ty Thompson (1g, 3a) each had four points, as goaltender Dillon Ward and Tyler Carlson split time in net.
Colorado will next head to Panther City for a Feb. 18 matchup against the expansion club as the team looks to get back in the win column in the competitive West Conference.
Be sure to stay tuned to coloradomammoth.com and Colorado Mammoth social media channels for the latest team updates, transactions, fan events and beyond as the 2022-23 NLL campaign rages on!