DENVER – With seven defenseman on its Injured Reserve List and All-Pro goaltender Dillon Ward on the Physically Unable to Perform List, the Colorado Mammoth dropped a 16-10 decision to the Georgia Swarm Saturday night during each team’s respective season opening showdown.
Getting the scoring started four minutes into the opening quarter, forward Eli McLaughlin finished a quick back door feed from Tyson Gibson to grant his squad an early 1-0 lead.
But less than a minute later, the Swarm’s Brendan Bomberry answered back, knotting the game at one per side.
Doubling down, Liger took advantage of some space on the right side and sent a slick, low-angled bid past Georgia goaltender Brett Dobson to make it 2-1.
With a brief scrum coming together midway through the first, Colorado was assessed a cross-checking penalty, which quick quickly led to a Lyle Thompson power-play tally.
2020 MVP Shayne Jackson got in on the fun soon after, granting the Swarm its first lead of the night. Making a run out of it, Adam Wiedemann became the fourth different Georgia forward to find the scoresheet, now 4-2.
Sparking some momentum for the away team, Chris Wardle finished his first epic dunk of the season over Dobson’s shoulder to reduce the deficit to one.
Just seven seconds later, Jeremy Thompson won a faceoff and beat mammoth netminder Tyler Carlson to create a 5-3 advantage, which the team held for the remainder of the quarter.
Notching his second of the night, Wardle completed a diving effort to bring the Mammoth back within one just before seeing Bomberry get loose just outside of the crease midway through the second to make it a 6-4 contest.
Lyle Thompson showed off his speed and finishing skills shortly after, peeling around his defender and scoring his second of the night, making it two in a row for the Swarm.
Connor Kelly logged his first goal as a member of the organization at the 4:34 mark, receiving a beautiful lob pass from Gibson and finding twine shortly after.
Restoring a three-goal lead for Georgia just over a minute later, rookie Brady Kearnan recorded his first professional tally. Lyle Thompson completed his first-half hat trick with 89 seconds remaining in the first half with a saucy low-angled shot. With 41 seconds to play, Kearnan made it three straight for the home team by burying a backside tally.
Swarm forward Seth Oakes started the second half scoring five minutes in, getting free via a pick and sprinting toward the crease before dancing his way across the crease and beating Carlson. 11-5 Georgia.
Mammoth forward Dylan Kinnear logged his first of the season to reduce Georgia’s lead to five, but the Swarm took an 11-6 lead into the final 15.
Number four for the Swarm, Lyle Thompson, picked up his fourth of the night less than 30 seconds into the fourth. But on the ensuing possession, Gibson got on the board for the first time this season to create a 7-12 score.
Picking up his second on the night, Kinnear swam through his defender before finishing a sick dive across the crease to bring Colorado back within four.
Oakes answered back less than a minute later to restore the home team’s five-goal advantage.
With 9:14 to play, Kelly picked up his second of the night with a quick laser to beat Dobson, now 13-9.
Midway through the final quarter, Bomberry secured another marker, beating Carlson on the back side.
Oakes finished his hat trick with 5:13 remaining en route to extending his team’s lead to six once again.
Shayne Jackson added another with two minutes to play before Kelly completed a hat trick with 88 seconds to play to bring the deficit down to six.
Tensions boiled over late in the game, with several players dropping the gloves and getting some frustrations out. Tackles and punches exchanged on both sides, only fueling the fires for the rematch set inside the LOUD HOUSE Dec. 22 for the team’s home opener.
When all was said and done, Georgia captured the 16-10 final in Duluth Saturday night.
The Colorado Mammoth will now endure a bye week during the NLL’s Week 3 slate before hosting the Georgia Swarm inside Ball Arena Dec. 22 for the team’s LOUD HOUSE Home Opener.
Limited tickets remain available!