DENVER – The Colorado Mammoth dropped a 16-7 final to the San Diego Seals inside Pechanga Arena during a rare Sunday showdown.
Just 57 seconds into the game, Mammoth forward Connor Kelly dodged his opponent while working his way inside. Eventually hitting a sick spin move and quickly firing a shot on net, he beat Seals’ goaltender Chris Origlieri to give Colorado an early 1-0 lead.
Turning on the turbo and leaving his defender in the dust, forward Zed Williams sped past his man, darted toward the net and finished a diving play by beating Origlieri on the far side, notching a 2-0 advantage for the away squad.
Making it three in the row after being presented with an extra-man opportunity, Kelly finished a tic-tac-toe play on the back door, his second of the night! If San Diego came out with sleep Sunday vibes, Dillon Ward and company came out with the opposite, as the netminder entered the under five break with zero goals relinquished while his offense had racked up an early 3-0 lead.
With 2:33 to play in the opening quarter, San Diego spoiled the perfect opening frame, as Dane Dobbie got the Seals on the board via the power-play. Momentum began building in the home team’s favor less than a minute later, as forward Austin Staats gained some space and went top shelf, now 3-2 Mammoth.
As 16 seconds remained on the scoreboard, Staats went back-to-back crashing through the crease and finishing his second of the night, which was initially called off but challenged by San Diego.
Getting the first second-quarter goal on the night, defenseman Tyler Garrison sprinted up the floor and gave the rock up to a dashing Williams, who accepted and quickly beat Origlieri to recapture the lead for Colorado two and a half minutes in.
Answering back on the ensuing possession, San Diego forward Kyle Jackson picked up his tenth on the season, finishing an odd-angled quick stick 30 seconds later.
Furthering the back-and-forth action a mere nine seconds later, Colorado scorer Dylan Kinnear completed an impressive effort to record his fourth of the season and once again put the Mammoth in front by one.
Able to complete his first-half hat trick 4:27 into the second quarter, Staats sent a long-range laser past Ward to knot the game at five a side. The benefactor of a 5-on-3 opportunity as Warren Jeffrey and Paul Dawson sat in the box, Staats picked up his fourth of the contest on the odd-man opportunity midway through period two.
Back up to 5-on-4, Colorado surrendered another 39 seconds later, now down two after seeing Curtis Dickson find twine. With just six seconds left in the opening half, Staats logged his fifth of the night.
After earning an early 3-0 lead, the Mammoth were outscored 8-2 from there, as San Diego took an 8-5 advantage into halftime.
San Diego made it five-straight four and a half minutes into the third quarter, as Dobbie got his second of the night by slamming one five-hole and seeing the ball barely trickle past the goal line as defenseman Paul Dawson attempted to stop it himself, but couldn’t.
Per usual with these two teams, things got scrappy in the third, as Kyle Jackson started a few scrums after diving across the crease and making contact with Ward. With Dawson and Craig commanding the turf and Wes Berg ending up on the bottom of the pile (once again pulling Dawson down instead of dropping the gloves), it was still Colorado who came out of the extra curriculars with a 5-on-4 advantage, as Jackson was called for goaltender interference.
Dobbie completed his hat trick with just under six minutes remaining in the third en route to extending San Diego’s lead to five, now 5-10. Just over a minute later, Staats finished off his career-first sock trick, as the forward sent a fierce step-down saucer past Ward to make it seven in a row.
Piling it on, Dickson picked up his second of the night just seven seconds later as Colorado couldn’t come up with an answer on either end of the floor. Becoming the third member of his team to go for three or more, Dickson sent a long-range bouncer, beating Ward’s far side with less than 10 seconds to play in the third. San Diego now owned goals with 15 seconds, six seconds and nine seconds left in the first three quarters, respectively.
Wes Berg got in on the fun four minutes into the final period, putting one over the shoulder of goaltender Tyler Carlson, who entered the game in relief of Ward. Berg added another exactly four minutes later, which represented San Diego’s 11th-straight call.
After just under 38 minutes of scoreless play, Tyson Gibson got Colorado on the board via a five-hole conversion with four minutes remaining. Kelly made it two in a row for the Mammoth with a wicked overhanded bid 21 seconds later.
Recording his 1100th career point, Dobbie slammed another one home past Carlson to solidify a 16-7 final.
Connor Kelly (3g, 0a) and Eli McLaughlin (0g, 3a) highlighted top scoring efforts for Colorado, with Zed Williams (2g, 0a) and Tyson Gibson (1g, 1a) rounding out the team’s two-plus-point producers in the loss.
The Mammoth will now endure two more games on the road before returning to Ball Arena Feb. 23 for a showdown with the New York Riptide during the organization’s Rumble at the LOUD HOUSE. Limited tickets for the Saturday, Feb. 23’s matchup remain available, so be sure to lock yours in and get ready to TUSK UP!