Mammoth Pick Up Win Down South in 12-9 Final Over Panther City
December 17, 2022By: James Youness, Mammoth PR
The Colorado Mammoth secured their first victory of the season Saturday, registering a 12-9 win over the Panther City Lacrosse Club inside Dickies Arena. Dillon Ward stopped 48-of-57 in earning his first win of the season by turning in a stellar performance on the road as Eli McLaughlin (4g, 3a) and Zed Williams (3g, 5a) combined for 15 points in the win.
Mammoth forward Eli McLaughlin opened the contest’s scoring nearly six minutes in after gaining some space on a switch and immediately taking advantage by firing a fiery bid past Panther City goaltender Nick Damude.
Newcomer Ty Thompson, in his debut with the Mammoth, received a pass at the top of the set and quickly faked outside before cutting inside, shedding his defender and slamming an overhanded shot past Damude less than two minutes later to give Colorado a two-goal lead.
With 1:36 remaining in the first quarter, former Colorado draft selection Will Malcom cut the Mammoth’s lead in half after the forward converted from the left side.
After Tim Edwards secured the opening faceoff of the second quarter, recent free agent signee Rhys Duch accepted a pass as the last of five to enter the floor for Colorado and fired a long range shot from the right side that connected with Damude and was deflected into the net when the netminder turned around.
A minute later and just steps inside the restriction line, Mammoth forward Zed Williams sent a wicked side-armed shot past Damude to grant Colorado a 4-1 score early in the second. Williams doubled down with his second of the night, a shorthanded conversion, 58 seconds later when Ward sent a turf-length pass to a surging Williams, who sprinted off the bench, received the pass and sent a low bid past Damude.
Courtesy of a cross-checking penalty called on Williams midway through the second, Panther City forward Nathan Grenon converted a power-play tally to create a 5-2 contest. Grenon called change on the team’s next possession, gained leverage on his defender before going outside of him and tucking a far-side bid around Ward to narrow Colorado’s lead to two.
McLaughlin recorded his second of the half after the team’s collective second effort forced a caused turnover after a missed shot and created an opportunity for Dylan Kinnear to connect with a vacant McLaughlin outside the crease.
Moments later, Thompson found himself with the ball and some space, so the forward fired a flashy bar-down shot past Damude. The shot would draw out a challenge from Panther City, but was confirmed a goal after review, creating a 7-3 game heading into the half.
Just over three minutes into the second half, Malcom managed to get a one-on-one opportunity on the left side, backed his defender down before spinning around him and sending one past Ward to bring his squad back within three.
Capitalizing on a transition opportunity, Panther City’s Josh Medeiros sent a side-armed shot past Ward halfway through the third, cutting the lead down to two.
Williams drew a double team down low on the right side, allowing Duch to slip behind the pair of defenseman and collect a quick lob pass from Williams and slam one past Damude to reinstate a three-goal advantage for Colorado as the third quarter came to a close.
Malcom completed the contest’s first hat-trick effort one minute into the fourth, firing a step-down shot from the left side. McLaughlin achieved the three-goal mark three minutes later, restoring the Mammoth’s three-goal lead with just over 10 minutes to play.
Hat tricks were the fad, and Zed wanted a piece of the action, as Williams recorded his third of the night coming off a pick and slinging a saucy bid on net, beating Damude.
A transition effort, and the team’s third in a row, rookie Evan Downey and second-year forward Brett McIntyre executed a two-on-one breakaway in textbook effort, with Downey, who made his NLL debut Saturday, feeding McIntyre for the score.
Panther City’s Phil Caputo stopped the bleeding, eventually beating Ward after collecting a rebound and crashing toward the crease, the fifth of the year for Caputo. Last year’s Rookie of the Year runner-up Patrick Dodds went top ched, finding twine in the top right corner of the net just 33 seconds later as the home team attempted a comeback effort.
After being moved to the organization’s Active Roster prior to the game, rookie Mathieu Gautier registered his career-first NLL goal to bring Panther City back within two with just under five minutes remaining.
McLaughlin sealed the deal for Colorado with his fourth of the night, coming again, after some crease-lurking action as the experienced veteran beat Damude with a power-play bouncer to create a 12-9 final.
Zed Williams led Mammoth scorers with eight points (3g, 5a), while Eli McLaughlin (3g, 4a), Dylan Kinnear (0g, 5a), Rhys Duch (2g, 1a), Ty Thompson (2g, 0a) and Brett McIntyre (1g, 1a) rounded out scoring efforts for Colorado.
Jonathan Donville (0g, 6a), Will Malcom (3g, 2a), Mathieu Gautier (1g, 4a) and Nathan Grenon (2g, 0a) highlighted scoring for Panther City, as goaltender Nick Damude stopped 32-of-44 in his first loss of the season.
Following a league-wide break for the holiday weekend, Colorado will enjoy another bye week in the NLL’s Week 5 before hosting the Calgary Roughnecks Jan. 7 at Ball Arena for the team’s home-opener. The 8 p.m. faceoff, scheduled to aired on ESPNU, will feature the team’s pregame banner-raising ceremony and corresponding Celebration of Champions theme night activations. For the latest details on the team, be sure to stay tuned to coloradomammoth.com and Colorado Mammoth social media channels.
Tickets for Colorado’s Jan. 7 home opener at the Loud House can be purchased here.
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