Despite a calculated yet relentless surge in the final minutes by the Colorado Mammoth in front of their fans inside the Pepsi Center, the home side couldn’t collect the one goal that would’ve pushed their contest against the Toronto Rock to overtime.
Following a Jacob Ruest goal to cut the Rock lead to 11-10 with 2:07 remaining in the match, the Mammoth took four shots that were on target (and two that weren’t). Unfortunately for them, they couldn’t beat Rock goaltender Nick Rose who ultimately stopped 32-42 attempts by the Mammoth on the night.
For the Rock, it was there third one-goal game in a row that came down to the waning moments or the final shot. They are 2-1 on the young season in those one-goal contests.
The Mammoth had three multi-goal scorers on Saturday evening in Ruest who had a hat trick (and five points) while Ryan Benesch and Eli McLaughlin both netted a pair of goals. However, only three other Mammoth players managed to score a goal each.
Even though Stephen Keogh tallied a goal and collected 10 loose balls and Jeremy Noble had four assists in the game, the pair of right-handers are on pace to set career-lows in goals scored.
It can be said, though, that once again the Mammoth put forth another impressive 60 minutes of lacrosse in terms of not handing the Rock too many power play opportunities.
Committing just three penalties for six minutes of man-up play for the Rock, they visitors managed just one extra-man score. The Mammoth are averaging only 4.6 PIM per game this season – the lowest per game average in the NLL. The offence was also able to capitalize on their two power play chances (one goal from Benesch and the one from Keogh).
The story of the game for the Mammoth, however, even in a losing effort, was the play of Dillon Ward. He stopped a career-high 57 shots including an impressive 34 Rock attempts in the first half alone.
Even though the Rock’s Rob Hellyer had a hat trick, Ward stopped 14 of his other shots. Ward was also able to shut down the dynamic Tom Schreiber who had only one score on 13 attempts.
Now at 0-3 to start the year, the Mammoth are off to their worst three-game stretch to begin a season since the team was founded in 2003. Thankfully the season is still very young, so there is much time left for them to turn things around.
The Mammoth will have their next opportunity to grab their first win of the season in their final home game before a three-game road trip on Sunday, January 20th versus the Calgary Roughnecks.