Trailing by three heading into the fourth quarter, the Colorado Mammoth beat Calgary 13-12 in overtime, spoiling the Roughnecks home opener on Saturday night before 9,341 at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Mammoth captain Gavin Prout scored a power-play goal 45 seconds into the extra session to keep Colorado (3-0) undefeated.
“When I stepped in, I got lucky on the shot,” Prout said. “It went where I wanted it to, thank goodness we ended the game that way.”
Colorado’s John Grant Jr. celebrated a milestone by becoming the National Lacrosse League’s fifth player to reach the 1,000-point plateau. He did so with an assist on a goal by former Roughneck Derek Hopcroft late in the first quarter.
Grant, who had four goals and six assists in the game, joins John Tavares, Gary Gait, Colin Doyle, and Josh Sanderson in the 1,000-point club.
“I don’t pay too much attention to it, it usually means I played a lot of years,” said Grant, who leads the NLL with 30 points (13 goals, 17 assists) through three games. “I’m just happy to get to 3-0 for the first time in my career and I want to keep it going.”
Darryl Veltman led the ‘Necks in scoring with six points (three goals and three assists), while Dane Dobbie, who’s had two hat tricks this season, took 14 shots at Mammoth goaltender Chris Levis, but could not hit the back of the net.
“Darryl was picking spots and burying them, and Dobbie, I haven’t seen him snakebit like that in a long, long time. He had many quality chances in tight and he hit bars or hit Levis, it was unfortunate for him,” Calgary coach Dave Pym said.
After trailing 2-1 early, Calgary struck back in the first quarter scoring four unanswered goals from four different scorers. Among them was Kaleb Toth, who made his season debut after recovering from off-season surgery.
The Mammoth came out firing in the second quarter, scoring three in a row to take a 6-5 lead. The Roughnecks answered with goals from Veltman and Curtis Dickson, giving the home side a 7-6 lead. Veltman completed his hat trick before halftime.
Shawn Evans scored the first goal of the third quarter on a behind-the-back feed from Scott Ranger and 53 seconds later, Evans returned the favor by assisting on Ranger’s second of the game to give Calgary an 11-7 edge. Evans finished the night with five points, including two goals, but is looking forward to a rematch with Colorado.
“We let this one slide tonight. We have to learn from this and (Colorado) is a good team, we need to focus and get ready to play against them next time,” Evans said.
The Mammoth kept it close with goals from Grant and Hopcroft, trailing 11-9 at the end of the third.
Colorado stormed back after allowing a Curtis Manning goal early in the fourth, with markers from Grant and two by rookie Adam Jones (three goals, three assists).
Both teams had chances late in regulation. With less than two minutes to go, rookie Mat MacLeod appeared to score the go-ahead goal for the Mammoth, but it was disallowed. Calgary’s Peter McFetridge had a breakway with less than a minute to go, but Levis stopped him cold.
Next week the Roughnecks will welcome the Toronto Rock to the Scotiabank Saddledome for their second meeting of the season while the Mammoth will play the Rochester Nighthawks.