Adam Jones had seven goals and John Grant Jr. scored an unbelievable overtime winner as the Colorado Mammoth (2-5) defeated the Calgary Roughnecks (2-3) by a score of 14-13 in front of a crowd of 9,121 at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday night.
Last weekend, the Mammoth let the Vancouver Stealth sneak away with an OT win, but tonight, it was the complete opposite for a deserving Colorado team.
“Everybody outside of our room has put us down and thought we’re dead,” said Mammoth head coach Bob Hamley. “I’m happy for our players. They battled and deserved the win. I thought we had a little more energy, I thought the ball moved really well with our defense and offense. Dillon Ward was really good tonight, and that’s what we need… good goaltending.”
The first quarter was back and forth with a few tempers flaring. The Roughnecks had goals from Daryl Veltman (1+1), and Dan McRae (2+0). The Mammoth answered with goals from Athan Iannucci (1+0), Adam Jones (7+1), and Jackson Decker (1+1) to take a 3-2 lead after 1.
“Tonight, we came out a little looser than we have been,” said Adam Jones, who now leads the league in points (37), and goals (23). “Our defense played awesome, and our goaltending was awesome.”
The most entertaining portion of the first, could have come at the 4:50 mark, when Greg Harnett and Sean Pollock dropped the gloves. However, neither player seemed to get the better end of the fight. Not just that, but brother’s Geoff and Bob Snider nearly did the same right as the first quarter wrapped up.
“We were just competing,” said Geoff Snider, who picked up nine loose balls and four penalty minues in the loss. “I’m sure mom was freaking out a little bit, but it’s just emotions spilling over and a couple of guys who are passionate.”
Colorado came into the second quarter on fire, up by 3 goals on three separate occasions. However, the Necks notched a couple late goals to finish off the first half down 8-7. The Riggers had goals from Dane Dobbie (2+6), Shawn Evans (2+3) including a shorthanded marker, and Curtis Dickson (2+1) in the first half. At the other end, John Grant Jr. (3+2) and Dan Ball (1+1) pitched in for Colorado. The bad blood continued, with both teams amounting to 32 penalty minutes through the first half.
The third quarter saw much of the same. Back and forth action entertained the crowd, setting up for an exciting fourth quarter tied 11-11.
Jones broke the tie with 12:34 to go. His goal was originally waved off from a crease violation, but head coach Bob Hamley was quick to throw out the challenge flag, resulting in a good goal. That goal was also Jones’ seventh of the night.
“I thought it was a good goal, and the reply showed it was a good goal,” added Hamley. “Jones never stepped in the crease. He’s been good for us this year, and he’s a big time player when there are big games.”
“Hopefully there are more nights like this,” said Jones, on his personal record setting night. “But the win comes first. The seven goals is just the icing on the cake.”
The last time any player scored that many against Calgary was in 2007, when Jeff Zywicki posted a similar number to help the Stealth to a 17-16 overtime win.
Both teams saw 2 goals aside in the final quarter, setting up for an overtime thriller at the Dome tied 13-13.
“We play to win, and we stayed positive,” added Hamley on his team heading into OT. “Our leadership group has been awesome, and did a good job pumping up our guys.”
John Grant Jr. scored an amazing behind-the-back goal off a one-handed catch 2:11 into overtime, lifting the Mammoth to their second win of the season.
The loss comes at a bad time for the Roughnecks, who now drop to just 2-3 on the season. Losing to a team well below .500 doesn’t sit well with the players or the coaching staff, especially when it happens in front of their home crowd. The ‘Necks lead the game for a combined total of 6:53, and only in the first quarter.
“Every time that you’re trailing, you’ve got to stick your neck out and take a risk,” said Roughnecks head coach Curt Malawsky. “That’s what happened to us. We got the first one, and then it was kind of like ‘alright we’re in a good spot’, and then we slide back down.”
Dan MacRae’s two-goal performance were the first time’s he hit the twine this season. The Roughnecks went 2-3 on the powerplay, while the Mammoth went 1-9. Despite a good penalty kill for the ‘Necks, it didn’t help being shorthanded for that amount of time.
“It doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt us, just having those 4 guys out there for that amount of time,” said MacRae. “The longer the game goes on, and into an overtime situation, obviously those guys are lagging a lot of minutes.”
'Necks goaltender Mike Poulin stopped 31 of 45 shots, while Dillon Ward made 35 saves on 48 shots for the Mammoth.
Calgary will get the next weekend off, while Colorado will take on the Minnesota Swarm next Saturday at home.
Three Stars of the Game as selected by the media:
1) Adam Jones
2) Dane Dobbie
3) Dan MacRae