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Mammoth silence Stealth 10-9 at buzzer for third-straight win

02/09/2014, 1:00am EST
By Stealth beat writer Kyle Donen for NLL.com

All three games in COL vs. VAN season series decided by just one goal

The Vancouver Stealth (2-6) lost their fifth-straight game as the Colorado Mammoth (4-5) held on at the buzzer for a 10-9 victory at Langley Events Centre on Saturday night. Colorado, who won their third game in a row, takes a 2-1 season series lead over Vancouver with all three games decided by just one goal.

It was a goalie showdown in the first half with only four goals being scored in the entire half. Tyler Richards stopped 18 of 21 shots for the Stealth and Dillon Ward stopped 22 of 23 shots for the Mammoth.

“He was brilliant in the first half,” said Colorado coach Bob Hamley. “Our defense was sensational as well. As for Dillon, he had the answer all night. With the gaffe at the end of the game, Dillon bailed us out.”

In the second half, both teams seemed to find their scoring touch as the Stealth climbed back into the game but the Mammoth seemed to always have an answer. In the end, it came down to the final shot as the Mammoth held a one-goal advantage and the ball with 10 seconds left. The Stealth's Tyler Digby intercepted Drew Westervelt's long pass intended to burn clock and fed Matt Beers inside but he couldn't catch it cleanly. Vancouver's Brett Bucktooth scooped the ball and fired a desperation shot but Dillon Ward made the save, one of his 41 total stops on the night.

John Grant, Jr. led the way for the Mammoth with five points (2+3) and was named the game's first star. For the Stealth rookie Digby, the NLL Rookie of the Month for January had another strong performance with four points (3+1) and his third hat trick of the season in the losing effort.

“One thing I was really happy with tonight was we answered their goals,” said Hamley.

The Mammoth were without Adam Jones after he suffered a shoulder injury last week while the Stealth played without its offensive star in Rhys Duch, who was serving a one-game suspension.

“Any time you lose your leading scorer, it’s tough to replace,” said Hamley. “I’m sure Vancouver would say same without Duch."

These two teams will be back in action next week at the Pepsi Center in Denver on Friday at 9 p.m. ET for their fourth and final meeting of the regular season.

Three Stars of the Game as selected by the media:

1) John Grant Jr.
2) 
Tyler Digby
3) 
Mat MacLeod

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