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Colorado Holds On to Tight Win Over Philadelphia

Digby Makes Immediate Impact in Mammoth Debut, Wings Cannot Complete Comeback

The Colorado Mammoth (6-6) secured their second consecutive win over the Philadelphia Wings (7-5) Saturday night with a final score of 11-10. With losses from both the Calgary Roughnecks and Saskatchewan Rush, the Mammoth are now in the second spot in the West, 1.5 games behind the Rush for first and 0.5 ahead of the Roughnecks. Philadelphia now moves into a second-place tie in the East Division with Georgia, after New England secured a win earlier in the day to move into first.

A game of streaks highlighted the night, Colorado found themselves down very early in the game, got momentum and a commanding lead, and the final buzzer rang before Philadelphia could get a tie or lead back.

The night’s game started off quick with a goal from Wings forward Matt Rambo, continuing his hot streak, scoring in the first 27 seconds of the game. Kevin Crowley followed up Rambo’s goal with a second consecutive goal in as many possessions, putting the Wings up 2-0 within the first minute of the game. Colorado pulled back to within one when on their first full possession and shot when Ryan Lee bounced a shot past Wings goalie, Zach Higgins. Scott Carnegie was charged with a cross checking penalty and put the Mammoth a man down. Ryan Lee almost buried a shorthanded goal by diving across the crease but was denied by Higgins. Joey Cupido got out on a breakaway on the same man down but was denied again by Zach Higgins. Philadelphia was unable to capitalize on their first man up opportunity.

Working in transition again Mammoth defenseman and faceoff man Tim Edwards scored his second goal of the season in as many games to tie the game at two. Wings forward Brett Hickey received a pass from Kevin Crowley who was able to shield off two defenders for a clean shot for Hickey from near the restraining line and beat Ward low to give the Wings the lead again. At the end of the first, the score remained 3-2 in favor if the Wings. The Wings outshot the Mammoth 15-6 through one.

Kicking off the second, each goalie got into a better rhythm saving, easy shots to the chest. Alex Pace for Philadelphia was hit with a holding penalty to give the Mammoth their first man-up opportunity on the night. Late in the power play, Ryan Lee got his second goal of the night, it was assisted by Tyler Digby who recorded his first point as a member of the Mammoth on the goal. Kevin Buchanan scored his first on the night to again, give the Wings a one goal lead. Tyler Digby was double teamed and placed a skip pace to Chris Wardle who dived across the crease to beat Zach Higgins on a deflection and was waived off by officials but was challenged quickly by Mammoth GM and Head Coach, Pat Coyle. The called was upheld with Wardle’s hand touching the crease before the ball crossed the plane. Mammoth rookie Dylan Kinnear buried his eighth of the season after doing some physical work inside to tie the game up once again. John Lintz got a rare breakaway opportunity but was unable to beat Higgins and give the Mammoth the lead.

At the half, the score remained tied at four. Colorado caught up to Philadelphia with shots on goal, outshooting the Wings 15-7 in the second. Each team had a man up opportunity, but had four minutes of penalties each with Eli McLaughlin and Liam Patten each serving coinciding two minutes for roughing. Trevor Baptiste continued his dominance at the faceoff circle, winning eight of ten tries.

Philadelphia started the second half just like the first, with a quick goal to take the lead scored by Matt Rambo. Tyler Digby hypnotized the Loud House by getting his first goal as a member of the Mammoth to immediately tie the game. Jacob Ruest didn’t want to be left out and gave the Mammoth their first lead of the game at 6-5 on the following offensive possession with just under 13 minutes remaining in the third. Dylan Kinnear had an isolated possession against Trevor Baptiste, drove past him, dived across the crease and scored for his second goal of the night. Off the next faceoff, Baptiste was flagged for holding the stick to give the Mammoth their second power play opportunity. After a shot and offensive rebound, Chris Wardle was able to put a ball over Higgins right shoulder to give the Mammoth a three-goal lead. The game turned chippy after a pileup in the Mammoth crease and Mammoth goalie, Dillon Ward going down hard. The Mammoth faithful breathed a sigh of relief when he got back onto his feet and remained in the game. Momentum continued to swing in the Mammoth’s favor as Anthony Joaquim was charged with a holding penalty which led to Tyler Digby slipping inside and taking advantage of the man up opportunity and burying his second of the night. At the end of the third, the Mammoth shutout the Wings in the quarter and took a 9-5 lead. The Mammoth also continued from the second quarter in terms of shots on goal to lead 37-29 through three quarter of play.

“Flyin” Ryan Lee cut backdoor behind the Wings defense, dove across the crease and scored his third on the night to give the Mammoth a five-goal lead early in the fourth. Mammoth captain Dan Coates was flagged for holding the stick. Soon after, Scott Carnegie and a frustrated Brett Hickey were given matching roughing penalties and an additional unsportsmanlike penalty on Hickey to give the Mammoth an even four on four opportunity with Coates in the box. The Wings got their first goal of the second half with just over 12 minutes remaining in the game, when on that four on four play, Kevin Crowley sniped a ball over Ward’s shoulder. Ryan Lee added another diving goal, for his fourth of the night to give the Mammoth an 11-6 lead following Crowley’s goal. The Wings cut into the Mammoth lead with a goal by Kevin Buchanan, his second of the night to make it a still seemingly comfortable 11-7 lead for the Mammoth.

That comfort didn’t last for long. The last two minutes of the game were seemingly the longest two minutes ever in the Loud House. Kiel Matisz scored a goal with just over two minutes remaining to cut the Mammoth lead to three. Tensions were getting high as Josh Currier buried a dunk attempt to cut the Mammoth lead to just two with 1:48 remaining. To make matters worse for the Loud House, after a defensive stop, Cupido got the ball across the midline but was immediately quadruple teamed which led to a turnover and another late goal by Wings forward Brett Hickey to make it a one goal game with 30 seconds remaining. After a defensive stop, the Mammoth recovered the loose ball and called a timeout. After the timeout, Jacob Ruest started with the ball and was immediately double teamed, the ball came loose and Dan Coates scooped the ball into the net for what appeared to the game sealing goal. After further review, it was determined he stepped into the crease before the ball crossed the plain so it remained a one goal game with three seconds remaining. A full field shot was put on net but to no avail, with the Mammoth securing the victory. The Wings tallied three extra attacker goals, having pulled Higgins for their last three goals of the game but was unable to get the equalizer.

Colorado scored three times on the five power play opportunities while Philadelphia had the one opportunity that they couldn’t convert. Ryan Lee led the Mammoth in scoring with seven points (4g, 3a) followed up by Tyler Digby in his Mammoth debut with six points (2g, 4a) and Chris Wardle with five points (1g, 4a). Dillon Ward secured his 6,000 career minutes played and 4,000 career save on the night, finishing with 35 saves on 45 shots. For Philadelphia, Matt Rambo and Kevin Crowley set the pace with six points (2g, 4a) each, followed by Brett Hickey with five points (2g, 3a). Zach Higgins gets the loss but made 35 saves on 46 shots.

Three stars on the night were Ryan Lee at third, Dillon Ward second and Tyler Digby in his Mammoth debut going home with the number one star.

Both teams will be in action in Week 15. The Mammoth (6-6) return to the Loud House next weekend, March 8, for game three of their four game home stand versus the Rochester Knighthawks, who are at 2-8 but play the day prior to their matchup with the Mammoth in San Diego. The Wings (7-5) fly home for a key weekend doubleheader. First on Saturday, a matchup versus the New England Black Wolves and then head to Georgia for a game on Sunday. Every game for the 2019-20 season can be watched via Bleacher Report Live.

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