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Stories/Op-Ed

Endangered Species: Mammoth Stampede Stealth, 20-9

The Colorado Mammoth (3-0) remained perfect on the season Saturday night as they disposed of the Vancouver Stealth (1-3) by a final of 20-9 in Denver, tying a franchise record for most goals scored in a game to remain the only undefeated team in the NLL.

Adam Jones led all runners on the night with a career high 10 points (4+6), with the team totaling 50 points (20+30) on offense. On defense, Dillon Ward highlighted Colorado’s evening in a 24 of 31 performance.

Aside from the opening five minutes, Mammoth coach Pat Coyle admitted tonight’s performance was one of the best by the squad in recent memory.

“Can’t really ask more than that from the fellas,” said Coyle. “I though our guys like [Dan] Coates, [Cam] Holding and [Creighton] Reid really like being leaders and setting the tone.”

Ward could not agree more, who gives all the credit to the men in front of him.

“I think it was our most complete game this year,” Ward added. “Our defense really bared down and limited their opportunities…credit to my defense in front of me, and the offense went off tonight. It was awesome to see.”

Colorado led in nearly every offensive category on the night, while keeping the likes of Tyler Digby and Rhys Duch frustrated on the defensive end.

Vancouver pulled out to an early two-goal advantage in the first quarter before Colorado responded, capped off by a last second score by Sean Pollock, tying the game at the end of the opening frame.

The Mammoth responded early in the second with back-to-back tallies by Drew Westervelt and Alex Turner, giving the home team a 5-4 lead. It would be the beginning of a six-score run by Colorado that extended late into the half 9-5.

Colorado roared out of the locker room going on a five-goal run before Vancouver tallied their first in over 15 minutes of game play. The Stealth would net two more scores in the fourth, but not enough to undo the damage set by an 11 goal second half by the Mammoth.

Tyler Richards was chased from the net in the third quarter, finishing the night with 24 saves on 38 shots. Eric Penney stood in relief of Richards recording 12 saves.

Alexis Buque made his NLL debut midway through the fourth quarter in relief of Ward, registering two saves.

It’s the third consecutive loss for Vancouver in a game that quickly turned into a nightmare both offensively and defensively.

“Very disappointing, we were bad in all parts of our game,” said Stealth head coach Dan Perreault. “We were in the game early, then the wheels started to come off. We let them on a six-goal run, a five-goal run and a three-goal run. We got to find ways to stop it and be better.”

It will have to be a quick turnaround, as the Stealth and Mammoth will meet again next week in Vancouver. After losses by New England and Toronto in Week 4, Colorado now remains as the last undefeated team in the league.

Three Stars of the Game as selected by the media:

1) Adam Jones
2) Dillon Ward
3) Drew Westervelt

Story by Nick Salen (@MammothBeat) for NLL.com. Photo by Michael Martin.

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