The Colorado Mammoth and Saskatchewan Rush were tied at two at the end of the first quarter in Game One of the West Division Finals at Pepsi Center on Saturday. The teams were tied at five at the half, and the Rush lead was just one through three. In the fourth quarter, the two-time defending champions exploded for nine goals to take the first game of the series, 18-9.
“We just got away from our systems (in the fourth),” said forward Jeremy Noble, who finished with four goals, two coming short-handed. “It’s a loss but we’ll be better next week. We have another game in front of us, and that’s what we’re looking forward to.”
Game Two is in Saskatchewan next Saturday at 7:30pm MDT. If Colorado picks up a road win, the teams will play a 10-minute Tie Breaker Game immediately following Game Two to determine who advances to the championship.
“Honestly, it doesn’t matter if we lost by one or by 10 – it’s just a loss,” said Mammoth head coach Pat Coyle. “They still have to win two to move on. We’re going to go to Saskatchewan and our goal is to win that game and then win the 10-minute game. It really doesn’t change anything…we’re in this to win it.”
The Rush took 28 more shots than the Mammoth, due in part to the team’s seven power-play opportunities.
Forward Eli McLaughlin added two goals and one assist for Colorado. Zack Greer, Jacob Ruest and Chris Wardle each scored once.