If there’s been a thorn in the side of the Colorado Mammoth the last two seasons, that thorn has been the Rush. On Friday night before a crowd of 8,624 at SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon, the defending champion Saskatchewan Rush (2-1) ended the Mammoth’s perfect start to the 2016 season as Colorado lost for the first time in five games, 12-10.
Colorado jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first quarter. Saskatchewan battled back to even the game at three, the first of seven ties in the contest. Seemingly every time the Mammoth scored, the Rush answered. Such was the case from five apiece all the way to 10-10.
Robert Church’s lone goal of the evening game the home-team its first lead of the game with less than five minutes remaining. Chris Corbeil’s short-handed score at 12:24 in the fourth sealed the deal for Saskatchewan.
“A few times we got out of our system, running around a little bit,” said defenseman Greg Downing.
That, coupled with a late-game-scoring-drought for the final 14-plus minutes, ultimately cost the Mammoth.
“We got a little stagnant, we got away from our game-plan,” said coach Dan Stroup of the offense in the final frame. “We didn’t move our feet, didn’t move the ball and we started getting a little individual.”
Colorado forward Adam Jones extended his NLL-best regular-season-goal-scoring-streak to 52 straight on a third-quarter tally. John Grant, Jr. had two goals and five assists to pass the 500-point mark in his Mammoth career. Rookie Jordan Gilles had two transition goals in the third quarter to increase his season-total to five, the most among NLL defensemen. Eli McLaughlin scored twice on the power-play in the opening frame. Jeremy Noble, Callum Crawford and Dan Coates each found twine. For Coates, it was his first of the season on his second shot.
Goaltender Dillon Ward stopped 38 of the 50 shots he faced. Saskatchewan’s Mark Matthews led all scorers with four goals and two assists.
Story by ColoradoMammoth.com. Photo by Josh Schaefer.