Mammoth Storm Back for OT Win – 12/30/2023

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Justin Ivey, Co-Editor
Lacrosse is Awesome©

The Colorado Mammoth (1-2) hosted the Vancouver Warriors (1-3) at Ball Arena Saturday night in a game with two very distinct halves.  Behind a five goal first half from Kevin Crowley (5G) the Warriors chased Dillon Ward (3SV) from the Colorado net early in the contest and controlled every aspect of the turf to start the game.  Out of the halftime locker rooms though, the Mammoth turned the tables.  Connor Robinson (4G, 3A) scored three second half goals, including the winner in overtime, and the Colorado defense held Vancouver to zero goals as the six-goal halftime lead vanished.  Final Score:  Vancouver-11, Colorado-12.

Photo Credit: Di Miller

Crowley did not wait long to get his hot first half started.  Keegan Bal (1G, 4A) found him open in the middle of the offensive zone and he quickly buried the ball over the shoulder of Ward just 1:15 into the contest.  On the next Vancouver possession, James Rahe (1G, 2A) was open in the middle and caught a pass from Bal before burying a diving shot.  The Warriors’ momentum was palpable in the building.  Riley Loewen (1G, 1A) struck next, just over a minute later.  The third effort shot squeaked across the goal line as the shot clock expired.  Crowley made it four unanswered with his second of the quarter just 23 seconds later, and Adam Charalambides (3G, 4A) stretched the lead to five with 10:02 remaining.  The Crowley goal sent Ward to the bench in favor of Tyler Carlson (27SV).  Ward would return to the net and finally get some offensive support as Zed Williams scored the first Colorado goal of the night with 5:57 remaining.  The celebration was short lived, as Crowley netted his hat trick goal 35 seconds later and Ward returned to the bench for good.  Not planning on going down without a fight, Williams, and Jordan Gilles (1G) both scored unassisted goals to bring Colorado within three and two minutes remaining.  Crowley netted his fourth of the quarter before Robinson matched it with his first of the night and 15 seconds on the clock.  At the end of the first quarter, Vancouver led Colorado 7-4.

The second quarter started the same as the first, with a Crowley goal to get it going.  His fifth of the night came on the run just 3:26 in.  Tyson Gibson (2G, 1A) answered for Colorado just 15 seconds later, shaking free in front of the net.  The rest of the quarter belonged to Vancouver though.  Two powerplay goals from Charalambides sandwiched a Bal goal and the Warriors had a commanding halftime lead.  At the end of the first half, Vancouver led Colorado 11-5.

Photo Credit: Di Miller

No one can be sure what flips were switched at halftime, but the second half was a different story line.  Neither team could break through in the second half until Gibson cut to the net on the first possession after the under 10 TV timeout.  The goal ignited the crowd and home team.  Robinson scored his second of the night, bouncing the ball through Aaron Bold’s (40SV) legs from outside around a couple defenders just 49 seconds later.  On the very next possession, Eli McLaughlin (2G, 2A) jumped across the crease to score, and the Mammoth had strung together a three goal run.  After winning the ensuing faceoff, Robinson again scored on a bomb bouncer from outside.  The flurry chased Bold from the net for just a minute, and the goalie change seemed to calm the storm.  For the remainder of the quarter, neither team could find a way to the net.  At the end of the third quarter, Vancouver led Colorado 11-9.

The Mammoth transition team provided the next spark for Colorado.  10 seconds into the final quarter, Joey Cupido (1A) found Tim Edwards (1G, 1A) cutting to the net and suddenly Colorado was down just one goal.  In a surprise to everyone after the hot start, Vancouver just couldn’t get anything going on the offensive end.  The struggles were compounded when McLaughlin tied the game with 5:52 remaining.  The final minutes of regulation were filled with anxiety for both sides, but alas more time was needed to decide a winner.  At the end of the fourth quarter, Vancouver and Colorado were tied 11-11.

Both teams had multiple possessions come up empty to start the overtime.  2:42 in, Crowley flipped the rock to Bal on a cheeky screen action.  Bal dove into the crease and scored but after a tense, lengthy review, the goal was called back.  The next real chance was the dagger.  Williams found Robinson coming off the bench into the offensive zone, and the Mammoth attacker buried another long bounce shot to send the home fans out happy.  Final Score:  Vancouver-11, Colorado-12.

Up Next:

The Colorado Mammoth (1-2) visit the Buffalo Bandits (1-2) on Saturday, January 8 at 7:30 PM EST.

The Vancouver Warriors (1-3) have a bye week before hosting the Calgary Roughnecks (1-2) on Saturday, January 13 at 10:00 PM EST.