MAMMOTH UNABLE TO COMPLETE COMEBACK
After leading 4-3 at the end of the first quarter at Rexall Place, the Colorado Mammoth fell victim to an 8-1 Edmonton Rush run that was capped off by four goals in 1:46 by the home team early in the third quarter. But Colorado chipped away, cutting Edmonton’s lead to one twice in the final frame. The Mammoth had possession in the waning seconds but was unable to send the game to overtime as the Rush won, 12-11, to remain undefeated.
“Getting experience in those close games, especially against a team like Edmonton, is going to be huge in the long-run. We’re one or two bounces away from winning that game,” said forward Adam Jones, who led the Mammoth with five points (1g, 4a).
Special teams – and defense – got Colorado back in the contest. Three straight power-play goals in the third quarter cut Edmonton’s lead in half. But the Mammoth defense was the story, holding the Rush scoreless for more than 24 minutes from early in the third to late in the fourth.
“Even though we lost, I think that’s the best ‘D’ we’ve played all year,” said coach Pat Coyle. “The grittiest we’ve played… You could actually see that we were making it hard on Edmonton to play against us. It feels like we’re getting closer to where we want to be.”
Colorado goaltender Dillon Ward made 33 saves, including one on the doorstep with 30 seconds left in the game.
“He played unbelievable!” said Coyle of his rookie netminder. “What he’s doing every game is giving us a chance to win, which is all you really can ask for from your goalie.”
The winning goal, credited to Rush forward Curtis Knight 12:46 into the fourth, actually caromed off the post and slowly off the back of Ward. It trickled toward the goal line when Mammoth defenseman Creighton Reid thrust his stick toward the ball to try to prevent it from crossing. Ultimately, the head of Reid’s stick, coupled with Ward’s attempt to trap the ball, pushed it into the net.
“This [result] makes us a little more hungry to get a win at home!” said Jones. “We’re looking forward to Friday.”
The teams face off on HealthONE Field at Pepsi Center on ‘Fan Appreciation Night’ this Fri., Apr. 11 at 7pm MT. Tickets are on sale now.