OVERTIME UNKIND TO COLORADO
For all 60 minutes of regulation, the Colorado Mammoth never trailed the Vancouver Stealth on Friday night at Langley Events Centre. In a game that produced five ties, including four in the fourth quarter, the Stealth defeated the Mammoth, 14-13, on a goal from Lewis Ratcliff 2:18 into overtime.
“It’s a tough way to lose,” said Colorado’s Adam Jones, “but I think there are a lot of positives for us to take out of tonight.”
Earlier in the sudden-victory period, Jones, who entered the game leading the NLL in goals and points, buried a ball in the back of the net. Called no-goal on the floor, the official review upheld the call. It was awfully close.
“I think it was a goal,” said Jones. “There was a little hesitation from the ref, a good three seconds or so. I think if he would have called it a goal to begin with, then it would have been a goal. I don’t think the call was going to be reversed because it was too close.”
The Mammoth jumped out to a 3-0 lead, and owned a 7-5 halftime edge – its first time leading at the intermission this season. After Colorado failed to score on a five-minute major penalty, momentum appeared to shift in favor of the home team. But Sean Pollock’s goal 12:16 into the frame – his third of the game – reestablished the Mammoth’s two-goal advantage.
In the fourth, a five-minute roughing major by Dan Ball was compounded by a two-minute delay-of-game call against Jones. Vancouver capitalized on the man-up.
“There were a couple tough breaks down the end, and it was anybody’s game there,” said Pollock. “We’ve just got to find a way to close those games out.”
Pollock and Drew Westervelt each had three goals and four assists. Jones finished with six points (2g, 4a). Captain John Grant Jr. had the highlight of the year thus far in the NLL. Early in the fourth quarter, with his team down a man, Grant reenacted a goal he scored in 2012. The off-hand, one-handed, behind-the-back bounce-shot to the top-corner beat goaltender Tyler Richards to give Colorado an 11-10 lead. Grant finished with a hat trick and three assists.
Rhys Duch led Vancouver with eight points (2g, 6a). Richards took the win with 31 saves.
Rookie Dillon Ward suffered the loss despite making 39 saves between the pipes.
Colorado takes on the Buffalo Bandits tonight (Sat.) at 7pm MT on HealthONE Field at Pepsi Center on ‘Military Appreciation Night’. Tickets are on sale now.