MAMMOTH A-WARD-ED A VICTORY OVER THE PREVIOUSLY UNBEATEN
The Edmonton Rush entered Pepsi Center on Friday night with an unblemished 14-0 record. The Colorado Mammoth was seeking a much-needed win as it controlled its playoff destiny. The 17,109 in attendance on Fan Appreciation Night were treated to a clinic by Dillon Ward, the Mammoth’s rookie goaltender, as he made 42 saves in the 10-8 victory.
“Dillon stood on his head!” said defenseman Creighton Reid, who scored his first goal of the season.
Especially in the second half. The 23-year-old stopped 26 of the 29 shots on goal he faced in the third and fourth quarters, and was named the player of the game. When asked about how a rookie could play like a veteran, Ward did what he’s been doing a lot of lately – he made it look easy.
“It’s just lacrosse; I’ve been playing for almost 20 years now.”
But not on this stage…in front of this many fans…with this much on the line. On a night when the goalie grabbed the headlines, others contributed as well.
“Tonight, it all came together,” said coach Dan Stroup. “The guys looked great and they worked hard. We’re pretty impressed with the way they played. I think we can build from here.”
Colorado finishes the regular season with road games at Minnesota and Philadelphia. For Ward, Pepsi Center has become a second home for him. And he cherishes it every time he steps on the floor.
“The fans are amazing here. There’s nothing like it anywhere else in the league. Their energy makes it so much easier to play.”
A Friday evening affair treated fans to a pregame concert by Aspen Hourglass and a postgame rockfest from Lola Black. On Fan Appreciation Night, the Mammoth left it to a rookie to steal the show.