Colorado drew a Mammoth of a crowd, 15,951 fans, to Pepsi Center on Saturday night for their annual Colorado game. To celebrate the Centennial State, the Mammoth debuted their new Colorado-themed jerseys and brought in local band, Raising Cain, to serenade raucous fans to the sounds of Colorado.
The Mammoth dropped Saturday’s decision to the San Diego Seals, visiting for the second time this season, 13-10.
By 12:08 in the third quarter, Mammoth were down 10-5, but then they surged. A three-goal run featuring Eli McLaughlin, Ryan Lee and Jeff Wittig brought Colorado within two tallies, 10-8, early in the fourth quarter. Though Colorado’s uptick in energy remained through the end of the game, the Mammoth could not complete their comeback, as back-and-forth action favored the Seals.
Mammoth head coach Pat Coyle noted that had his team started the game with as much pride and energy as they showed at the finish, Saturday night would have been a different story.
San Diego star-rookie Austin Staats opened the game with a goal at 3:03 in the first quarter. Cory Vitarelli, acquired from Rochester by the Mammoth on Wednesday, March 6, put the Mammoth on the board soon after, at 4:34, netting his first goal for Colorado.
Eli McLaughlin led Mammoth with six points, ending the night with a hat trick and three helpers. This was McLaughlin’s sixth game this season in which he posted five points or more.
Following his fellow lefty closely, rookie forward Jeff Wittig posted four points in his first career game with two goals and two assists.
As the Mammoth’s defense struggled, goalie Dillon Ward made 21 saves on 31 shots in just over 42 minutes before he was relieved by Steve Fryer who played the remaining 17:51, saving 7 of 9 shots.
The Mammoth travel next week to take on the Calgary Roughnecks on Saturday, Mar. 16. Fans can watch a live-stream of the game on Bleacher Report Live.