The Colorado Mammoth fell 9-7 to perennial Western powerhouse, the Saskatchewan Rush, on the road Friday night. With the win, the Rush moved to first place in the West with a 5-4 record, while the Mammoth slid to 3-6.
In the most exciting game SaskTel Centre has seen all season, Rush goalie Evan Kirk was the MVP, making 37 saves on 44 shots. On the other side of the turf, Dillon Ward stood as a formidable wall for Colorado, saving 40 of 48 shots.
With “The Wall” at the helm, the Mammoth’s defensemen were able to do something that no other team has done this season in holding Saskatchewan under 10 goals in a game.
By the numbers, the best defensive performance of the night belonged to Tim Edwards. Recovering eight balls, Edwards led Colorado’s loose ball count, and, forcing four turnovers, he led the Mammoth in caused turnovers. The former Canisius faceoff specialist also won the night’s faceoff battle, coming up with 12 wins on 19 attempts.
In the low-scoring contest, 2018 NLL Cup MVP Jeff Shattler topped the goal column with a hat-trick for Saskatchewan. Rush Assistant Captain Mark Matthews led his team in points with two goals and three helpers.
The Mammoth saw scores from five different scorers including Ryan Benesch, who was back in the lineup after a neck-injury scare last week; former RIT teammates Ryan Lee and Kyle Killen; Jacob Ruest and Eli McLaughlin. With one goal and four assists, Benesch topped the points column for the Mammoth. With two goals each, former RIT teammates Ryan Lee and Kyle Killen tied for the most Mammoth goals on the night.
McLaughlin, with 21 goals this season, and Lee, with 12 goals this season, extended their scoring streaks to nine games this season. Killen’s scoring run, in which the rookie has racked up 11 goals, now spans through all six games he has played.
The Mammoth play one more road game against the New England Black Wolves next Sunday, Mar. 3, before returning home on Mar. 9 for their second and final regular-season game against the San Diego Seals.
Tickets for the Mammoth’s “Colorado Night” game on March 9 are now available at AltitudeTickets.com.