Playing in front of 13,202 fans in the Loud House on Friday night, the Mammoth battled back from an 8-4 deficit in the third quarter to tie the visiting Rochester Knighthawks, 9-9, with a dive by 24-year-old forward Ryan Lee with 31 seconds left on the clock in the final frame.
In a sudden-death overtime, Rochester forward Kyle Jackson got the game-winner. The goal automatically went under review and came back inconclusive, meaning the goal stood and the Knighthawks won, 10-9.
"I think the most disappointing thing is that we didn't get a win for our fans, this being Fan Appreciation Night," said Mammoth head coach Pat Coyle. "I really appreciate our fans and how good they are; how lucky we are to be playing here; to be employed here; I really feel grateful for that. At least we made it exciting but it really would have been nice to get a "W" for our fans."
With a hat-trick, scoring one goal in the final three quarters, left-handed forward Chris Wardle topped the goals column for the Mammoth on Friday night. Lee led Colorado in overall points, posting two goals and adding three assists in the game.
Goaltender Dillon Ward had another good game despite a Mammoth loss, making 44 saves on 54 shots.
Mammoth leading scorer Eli McLaughlin had one assist in the first quarter, but left the game in the first half due to an upper body injury. The 24-year-old, who has 76 points (35 goals, 41 assists) on the season, did not return to the game.
"It doesn't look good," said Coyle. "I think it's upper body, and he's getting an MRI tonight.
"We really need to start looking at getting a couple goals from each guy. When Zack Greer left, Eli stepped up, so maybe, some of the guys on the left side will do that if Eli isn't here."
Though they didn't get the outcome they wanted on Friday night, the Mammoth could still clinch a postseason berth this weekend if the Vancouver Warriors lose to the Philadelphia Wings on Sunday, April 14.
Next week, the Mammoth travel to San Diego to take on the Seals at Pechanga Arena in their third and final match-up of the season. The Mammoth’s penultimate regular season game is slated for Friday, April 19, at 8:30 p.m. MT.