The Boys in Burgundy took the turf tonight in front of over 13,000 Mammoth fans. In their 2017-18 home opener, The Loud House woke up to the Rooster’s crow. Forward Jacob “Rooster” Ruest scored for the Mammoth in the first ten minutes. Shayne Jackson responded for the Swarm. One goal was all goaltender Dillon Ward allowed, ending the first quarter with nine saves.
In the second quarter, #7 Benesch scored the Mammoth’s first goal, signaling fans to toss nearly 3,000 teddy bears onto the turf in the Mammoth’s inaugural Teddy Bear Toss benefiting A Precious Child. After the big toss, Mammoth rookie Ryan Lee scored, as did Jeremy Noble, winning the race to the net against his twin brother, #45 Jason Noble. Forward Zack Greer assisted Noble earning his 400th career point.
The Swarm ended the first half ahead 5-4, showing their championship colors. Jesse King, Randy Staats, and brothers Miles and Lyle Thompson scored for Georgia in the second quarter, ending the half with Georgia ahead 5-4.
At halftime, Mammoth Head Coach Pat Coyle emphasized fundamentals saying, “We need to take better care of the ball, and we need to get more shots on net.”
The Mammoth heard him. Defenseman Greg Downing tied the game 5-5. Alternate Captain, Zack Greer, scored his first goal of season, then Ryan Benesch scored his second goal. Georgia kept the lead at 8-7 in the third, though, with goals by Lyle Thompson, Kiel Matisz and Zed Williams.
In the fourth quarter, the Swarm’s Matisz and Jackson, scored their second goals of the night, but goals by Eli McLaughlin and Josh Sullivan, followed by a hat-trick goal for Benesch tied the game 10-10. Zack Greer and Jacob Ruest gained the Mammoth lead with their second goals of the game, then Alternate Captain, Joey Cupido, got in on the action widening the lead to 13-10. With less than a minute left, Jeremy Noble scored with an assist by 2017 NLL Goaltender of the Year Dillon Ward. Though Shayne Jackson ended the game with a hat-trick, the Mammoth tossed the defending NLL Champion’s Cup winners off the turf, ending their home opener 14-11.
The 3rd star went to #45 Dillon Ward who had 37 saves. The 2nd star went to #82 Joey “Lightning” Cupido, who made his 500th career loose ball, with ten loose balls total this game. The 1st star went to Mammoth newcomer and NLL offensive standout, #7 Ryan Benesch, who scored his first hat-trick for the Mammoth.
In the locker room, post-game, Joey Cupido said,
This was an awesome team win because everyone pulled their weight and did their job. This game showed the character we have in this room.