On Saturday, fresh off a Friday win in Georgia, the Mammoth (7-3) returned home to win over the Buffalo Bandits (6-5) in another one-goal game.
On Colorado Pride Night in Pepsi Center, the Mammoth’s game opened with a question: Steven Fryer?
#39 Steven Fryer is a veteran in the NLL, having played off and on since 2011. Tonight, however, was Fryer’s first NLL start. A start in relief of Dillon Ward. A start against the East-division leaders. A start in front a season-high 16,062 fans.
Fryer said, “I always have to be prepared as a relief goalie, so I jumped at the opportunity to start tonight.”
In the first quarter, the Bandits outshot the Mammoth 16-10 SOG, and ended the quarter ahead 2-1, but Fryer saved 14 of 16 shots and The Loud House noticed. It took all of 15 minutes for Colorado fans to embrace Steven Fryer.
The Mammoth took off on a four-goal streak in the second quarter, barring Buffalo from the net for the full 15 minutes, taking a 5-2 lead.
In the third quarter, Jeremy Noble scored quickly for the Mammoth at 0:51, but two quick goals by the Bandits tightened the score, 6-4 Mammoth.
In the next 10 minutes, the Mammoth staved off goals during a 4v4 battle and extended their lead to 8-4 with goals by Ryan Benesch and Zack Greer.
By 11:20 in the fourth quarter, a three-goal Bandits streak put them within one point of the Mammoth, but Colorado showed their mettle and held their lead for an 8-7 win.
With a win over the Swarm and a win over the Bandits, the Mammoth’s mission of back-to-back victories this week is complete.
Head Coach Pat Coyle said, “It feels good to win back-to-back games. We knew as a group going in to it that we had our work cut out for us be we really try to focus on what our next task is. We’ll enjoy this tonight then get ready for next weekend.”
As Steven Fryer saved 45 of 52 shots, he received the first star of the game.
"At the end of the day, when our backs were against the wall, we answered the bell and that shows the character in our locker room”, Fryer said. “We could have used excuses galore, like we were tired from traveling, but the character of our locker room wouldn’t let that happen”
The Mammoth returns to Pepsi Center on Saturday, March 10 for a rematch against their Rocky Mountain rivals, the Calgary Roughnecks. Next Saturday’s game is also the Mammoth’s Military Appreciation Game presented by Caliber Collision and Budweiser. To find seats, visit AltitudeTickets.com.