Riggers’ Comeback Blocked By Mammoth

Story by Tom Frank
Photos by Marcelo Saguez

Scotiabank Saddledome – Colorado goalie Chris Levis, a former Roughneck, turned aside 54 of 61 shots to help the Mammoth defeat Calgary for their first win of the season.

The Roughnecks were down 4-0 as the first quarter was ending, until Dane Dobbie got the hosts on the board with 1.6 seconds remaining. John Grant and Cliff Smith made it 6-1 for the visitors before Geoff Snider connected with Chris Dickson off the draw to make it 6-2. The Riggers amped up the intensity, to the delight of the 9,346 fans and scored the next two. Each team scored one more apiece to finish the half with the Mammoth up 7-5.

Before the quarter ended, Colorado’s Jason Jones was ejected for spearing Calgary captain, Andrew McBride. Unfortunately, the Roughnecks were unable to take advantage of the 5 minute power play which carried over into the second half.

Scott Ranger, the NLL’s offensive player of the week, brought Calgary to within one, scoring short-handed about midway through the third. Two goals were called back in the final few minutes of the quarter. A goal by Grant was challenged by the Roughnecks and called back for being in the crease. Jeff Shattler looked to have tied the game for the Riggers with a minute remaining, but the Mammoth had the play reviewed and he too was called for crease play.

Five minutes into the fourth quarter, Snider finally tied the game up at 7, by intercepting a pass in the D-zone and potting his second of the night. Dane Dobbie made a great individual effort down the side to score what would have been the go ahead marker for Calgary. Colorado used a second challenge, and again the Roughnecks were called for being in the crease.

The Mammoth gained possession of the ball with 18.4 seconds remaining in the game and called a time out. Smith, starting with the ball in his crease, slowly walked into the offensive zone, found the opportunity to shoot and scored the game winner with 2.5 seconds left on the clock.

Despite the lack of scoring in the second half, it was an exciting game. The teams had several opportunities to score, but both goalies stood their ground and the defence applied good pressure.

Calgary hosts the Washington Stealth, Saturday, January 22. Colorado entertains the Philadelphia Wings, next Saturday as well.

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