April 2, 2011

Make It Two in a Row at Home

from press release

DENVER – The Colorado Mammoth picked up a crucial home win over the Edmonton Rush, 7-6, in front of 15,027 fans on HealthONE Field at Pepsi Center on Saturday night for the Mammoth's second straight home victory. Colorado avenged a road loss Friday night to Edmonton to tighten an already close playoff race with the Rush. Top performers for the Mammoth included forward Joel Dalgarno, who scored two goals, and forward John Grant Jr., who tallied two goals and two assists. The star of the night, though, was Mammoth goalie Chris Levis who finished with 34 saves, many of which came in dramatic fashion.

Multiple penalties and staunch, physical defense from both teams led to a low-scoring first quarter. The lone goal of the frame was scored by the Rush as forward Corey Small beat his defender in transition to put his team up with 3:36 remaining in the quarter.

Despite being another low-scoring quarter, the second was not short on excitement with hard hits, strong goaltending from both teams, and a knock-down fight won by Mammoth forward Gavin Prout against his former Rush teammate Jimmy Quinlan. Colorado got on the board thanks to an assist by Levis, who cleared the ball the length of the field to a streaking Nick Carlson who buried his shot in the top-right corner of the net at the 2:16 mark. The Mammoth followed with another goal, this time by forward Joel Dalgarno, on a low rocket from the outside 4:30 later. Edmonton managed to score as transition player Scott Stewart slipped past the Mammoth defense for a goal. Colorado quickly answered as Dalgarno beat his man on the side of the goal, then dove across the crease beating Rush goalie Matt Disher for his second of the night just 31 seconds after the Edmonton score. The Mammoth took a 3-2 lead into halftime.

The third quarter showed more of the same hard-nosed defense from both teams with each scoring only one goal. Edmonton scored first as defenseman Brett Mydske netted a short-handed goal. Mammoth forward Alex Gajic responded by scoring just over a minute later by collecting the rebound off his brother, Ilija's, shot, then tucking the ball past Disher.

The fourth-quarter scoring got started early as Mammoth forward John Grant Jr. bounced a power-play goal home to push Colorado's lead to two just 1:07 in. Colorado's defense held strong for another six minutes until Rush forward Ryan Ward beat Levis to bring Edmonton back within one. Grant answered with his second on the night by rocking his defender back, then ripping a shot into the net at the 10:00 mark to regain the two-goal lead. Colorado and Edmonton traded late goals with the Mammoth maintaining the two-goal advantage. The Rush mustered an extra-attacker goal with 42 seconds remaining to bring Edmonton to within one, but a strong defensive stand by Colorado secured the win.

The Mammoth hits the road for back-to-back games in Alberta next weekend, facing the Calgary Roughnecks on Friday, April 8. The following night, the Mammoth plays the Rush in Edmonton for the teams' third meeting in just nine days.

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