May 1, 2014

Mammoth GK Ward's Equipment Stolen on Eve of Playoffs

by Sean Burns | | Twitter

Colorado rookie goalkeeper Dillon Ward had his equipment stolen from outside his home on Thursday, complicating his status for Saturday's playoff opener against Calgary. (Jack Dempsey / Colorado Mammoth)

With the team on a flight Friday morning for Calgary, Colorado Mammoth goalkeeper Dillon Ward was the victim of a unique theft, as his equipment was stolen on Thursday afternoon from outside of his residence, the team announced late Thursday evening.

"I've been in the league for 20 years and this is a first," said Mammoth president & general manager Steve Govett. "I don't know who, in their right mind, would want smelly lacrosse goalie gear. Now we're up against a real deadline to try to find a solution and to give Dillon a chance to make his postseason debut."

While replacing the gear won't be an issue, wearing fresh equipment for the first time in a one-game playoff is something that no player would commonly want to do, particularly with the amount of gear that goalkeepers wear in National Lacrosse League play. 

Dillon finished the regular season fourth in the league with 592 saves and fifth with seven wins, stopping nearly 78% of the shots he saw as a rookie. His team earned the third seed in the playoffs and takes on No. 2 seed Calgary on Saturday evening in the first round of the playoffs. In three games against Calgary, the Mammoth have won twice this year, with Ward posting solid outings in all three games. In the first matchup, Ward gave up four goals and made 26 saves but earned the loss. In the next two contests, Ward earned the win and made 35 saves in each.

'They beat us two out of three and their goaltender is playing really well,'' says Roughnecks coach Curt Malawsky when asked about the weekend's playoff opener. ''We're going to have our work cut out for us but . . . we're very confident in the group we have.''

Colorado is seeking its first playoff win since capturing the Champions Cup in 2006.

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