January 20, 2013 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Colorado Mammoth
DENVER - It took the Colorado Mammoth more than 126 minutes to have a lead in a game in the young 2013 season. After an Opening Night loss to the Washington Stealth in which Colorado never led, the Mammoth played catch-up all night against the arch-rival Roughnecks in Calgary. That is, until Colorado forward Sean Pollock's game-winner 6:02 into overtime gave the Mammoth a 13-12 win.
Colorado trailed 4-2 after one quarter, 7-4 at halftime, and 11-8 after three. Jeff Shattler's power-play goal 2:24 into the fourth gave Calgary a 12-8 lead. Neither team would score for the next eight minutes until Colorado forward John Grant Jr.'s sock trick (sixth goal of the game) cut Calgary's lead to three with just 4:17 left in regulation.
One minute later, Jordan McBride's tally made it 12-10. Fifty-six seconds after that, captain Gavin Prout got the Mammoth to within one. Fifty-five seconds later, the game was tied on a goal by 2012 NLL Rookie of the Year Adam Jones.
Pollock, who had three assists in regulation, caught a pass on the crease six minutes into overtime. He faked low, got the goaltender Mike Poulin to bite, and then tucked a shot over Poulin's left shoulder for the game-winner.
"A number of guys could have scored that goal," said Pollock. "Luckily, I found myself open on the crease and outwaited [Poulin] and put it in."
After the game, Grant wasn't talking about his six-goal, two-assist performance...or the fact that he nearly won the game himself, hitting the post in overtime. The league's reigning MVP was just impressed by the comeback.
"The most important thing about this game is how much heart we showed. That's very tough to do, to battle back against an excellent team...Hopefully we can build upon this down the road."
Last January, the Mammoth rallied back in Calgary from deficits after each of the first three quarters before tying the game up late to force overtime. Colorado won, 13-12. On Saturday night, it was a bit of déjÃ vu. Trailing after each quarter. A late goal to force overtime. A game-winner for the Mammoth.
"It can be like that at times," said Pollock. "This is one of the hardest barns to win in. Anytime you can get a win here it's great for your team."
The rivals meet again in a rematch this Friday, January 25 at 7pm MST on HealthONE Field at Pepsi Center in Denver.
"They're going to be very unhappy over there," said Mammoth head coach Bob Hamley, referring to the Roughnecks locker room. "We've got a lot of things still to work out. Let's not kid ourselves. We got the "W' but we've got some things to work out."
Prout finished with one goal and six assists. Colorado forward Jamie Lincoln had two goals, and defenseman John Gallant also scored.
Colorado goaltender Matt Roik, who replaced Chris Levis in the second quarter and played for much of the remainder of the contest, won his first game as a member of the Mammoth.
Tickets to Friday's game start at just $10 and are on sale now at the Pepsi Center box office, all Colorado Dick's Sporting Goods retail kiosks, online at TicketHorse.com, or by calling 303.53.HORSE.