The Colorado Mammoth finished the regular season on a high note, defeating the Toronto Rock 19-15 at home on fan appreciation night Saturday. The win clinches the No. 2 overall seed for the Mammoth and the eliminates the Rock from the playoff contention.
The team celebrated their home fans, who have earned themselves and the Pepsi Center the nickname ‘The Loud House,’ with giveaways all throughout the game, including the team throwing shirts out to fans at the end of the game.
The Mammoth were looking to break a three-game losing streak and ship before beginning the playoffs.
The Mammoth, however, didn’t start the game electrified by the energy of their fans. In the first six minutes of the game, they allowed three goals before finally answering back with two of their own. But the Rock continued to pressure the Mammoth, putting up 16 shots on goal in the first quarter while the home team only managed to total six.
After once again falling behind by three in the second quarter, the Mammoth gained some momentum on a power-play goal by Jeremy Noble. In the span of the next minute-and-a-half, the Mammoth put two more past Rock goaltender Nick Rose, chasing him out of the game for the rest of the half.
Toronto managed to answer, but two goals in the closing minute of the half gave the Mammoth their first lead of the game, including a flying dunk shot past two defenders and the goaltender by defenseman Joey Cupido.
Toronto found its footing again in the third quarter, scoring five times to regain a 12-10 lead, but the Mammoth defense buckled down while the offense exploded, putting three more past Rose to close out the quarter up by two.
The momentum remained with the Mammoth through the fourth quarter as they extended their lead to four and scored three shorthanded goals, shutting down Toronto’s attempt at a comeback.
The game was also filled with Mammoth milestones. Forward Jacob Ruest had a seven point night, two goals and five assists, reaching 100 career points in just his second year in the league. Zack Greer had two assists, putting him above the 200 career assist mark. Cupido, Noble, Greer and McLaughlin all had hat tricks.
The Mammoth can now go into the playoffs on a high note. After losing three games in a row and four of the last five, an offensive explosion is just what the team needed as they prepare to move forward into the playoffs.
The win also clinched the No. 2 overall seed in the league for the playoffs, ensuring the Mammoth will have a home field advantage for the first game, the second round if the Saskatchewan Rush lose and the championship round.
Colorado will take on the Calgary Roughnecks in a winner-take-all first round on May 5. The Mammoth took the season series 2-1 over Calgary, including defeating the Roughnecks in the only regular season home game 8-7. If they win, they will go on to play a winner-take-all against the Rush.