Colorado’s second-half rally knocks off Rochester to win third-straight

Rochester Knighthawks at Colorado Mammoth 03.08.20 Jack Dempsey, Colorado Mammoth Kyle Cooper 03/08/2020 National Lacrosse League

The Colorado Mammoth outscored the Rochester Knighthawks 7-1 in the second half to come away with a 10-8 win at Pepsi Center Sunday. Improving to 7-6 it’s the third-straight win for the Mammoth.

It wasn’t a smooth start for Colorado. Rochester immediately went to work on Mammoth starting goalie Dillon Ward and the offense from New York was very effective early. Ward allowed the first goal of the game on Rochester’s first shot of the game and Ward’s adjustments to Rochester didn’t prove effective, allowing five goals on 13 shots and eventually was pulled after only 10-minutes of play in favor of Tyler Carlson.

The Rochester offensive success put the Knighthawks ahead early ripping off six unanswered goals. The Nighthawks led 7-1 at one point in the second quarter.

Along with goaltending woes, the Mammoth offense proved ineffective for a majority of the first half, however, a spark finally lit the Mammoth offense when Chris Wardle beat Steve Fryer off a Rochester turnover for his 17th goal of the season.

It was the first of back-to-back goals for the Mammoth as Tyler Digby found the back of the net and the Mammoth went to halftime trailing 7-3.

But the second half was a new game as adjustments made by Colorado and head coach Pat Coyle proved effective. Just 22 seconds into the third-quarter, Digby scored his second goal of the game. From there, Mammoth leading scorer Ryan Lee went to work and took over the game.

Lee scored back-to-back goals in a span of 34-seconds, including a strong-effort diving goal worthy of Sportscenter.

Lee scored three goals in the quarter overall as the Mammoth made up the 7-3 deficit from halftime. Colorado scored the final six goals of the night and nine out of the last ten.

Tyler Digby chipped in two goals and Chris Wardle finished with a six-point night, including two goals. Wardle’s second goal of the night was his 75th career goal.

Colorado went after former goaltender Steve Fryer aggressively in the second half and eventually found more time in Rochester’s zone, hammering at Fryer. Fryer made 34 saves on 44 shots, allowing all 10 goals.

His opposing netminder Tyler Carlson, however, was a complete wall in relief of Ward facing 41 shots and only allowing 3 goals, making 35 saves. Rochester had several opportunities and open looks to get back into the game late in the fourth quarter, but Carlson’s play kept the Mammoth ahead for good.

Game MVP

Mammoth goaltender Tyler Carlson shut down Rochester after Ward was pulled and was named the No. 1 star of the game. Mammoth forward Chris Wardle was the second star of the game.

Colorado returns to the Loud House on March 20th against the Calgary Roughnecks. The meeting will feature the Mammoth’s signature “Lacrosse Out Cancer” night. Players will wear custom jerseys featuring names of individuals that they’re close to who have been affected by cancer.

Featured image credit: Jack Dempsey, Colorado Mammoth

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