LANGLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA – Two games, two 1st Star of the Game honors. That’s the story for Colorado Mammoth forward Jeremy Noble (4g, 2a) who’s been named the top player in his first two career games in the National Lacrosse League. But in Saturday night’s 14-11 Mammoth win over the Vancouver Stealth at Langley Events Centre in British Columbia, it was Noble’s teammates who stole the show.
Defenseman Joey Cupido, who tied a career-high with three goals (which he previously set in January the last time Colorado played in Vancouver), continued his sensational season. And forward John Grant, Jr. moved into second in points on the NLL’s all-time list.
“It’s really not about the personal-high; it’s about getting the win,” said Cupido, who leads all NLL defensemen with 13 tallies. “I just try to do whatever I can to help us win and tonight it was score.”
Goaltender Dillon Ward was dominant for the second straight game, recording 39 saves including many of the highlight-reel variety.
“Dillon was great, and last game he was great!” said coach Pat Coyle. “What’s awesome about Dillon is he didn’t have his best game against Toronto (on March 6). You know that he’s going to come back. He takes that personally. He really shut the door the last two games. I think easily we could have lost those games if it wasn’t for Dillon.”
A week ago, Ward stopped 41 shots in Colorado’s 12-8 win over Minnesota. In that contest, Grant moved into fourth all-time in career assists. Fast-forward to Saturday as the captain ascended the points list.
“I don’t know why they keep giving me these balls – I’m not first in anything,” said a light-hearted Grant, who was given the milestone lacrosse balls this week and last. “Fourth in one thing (assists), second in another (points) … we won, that’s all I care about.”
Make it two straight for the second-place Mammoth, which opened a 1.5 game lead over the Stealth in the West Division.
Colorado forward Adam Jones, who tied a career-high with six assists against Vancouver on January 24, matched the total again on Saturday. He also added two goals.
Defenseman Cam Holding had two caused turnovers to give him 19 on the year, tying his career-best total from a season ago. His two assists (both on Cupido goals) set a new career-high with 17. When Cupido was asked after the game about Holding’s assist on his goal, the response was true to form.
“Which one?” Cupido asked, chuckling. “Cam’s been feeding me all year. It’s like we know what each other’s doing. As soon as I see or think he’s going to get it, I’m gone and he finds me every time. We have good chemistry right now and it’s really clicking.”
Trailing 3-2 early in the second quarter, Colorado went on a 7-1 run to open up a 9-4 advantage midway through the third. Vancouver responded, scoring six of the next seven to tie the game at 10 1:46 into the final frame. But the Mammoth answered back, netting four of the last five to seal the deal.
The teams meet again next Sunday, March 29 at 6pm MT at Pepsi Center on Gavin Prout Jersey Retirement Night. Tickets are on sale now.
Recap courtesy of Colorado Mammoth. For more Colorado Mammoth news visit ColoradoMammoth.com