Mammoth Earn First Win in Overtime
by Ron Knabenbauer | nll.com
It took three games but Colorado finally came out on top.
Defenseman Tom Ethington scored the game winning goal at 3:42 into overtime to give the Colorado Mammoth the 15-14 victory on Friday night at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.
"They had a little bit of momentum going and they were hungry for this first win and they pushed," said Minnesota assistant coach Joe Sullivan. "They transitioned the ball a lot, which they hadn't done in their first two games."
Colorado forwards Brian Langtry, Jamie Shewchuk, and Cory Conway all scored three times while Ilija Gajic and Cliff Smith finished with two goals. Chad Culp also scored for the Mammoth but it was Ethington's goal in overtime that gave the Mammoth the victory.
Minnesota was led in scoring by Callum Crawford who finished with eight points, netting three goals and five assists. Other top performers for the Swarm included Aaron Wilson who finished with four goals and Andrew Watt who scored twice. Sean Pollock, Scott Self, Kevin Ross, Jay Thorimbert, and Zack Greer also found the back of the net for Minnesota.
Sullivan said that the team needs to have a bunch of people to contribute if the team wants to be successful.
"We're not a team that has a ton of fire power," Sullivan said. "There is no one single guy that you can look at and say 'hey, you have to shut this guy off.' If we don't score by committee, we're going to be in trouble. We need everybody."
After Colorado took a brief 2-1 lead ten minutes into the first quarter, Minnesota took back the lead, going on a 6-3 run over the next 12 minutes, and at one point, they scored three unanswered goals. Wilson had two goals and Crawford had a goal and two assists during the run.
However, Colorado would tie the game at 8-8 as they would score four goals in a 90 second time span late in the first half. Smith would get both of his goals during the run.
Ross did score with 18 seconds remaining in the half to give the Swarm the 9-8 lead going into the locker room.
Coming out of halftime, Colorado scored two early goals from Culp and Langtry to give the Mammoth back the lead.
The two teams swapped goals for the remainder of the half until Crawford broke the 13-13 tie for the Swarm with six minutes left in regulation.
Minnesota held onto the lead, but not long enough for the win as Langtry tied the game up once again with 1:46 to play.
Thorimbert said that Langtry's goal was because he switched hands that gave him space to fire the ball.
"The game plan was to play our basic feed with a lot of help," Thorimbert said. "He rolled to the net, switched hands on us and it's hard to defend when the guy can shoot both ways when he's on his own."
Both teams finished with two power play goals in the game, but it was Colorado who dominated the faceoff category, winning 24 of the 32 faceoffs.
Minnesota did outshoot Colorado 52-51 on the night.
The Mammoth's next game is tonight against the Philadelphia Wings at 7pm ET while the Swarm will have a week off until they head to Buffalo to take on the Bandits on Jan. 30 at 7:30pm ET.
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