John Grant, Jr. wrapped up an 11-point night with a goal on a penalty shot as the Colorado Mammoth downed the Minnesota Swarm 15-9. Grant scored 5 goals and added 6 assists in a masterful performance that put him right back on pace to break the single-season scoring record he set last year. Jamie Lincoln added a hat trick for Colorado and the Mammoth defence produced a strong effort in front of Matt Roik after getting blown apart by Calgary in last week’s 19-12 loss. Roik finished the game in the locker room after being ejected for illegal equipment, but he was solid between the pipes to earn the win.
The power play was a big difference in the game: each team had five chances but Colorado scored four times to Minnesota’s once. The Swarm actually outshot their opponents 5-44 but Roik turned aside over 80% of the shots he faced before having to give way to newly signed Dan Lewis.
Jordan MacIntosh was the only multiple goal scorer for Minnesota with a pair while Shayne Jackson added a goal and four assists for the Swarm. Their starting goalie, Evan Kirk, was pulled after Grant made it a 6-3 Mammoth lead just 25 seconds into the second quarter on Colorado’s 14th shot of the game.
Calgary took over first place in the West Division with their third straight win. The Roughnecks downed Edmonton 18-15 in a battle between the league’s top defensive teams from a year ago that transmogrified into a shootout. And that on a night when neither Shawn Evans nor Mark Matthews had big games. Evans entered the game as the league’s leading scorer and freshly minted player of the month; he couldn’t maintain the pace of over 6 points per game he’d established but Evans did contribute 2 goals and 2 assists. Matthews scored twice on 14 shots after leading all rookies in scoring heading into the weekend.
Both starting goalies—Mike Poulin for Calgary and Aaron Bold for Edmonton—got chased early but the scoring kept coming. Jeff Shattler led all scorers with 2 goals and 6 assists for the Roughnecks. Dane Dobbie and Geoff Snider added hat tricks for the Riggers. Ryan Ward was Edmonton’s top gun with 3 goals and 4 assists. Jeremy Thompson added a hat trick for Edmonton. Power play success was critical in this game, too. The Roughnecks scored on all three of their man advantages while the Rush cashed in on only 1 of 7 power plays.
Arguably the league’s most intense rivalry added another exciting chapter Saturday night as the Toronto Rock downed the Buffalo Bandits 14-12 in a battle for first place in the East Division. Colin Doyle was the man for the Rock, scoring 4 goals and adding 4 assists. Doyle came up big when Toronto needed him most. With Buffalo overcoming an early deficit to trail just 9-8 heading into the fourth quarter, Doyle scored two shorthanded goals and an even-strength marker in the final period to allow his club to hold on for the win.
Garrett Billings‘ 7-point night (2goals, 5 assists) vaulted him into the league’s scoring lead, although he’s played more games than most of the players just behind him. Stephan Leblanc scored twice and added 3 assists while Josh Sanderson had 1 goal and 5 assists.
Aaron Wilson and Mark Steenhuis each contributed hat tricks for the Bandits, who were missing captain John Tavares, out with a sore calf. Shawn Williams had another strong game for Buffalo and totalled a goal and 5 assists in the losing cause.
The defending champion Rochester Knighthawks finally got their first win of the season, edging Washington 7-6 in a defensive battle. Johnny Powless scored the winning goal 5:02 into the fourth quarter and Cody Jamieson had a pair of goals for Rochester. Mike Grimes and Lewis Ratcliff each scored twice for the Stealth.
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