Sean Pollock made the dawn of the Stroup/Gill/Coyle era a successful one in Denver. Pollock took a pass from Joel Dalgarno and bounced home a simple hard overhand bomb to give the Colorado Mammoth a 10-9 overtime win over the Calgary Roughnecks in the first game under new coaches Dan Stroup, Chris Gill and Pat Coyle. There was plenty of drama to go around. Pollock was playing for his wife, a survivor of breast cancer, on Lacrosse Out Cancer night in the Mile High City. His winner saved the Mammoth from an almost collapse after a tremendous comeback.
Calgary dominated early and took a 5-0 lead 34 seconds into the second quarter. Then Dillon Ward shut the door in the Colorado net, not allowing a goal for over 39 minutes while the Mammoth methodically cut into the lead and then established one of their own. The run reached its apex when Pollock and John Grant Jr. connected 14 seconds apart to make the score 9-5 for Colorado at the 9:21 mark of the fourth quarter.
But then the Roughnecks got it rolling, starting with a goal by Jeff Shattler just eight seconds after Grant’s marker and another just 38 seconds after that. Then, in the final 1:06, Shawn Evans set up a pair of goals to force overtime. The first came on a pass from behind the net to Curtis Dickson, who caught the ball on the crease and tucked in a cross-handed shot over Ward’s shoulder. The tying goal came on a hard diagonal pass that Daryl Veltman quick-sticked through the five hole as Ward came across his crease.
Pollock’s winner gave him a hat trick while Grant had 5 assists to go with his lone goal. Casey Powell and Drew Westervelt had 2 goals and 2 assists each for Colorado. Shattler had 4 goals and Evans 6 assists to lead the Roughnecks, who fell to 6-4. The Mammoth improved to 5-7 and added a game to their lead over Vancouver for the third and final playoff spot in the West Division.
The Stealth are 3-8 after losing 10-9 to the Edmonton Rush, who ran their record to a perfect 9-0, the best start to a season in National Lacrosse League history. Rookie Robert Church led the Rush with 3 goals and an assist. A defender from each team got into the offensive act with a pair of goals, Chris Corbeil for Edmonton and Mike Grimes for Vancouver.
In the East Division, Buffalo scored the only 4 goals of the fourth quarter to down the Minnesota Swarm 12-9 and remain atop the division standings at 7-2 mid-way through the season. Mark Steenhuis had 4 goals and 2 assists and Dhane Smith 3 goals and 2 helpers to lead the Bandits. Josh Gillam had a hat trick and an assist for Minnesota; Logan Schuss and Kiel Matisz each added 2 goals and 2 assists.
Rochester stayed a half game back of Buffalo as the Knighthawks downed the Philadelphia Wings behind Cody Jamieson’s 4-goal, 1-assist performance. Stephen Keogh (2g, 4a) and Dan Dawson (1g, 5a) each had 6-point nights for Rochester. Jordan Hall was the top scorer for Philadelphia with 3 goals and 2 assists.
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