The streak is over. The Colorado Mammoth (6-10), behind 4 goals from John Grant Jr. and a standout performance by goalie Dillon Ward, ended the chances of a perfect season for the Edmonton Rush (14-1) with a 10-8 victory in Denver Friday night. The Mammoth started quickly, controlling the play and popping four shots behind Rush goalie Brodie MacDonald in the first quarter to lead 4-1. After Robert Church got one back for the Rush, Grant ripped home a pair of outside power play goals to extend the lead to 6-2.
The momentum swung Edmonton’s way through the second quarter and they capitalized on it with three straight goals to end the half and pull within one goal at the intermission, 6-5. Edmonton really took control of the play and created way more scoring chances than Colorado in the second half, but Ward was calm in the face of the storm. The Rush outshot Colorado by almost a 2-1 ratio in the final 30 minutes, forcing Ward to make save after save.
The Mammoth, meanwhile, were able to direct only 15 shots at Aaron Bold, who took over in the Rush net after halftime. They made the most of their chances, though, outscoring Edmonton 4-2 through the 10-minute mark of the fourth. At that point, Drew Westervelt took a spearing major that left the Mammoth shorthanded for the remainder of the game. Their defence and Ward held the fort, allowing just one power play goal to Cory Conway to maintain the lead and strengthen their hold on the third and final playoff spot in the West Division.
Grant added an assist to his 4 goals while Westervelt notched a goal and 5 assists to lead all scorers in the game. Adam Jones and Cam Holding each added 2 goals and an assist for Colorado. Mark Matthews led Rush scorers with a goal and 4 assists, while Conway and Zack Greer each scored twice with Conway adding a pair of assists. Ward stopped 42 of the 50 shots he faced for an .840 save percentage and first star honours.
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