It really has to make you wonder what’s in store for the evening when two long battling rivals are playing but the opposing team shows up at least 5 minutes late to the game. That’s not me being facetious, the Calgary Roughnecks actually showed up late to the game. So late in fact that they were given a Delay of Game penalty. The Roughnecks were at the Pepsi Center, but for some reason they did not come back out of their dressing room until long after the Colorado Mammoth had been announced and after waiting several minutes the announcer had gone ahead and read the Roughnecks’ player names. He was midway through before the Roughnecks appeared.
The Mammoth got off to a quick start taking full advantage of a very unfocused Calgary team. Sean Pollock started off the scoring, taking it to the net on the opening drive for a power play goal to give the Colorado Mammoth their first lead of the season. Jamie Lincoln scores on a diving shot 3 minutes in to take the lead to 2-0. Mat MacLeod scores on a junk goal after Poulin initially blocks the shot but the ball falls between his feet and trickles backwards into the goal before Poulin can turn around to stop it. The Mammoth came out super aggressive scoring four goals, one shot that rung off the pipe and one that Poulin barely blocked with his foot. Unfortunately, that aggression didn’t last long. Granted, at least two of the Mammoth’s four goals were also a bit of fluke so can you really say a team is off to a great start when two of their four goals are junk? With about nine minutes left, the Roughnecks finally start to settle down and find their groove while the Mammoth lost theirs.
The Colorado Mammoth continue to struggle with rebounds, both offensive and defensive. The Roughnecks routinely were able to get several attempts on goal whereas the Mammoth would be lucky to get one let alone two. On the Roughnecks’ first goal, Calgary was on their third rebound when Shawn Evans was able to sneak around to the side of the crease, and undefended was able to score.
With about 6 minutes remaining in the first quarter things begin to get weird. And if someone has an explanation, I would love to hear it because no one I’ve spoken to so far has been able to give me one. Dan Coates is sent to the box with a holding minor. On the first play of the power play, the Roughnecks have a delayed penalty due to an illegal substitution. Shawn Evans scores Calgary’s second goal of the game while Coates is in the box which should have released the penalty, but it didn’t. On the next play, Eric Martin gets a cross checking minor and is sent in the box. Dane Dobbie scores on the power play. Coates still isn’t released, until his penalty ends. Evans scores another power play goal, but Martin is released. Scott Ranger scores on the power play. Martin isn’t released. Four goals in total are scored on two two-minute minors. Dobbie scores again with under a minute remaining quickly followed up Geoff Snider.
And that’s pretty much how the remainder of the game went. The Mammoth just couldn’t seem to get a break. They spent too much time in the penalty box and the Roughnecks would capitalize. The Mammoth would be on the power play, and yet Calgary would keep scoring. The Roughnecks scored four shorthanded goals. The Mammoth were also able to score on the power play, scoring 5 of their 6 second half goals on the power play. Mammoth passing was sloppy. Missed opportunities from dropped passes, bobbled cradling, and overshooting teammates were easy picking for Calgary. The Mammoth continue to struggle in net as well. Matt Roik will start off strong, but after a few mistakes seems to crumble. A great example of which is the first quarter. Roik was making solid saves but was caught out of net, tripping over Dobbie who had the wherewithal to send the ball back into play giving Evans an easy goal and sending Calgary on a six goal run in five minutes. Chris Levis finished off the last few seconds of the second quarter and started both the second and third quarters, but was replaced by Roik a few minutes in to the third. The Roughnecks picked the Mammoth apart and definitely showed who was the better team. When they last faced off, the Roughnecks made the mistake of letting the Mammoth get back into the game. They did not make that mistake again. Any opening, any mistake, the Roughnecks did not let off. The Mammoth need to take a step back and reevaluate before they play the Minnesota Swarm next week. Goal tending will probably remain an issue, but having unnecessary penalties from underperforming players certainly is not helping.
Calgary Roughnecks 19, Colorado Mammoth 12
1st Star – Shawn Evans, with 4 goals on 11 shots and 9 assists, Evans is the obvious choice.
2nd Star – Mike Poulin, with 38 saves on 50 shots, Poulin and the Roughneck Defense kept the Mammoth out of the game.
3rd Star – Jeff Shattler, with 3 goals (1 short-handed and 1 power play) and 5 assists, Shattler was a huge part of the Roughnecks aggressive offense.
Around the League:
Minnesota Swarm 12, Toronto Rock 13
Washington Stealth 12, Edmonton Rush 10
Toronto Rock 11, Rochester Knighthawks 7
Philadelphia Wings 13, Buffalo Bandits 14
Washington Stealth 14, Minnesota Swarm 15
Calgary Roughnecks 16, Philadelphia Wings 8