Warriors 15, Mammoth 18: Vancouver loses momentum from early lead against Colorado

The Warriors, who were leading 7-0 before the game was five minutes old, struggled afterward, dropping an 18-15 decision to the Colorado Mammoth in front of an announced crowd of 4,830 people at the Rogers Arena.

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The Vancouver Warriors jumped out to an early lead on Friday, then fell flat.

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The Warriors, who were leading 7-0 before the game was five minutes old, struggled afterward, dropping an 18-15 decision to the Colorado Mammoth in front of an announced crowd of 4,830 people at the Rogers Arena.

Vancouver (2-2) had conceded 25 goals in the first three games.

“We can’t let that happen,” Warriors coach Chris Gill said of being on the wrong side of a massive comeback. “Championship teams don’t let that happen.

“There are no excuses. I can’t say it was this or that. It was us. It was a team effort at 7-0 and a team effort at 9-2 and it was an absolutely ugly team effort at 18-15.”

Ryan Lee, who finished with two goals and 10 assists for the Mammoth (3-1), shot past Vancouver netless Steve Fryer with 2:45 to go in the third quarter to give Colorado a 14-13 lead and they controlled the game from there.

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Vancouver received two goals and seven assists from Mitch Jones and four goals and three assists from Kyle Killen, who played two seasons with Colorado before being traded to the Warriors last summer. Logan Schuss and Riley Loewen provided two goals and one assist for the home team.

Vancouver Warriors vs.  Colorado Mammoth December 7, 2022 at Rogers Arena
Vancouver Warriors vs. Colorado Mammoth December 7, 2022 at Rogers Arena Photo by Jordan Leigh Photography /PNG

Connor Robinson had four goals and four assists for Colorado, while Eli McLaughlin came in with three goals and four assists.

Tyler Carlson, who replaced Colorado starter Dillon Ward in the first quarter, made 37 saves in the Mammoth net. Alex Buque made 21 saves in the Vancouver cage before giving way to Fryer in the third quarter. Fryer made 13 saves.

Both teams were missing players from the COVID-19 protocol lists. The Warriors were without striker Keegan Bal, who was their top scorer to start the evening. Defenders Owen Barker and Justin Salt were also absent from the Vancouver side. The Mammoth were without striker Zed Williams.

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Colorado defeated Vancouver 8-3 in the second quarter to narrow the Warriors’ lead to 12-10 at halftime. Vancouver’s defense, which had been solid for the first three games of the season, gave Colorado far too many open looks.

Lee had five assists for the Mammoth halfway through the break. Chris Wardle had one goal and four assists.

Jones led the Warriors with one goal and five assists.

The Warriors led 7-0 after the first 4:35, driving Ward out of the game. After the first quarter, they led 9-2, with three goals and two assists from Killen’s stick. That’s more goals than they had in their Week 1 game (an 8-7 road win over the San Diego Seals) and the same number they scored in Week 3 (a 10-9 home loss to the Saskatchewan Rush).

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NEXT GAME

Saturday January 22

Vancouver Warriors vs Calgary Roughnecks

6.30 pm, Scotiabank Saddledome , TV: TSN


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