April 29, 2016- Denver, CO- The Colorado Mammoth ended the Vancouver Stealth’s playoff hopes with an 11-10 win at Pepsi Centre in Denver, Colorado on Friday night. The Mammoth came into the game with a 2-1 win advantage in the season series and took the last meeting on February 27 by the same 11-10 score. Tyler Richards played in net for the Stealth, while the Mammoth countered with Dillon Ward.
After seven minutes of scoreless action, Rhys Duch opened the scoring on the power play. Logan Schuss and Corey Small had the assists on Duch’s team leading 43rd goal of the year. After Mike Mallory tied the game 59 seconds later, Schuss scored his first of the night with a hard shot that beat Ward over the left shoulder. Duch and Garrett Billings were in on the assists. However, with two seconds left in the quarter, Jeremy Noble tied the game at 2-2 with a power play marker.
In the second quarter, Duch notched his second of the game on the man advantage just 56 seconds into the quarter. With the shot clock winding down, Duch fired a shot wide of the net, but bounced off the boards and found its way into the goal off Ward. Schuss and Tyler Richards earned the helpers. At the 6:07 mark, Corey Small made it a 4-2 game scoring his 33rd goal of the season on a rebound. Schuss and Duch had the assists. After John Grant scored to make it 4-3, Duch replied with a transition goal at 7:45. Justin Salt had the only helper on the Stealth’s fifth goal of the half. That would be the last marker Vancouver would get, as Colorado went on to score three unanswered goals from Dan Coates, Jeremy Noble, and Eli McLaughlin to take a 6-5 lead after 30 minutes. Vancouver had the shot lead 24-22, while Rhys Duch led all players in scoring with 3 goals and 2 assists.
To begin the second half, Corey Small tied the game with a power play goal at 4:02. After Richards stopped a shorthanded breakaway, Small took a pass in tight of Ward at the other end and beat him over the right side. Duch and Billings had the assists. The tie game did not last long, as Ilja Gajic stole a pass in the defensive zone and scored on a breakaway to give his team a 7-6 lead at the 4:45 mark. At 11:33, Duch notched his fourth of the game by driving hard to the net and beat Ward stick-side. Durston and Billings helped with the assists. Less than two minutes later, Corey Small capped off his hat-trick to give his team an 8-7 lead going into the final quarter. Billings and Duch had the assists.
35 seconds into the fourth, Duch scored his fifth of the night, and career-high 47th goal of the season, with a diving effort across the crease to make it 9-7. Schuss and Small had the assists. However, Colorado responded with four straight goals in a span of 2:15 from Grant Jr (twice), Jordan Gilles, and McLaughlin to take an 11-9 lead. With 1:29 remaining Corey Small buried his fourth goal of the game with the extra attacker to get Vancouver to within a goal, but that would be all they would get on the evening.
With the win, Colorado takes the season series 3-1 and knock the Stealth out of playoff contention. Rhys Duch led the game with a nine- point effort (5 goals, 4 assists), while Corey Small finished with 4 goals and 2 assists. Those two forwards combined for 9 of the teams 10 goals on the night.
The Stealth will end the regular season with another road game on Saturday, April 30 against the Georgia Swam at the Infinite Energy Arena at 4:05pm PST. The game can be seen live on Fox Sports GO & on TSN 1410 Radio Vancouver.
FINAL SCORE: Mammoth 11 – Stealth 10, SHOTS ON GOAL: Stealth 53 – Mammoth 49, LOOSE BALLS: Mammoth 73 – Stealth 62, FACE-OFFS: Stealth 12-24 – Mammoth 12-24, POWERPLAY: Stealth 3-4, Mammoth 4-7.