This game started much slower than last night’s game, without a single goal scored until nearly the four-minute mark. After the scoring was finally opened, the Mammoth put their foot on the accelerator, and ran out to a 5-1 lead. They were scoring at will, and the night looked doomed for Swarm goaltender Nick Patterson.
After the fifth Mammoth goal, something awoke in the Swarm and they came storming back. By the end of the half, they had tied the game at six, with goals from five different scorers. The Mammoth looked lost, and frustrated. That frustration led to a scrum, the benches cleared, and a fight broke out.
When the smoke cleared, the Swarm’s Travis Hill had been ejected from the game, and three players from each side took 10-minute misconduct penalties. The trade-off worked pretty well fro the Swarm as two Mammoth starters were among those in the box, one for the full 15 minutes of the third quarter.
After the half, Nick Patterson was phenomenal. The goaltending clinic he was enough to make the Mammoth think they would never score again. In fact, he shut them down for the entire third quarter, and the Swarm killed two 5-on-3 penalty kills. It is was clear enough why Patterson will be the starting goalie in the upcoming NLL All-Star game, the 48 saves tonight should give you an idea.
I am told the Mammoth have not won a home game since 2009, and the reasons were painfully obvious watching this game. The players were clearly frustrated, and their body language showed a defeated squad.
However, after the Swarm added two goals to start the fourth, the Mammoth finally decided enough was enough. They came back hard and fast with three unanswered, and seemed to have Patterson in their sights. The Swarm would come right back and add two of their own including a fifth, yes fifth, from Ryan Benesch.
The Mammoth would pull within two, and pull their goalie for the extra attacker, but it just was not to be. The Swarm end a three-game skid, and extend the Mammoth losing streak to six.
The Swarm head back from Colorado with a 4-4 record, and looking at a long month of March without a home game until March 27th. How they fare on this long road trip will go a long way toward determining what this team has going into the playoff run.