Denver – Pat Saunders scored with 40 seconds remaining to force overtime but it was not enough as the New England Black Wolves fell to the Colorado Mammoth 11-10 at the Pepsi Center.
Kevin Crowley led New England (0-2) with six points on three goals and three assists while Shawn Evans, Saunders and Kyle Buchanan each had two goals in the loss. Evans and Buchanan also chipped in three assists apiece.
Buchanan, Evans and Crowley each had two goals during a frantic second-half comeback as the Black Wolves – who surrendered six unanswered goals from the beginning of the second quarter until26 seconds into the second half – rallied from an 8-3 deficit. New England outshot Colorado 15-7 in the fourth quarter, and Saunders capped the comeback with his goal in the last minute of regulation.
In the overtime, however, Colorado goalie Dillon Ward made the last of his 36 saves on the first possession of the period, and the Mammoth countered with the winning goal when Eli McLauglin beat Evan Kirk 51 seconds into the overtime. It was his second goal of the night.
New England got the scoring started with a power play goal from Crowley 2:47 into play and took a 2-0 lead on a Saunders goal just over a minute later. Colorado (1-1) tied it up with two goals in 39 seconds but Jay Thorimbert picked up his first goal as a member of the Black Wolves with 1:12 left to give New England a 3-2 lead at the end of the first.
The second quarter was all Colorado as the Mammoth picked up five goals, four of which came in a span of two minutes and one second. Jeremy Noble got the run started at 3:45 into play and Eli McLaughlin and Christ Wardle also found the back of the net before Zack Greer scored 5:46 into the quarter. Callum Crawford wrapped up the Colorado scoring in the quarter on a power play goal with 2:23 left in the half to give the Mammoth a 7-3 advantage heading into the break.
Colorado scored again just 26 seconds into the third quarter, but Buchanan finally ended the run with his second goal of the season at 3:06 of the third. That made it 8-4 Mammoth. It was the first Black Wolves goal in a span of 19:18 dating back to the first quarter.
Buchanan picked up his second of the night six minutes later on the power play and then assisted on a goal by Evans 58 seconds later as the Black Wolves cut the Mammoth advantage to two at 8-6. Crawford picked up his third goal of the night a minute later to put Colorado back up by three, 9-6. That’s how the third quarter ended.
Evans got the scoring started in the fourth, picking up his second 2:51 into the frame. Crowley cut the Mammoth advantage just one with 10:12 remaining in play, but Crawford scored his fourth goal of the night 23 seconds later to put Colorado back up two.
Crowley scored his hat trick with 4:43 left in regulation with assists from both Evans and Buchanan before helping to set up Saunders’ game-tying goal himself. McLauglin scored his second of the night 51 seconds into overtime to give the Mammoth the victory.
Crawford led Colorado with eight points (four goals, four assists) and Noble added five on two goals and three assists. Evan Kirk had 41 saves in goal for New England.
The Black Wolves are back in action next Friday, January 20th at Georgia. Game time against the Swarm is set for 7:35 p.m.