San Diego — There is nothing in the rulebook for the National Lacrosse League that says you have to win pretty. It just says that you have to have more goals when the clock reaches 0.0 in the fourth quarter to get the elusive W.
“It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t a masterpiece but we’ll take it,” Head Coach and GM Pat Merrill said after the game.
The game was certainly a rough game as there was stick checks from the opening faceoff all the way to the final horn. There were an absurdly high 126 loose balls collected throughout the contest.
“Tonight had a playoff atmosphere. That is what we are going to be facing the rest of the way.” Merrill explained.
Wes Berg (29) and Austin Staats (21) both chipped in a pair of goals in the contest. While Dane Dobbie had a game-high five point night (1g/4a) giving him 24 and 26 respectively on the season.
Mac O’Keefe started the scoring a little under four minutes into the game with a nifty one-timer from Staats.
After Colorado tied the game up, Berg put his first goal of the night in the net. He got the ball from Dobbie and played a skip in shot to take a lead again. Newcomer Brett Hickey, whom the Seals just picked up this week in a trade with Philadelphia, got the ball at the top of the zone and netted his 16th goal of the season.
Staats got the second quarter rolling as “The Phenom” scored on the short side off a feed from “The Legend” Dobbie while on the power play (2-for-4 on the night to edge slightly closer to the 50-percent mark for the season).
Just about two and a half minutes later Colorado scored their lone power play goal, and 26 seconds later got to within one goal at 4-3.
Jeremy Noble fed Dobbie maybe a foot in front of the goal, and he made Colorado pay but giving the Seals a two-goal lead again.
The Mammoth got a turnover at the top of their zone and turned it into a 2-on-1 break that Frank Scigliano just couldn’t stop. One of the few times that he couldn’t. On the night, “The Tank” stopped 42 of the 49 shots Colorado aimed in his direction. On the season Scigliano leads the NLL in save percentage (.825) and Goals Against (7.79).
Noble would close out the first half with a shot that not only beat the buzzer (1.3 seconds left), but also beat the goalie on such an impossible angle that nearly everyone was like “What just happened?!?!?!”
Colorado got the scoring underway in the second half when Joey Cupido controlled a loose ball in the corner and tucked it into the net, before being nailed into the net himself.
Zack Greer did his own version of a slam dunk with about five and a half in the third to give San Diego a two-goal cushion (7-5) again.
The referees decided to start blowing their whistles at this point in the game. Over the final 21 minutes of the game, the referees called seven penalties (compared to three prior to that).
The Seals and Mammoth would score two goals each over the final 21 minutes of play, including the goal that put the game out of reach an empty netter with just 20 seconds remaining in the game.
After a two-stop roadie in Vancouver and Toronto, the Seals will return to the friendly confines of Pechanga Arena to take on Philadelphia on Friday, April 8 at 7 p.m.