A Mammoth sigh of relief

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:31 AM ET

If you want respect, you have to earn it. The Calgary Roughnecks did just that last night, beating the perennial league powerhouse Colorado Mammoth 18-16 at the Saddledome before 10,031 fans.

But not without a little intrigue at the end.

Forward Kaleb Toth, who paced the Roughnecks with four goals and two assists, said Calgary was determined to down their archrivals.

"It's only one game but we wanted to beat them here. We went out and did it," he said.

Despite the fact the Roughnecks are defending National Lacrosse League champions, the Mammoth are considered the favourites to win the Champion's Cup this year.

"Beating Colorado like that, it pretty much sends a message," Toth said.

Calgary (4-2) dominated most of last night's tilt, leading 17-11 after three quarters.

However, Colorado (2-3) rallied in the fourth quarter, scoring five straight goals before running out of time.

Colorado forward Dan Stroup blamed a slow start for the loss.

"We played with urgency there at the end," said Stroup, who notched a team-high four goals. "They came out with a lot of intensity and we didn't match them. We finally, at the end, started settling in but we came up short, so it doesn't really matter."

The victory over Colorado -- which beat Calgary 12-7 in the season opener Jan. 1 -- marked the first time the Roughnecks have beat the Mammoth on the Saddledome carpet. It also marked the surprise return of Taylor Wray, last year's co-defensive player of the year and rookie of the year, who had been out since December after breaking his ankle.

Roughnecks defender Andy Ogilvie injured his knee in the second quarter and he told Sportsnet his season is over.

Roughneck Lewis Ratcliff had three goals and five assists while teammates Andrew McBride, Jesse Phillips, Jason Wulder and Andrew Biers each scored a pair. Kyle Goundrey, Travis Gillespie and Tracey Kelusky rounded out the scoring for Calgary.

Kelusky tallied five points in the game, his fourth assist marking his 325th NLL point.

Mammoth star Gary Gait -- the NLL's all-time leading scorer, who was making his last scheduled appearance in Calgary -- was kept in check all night and managed only a single goal and two helpers.

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CALGARY ROUGHNECKS: 18

COLORADO MAMMOTH: 16


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