Mammoth heartbreak

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:53 AM ET

The finality of it was tough for Tracey Kelusky to accept.

After an up-and-down season with plenty of highs and lows, the Calgary Roughnecks lost 18-17 in overtime to the Colorado Mammoth in a National Lacrosse League semifinal tilt at the Pepsi Center in Denver last night.

"I'm speechless right now," said the Riggers captain. "We didn't get the job done. But, there's an unbelievable amount of character in our dressing room. We went hard. I don't know if the better team won that game."

It was a true barn burner in the Mile High City, with defence and goaltending at a premium while both clubs put on an offensive clinic.

After losing two straight games to the Mammoth to end the regular season and being outscored 28-15, the Roughnecks' attack answered the bell last night.

Even more impressive was the team's powerplay, which scored seven times on six chances, including two five-minute majors given to Colorado.

Kevin Dostie had a career game scoring five goals and nine points for the Roughnecks, including the game-tying tally with 55 seconds left to play.

Lewis Ratcliff also had nine points while Kelusky had four goals and four assists.

Mammoth captain Gavin Prout came within two points of the league record for one game, scoring five goals and 12 points. Prout had been suspended for leaving the bench during last Saturday's tilt but an arbitrator overturned it.

Kelusky spoke glowingly of his teammates after the loss.

"I'd never want to be in any other situation than with this group of guys," said Kelusky. "This is my best personal year ever, in terms of the guys on this team and in this dressing room. We just didn't get the job done. It was a big letdown."

Riggers head coach Chris Hall said nobody could fault his team's effort in the loss.

"Certainly our effort was there," said Hall. "Seventeen goals was good but giving up 18 wasn't so good. It was one of those games when nobody seemed able to stop anybody defensively. We had the effort, we just came out on the short end. It would have been a great stepping stone for us. It was right there for us. We had a couple of good chances in OT and couldn't cash. Somebody had to score. Unfortunately, it was them."

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COLORADO MAMMOTH: 18

CALGARY ROUGHNECKS: 17

OVERTIME


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