CALGARY - After persevering through a trying nine months as his wife battled breast cancer, Colorado Mammoth forward Sean Pollock is enjoying life again.
Saturday was an especially good night for the 30-year-old NLL veteran, who scored the winning goal 6:02 into overtime as Colorado, aided by six goals from John Grant Jr., staged a furious late rally to win 13-12 over the Calgary Roughnecks.
"We're happy for him, he had a tough year last year so it's nice to see him smiling after the game," said Mammoth coach Bob Hamley.
Jenna, who Pollock has been married to for four years, was diagnosed with breast cancer last April. Since then, her aggressive treatment schedule has included surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
"It's been a long summer and a long fall but now she's through everything and it's nice to get back into the normal routine of playing lacrosse and being with the guys," said Pollock.
The Roughnecks led 12-8 when Grant scored at 10:43 of the fourth quarter to begin the comeback. Jordan McBride and Gavin Prout drew Colorado within one before Adam Jones tied it at 13:40, neatly spinning away from Calgary defenceman Mike Carnegie and putting a shot past goaltender Mike Poulin.
"Our defence kept creating turnovers fairly quick on the shot clock so that gave us time to get back in it," Pollock said.
With the Scotiabank Saddledome crowd of 8,221 in stunned silence, Poulin got the crowd back on their feet making an incredible save at the buzzer, throwing his right arm up to deny Grant of what looked like the winning goal.
The teams exchanged chances in an wild overtime before Pollock got free at the side of the net and tucked a shot home. The goal came after Poulin had made another amazing stop, denying Jamie Lincoln at the side of the net.
"Man, he stood on his head," said Pollock of Poulin, his former junior teammate. "He made two great saves right at the end of regulation, he dove across on another one. If I would have shot right away, he would have stopped mine too so luckily I waited and put it over top of him."
Lincoln, with a pair, and John Gallant also scored for Colorado (1-1), who host a rematch with Calgary at the Pepsi Center next Friday.
"If you're not a fan of lacrosse yet, you missed a beauty," said Hamley. "That was two teams battling hard, what a great, entertaining game."
Shawn Evans scored four goals to lead the offence for Calgary (0-2). Geoff Snider and Jeff Shattler each added a pair, with Scott Ranger, Joe Resetarits, Curtis Dickson and Dane Dobbie scoring one each.
After losing twice at home to start the year, the Roughnecks enter a challenge part of their schedule in which they play six of their next seven on the road.
"We have to hold our heads high. Tough ending but we have to regroup for a couple of road games next weekend," said Evans.
An inability in the late going to get just one more goal is what sunk Calgary, according to Evans.
"We had two breakaways, Shattler had a couple opportunities, we had six or seven good opportunities to get another goal there and get the win so it was tough. We just have to regroup," Evans said.
Evans opened the scoring 1:57 into the game on the man advantage to give Calgary a lead it would not relinquish until the final two minutes of the game.
The Roughnecks held quarter leads of 4-2, 7-4 and 11-8.
Power plays were a big part of the game with Calgary scoring five times with the extra man, while Colorado added four goals on the man advantage.
Calgary rookie head coach Curt Malawsky was not pleased with his team's lack of discipline.
"We were taking penalties and I was taking minutes away," Malawsky said. "There are lessons being learned on the discipline side of things. I could easily say forget about it, and then it will culminate at the end of the season. Guys will take it to heart."
Notes: Dobbie made his season debut for Calgary. He missed the opener due to a one game suspension he received from an incident in last year's playoffs. ... Not dressed for Calgary was F Daryl Veltman (groin). ... Colorado D Chet Koneczny did not play as he served a one-game suspension he received for a match penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct against Washington last week. ... Colorado leads the all-time series 14-12. ... Calgary's only home game between now and March is Feb. 9 versus the Edmonton Rush.