December 21, 2009

NLL Preseason: Mammoth, Riggers, Blazers Win

from press releases

DENVER -- The Colorado Mammoth defeated the Minnesota Swarm 10-7 in NLL preseason action Friday night at Pepsi Center.  The game, in front of 7431 fans, was Colorado’s final preseason tune-up as the team closes in on the regular season opener on January 9.

Minnesota got out to a 3-0 lead early in the first period behind two Callum Crawford goals. Cory Conway got the Mammoth on the board with 3:08 left in the first followed by an Alex Gajic netter just 90 seconds later.  The quarter ended 3-2 with Minnesota in front.

Conway went on a scoring tear in the second frame with a hat trick in the period.  His fourth goal (third of the quarter) come on a highlight, behind-the-back shot that left the Swarm goalie, Kevin Croswell, frozen in his tracks.  Mammoth goalie, Curtis Palidwor held the Swarn without a goal in the second, and behind Conway’s heroics, Colorado took a 5-3 lead into the halftime locker room.

The back-and-forth battle saw the teams swapping goals throughout the third quarter.  Alex Gajic, Nick Carlson and Ilija Gajic ripped netters for the Mammoth while Sean Pollock and Zack Greer scored for the Swarm as the frame ended 8-5 with Colorado in the lead.

In the fourth quarter, Minnesota cut the lead to 8-6 at the 11:47 mark on Greer’s second score of the night.  Alex Gajic scored his third goal of the night at 9:16, to extend the Mammoth lead back to three at 9-6.  Another Pollock goal late for the Swarm made it 9-7, but Jamie Shewchuk drew rope just :38 seconds later to put the Mammoth up 10-7 – and that’s how the game would end.

The Mammoth opens the 2010 regular season on the road against the Washington Stealth on Jan. 9.  The home-opener is one week later as Colorado hosts the Edmonton Rush at Pepsi Center on Saturday, Jan. 16.

LETHBRIDGE, AB -- The Calgary Roughnecks beat the Edmonton Rush 15-12 in a fierce Battle of Alberta exhibition matchup Saturday night at Lethbridge’s ENMAX Centre.

Roughnecks’ forward Jeff Shattler scored the first goal of the night, just 48 seconds into the game. He didn’t stop there; with a hat trick three minutes in and a personal tally of five goals in the first half, Shattler smoothed the way for the Riggers. Craig Conn, Rob Van Beek, Dane Dobbie, Nolan Heavenor and Scott Ranger followed with a goal each, giving the Riggers a 10-5 lead at the end of the first half.

Edmonton’s Gavin Prout, Jimmy Quinlan, Brodie Merril, Ryan Powell and Pat Jones put up a goal each in favour of the Rush in the first half. The provincial rivals tangled it up on the turf a couple times.

Rush’s Scott Tinning scored the first goal of the second half. Carlton Schuss scored the Riggers’ first goal of the second half; Dobbie (3g), Heavenor (2g), and Conn followed with another three. Merrill (2g) notched the Rush’s ninth goal shorthanded to bring Edmonton within three of Calgary, with a minute and a half remaining in the third quarter. Powell (2g), Ryan Ward, Prout (2g), Dean Hill and scored another four goals in favour of the Rush. Conn (3g) scored the final goal for the Roughnecks, sealing the 15-12 win.

These two teams will see each other three times during the 2010 regular season, and face off again Jan. 30 at Edmonton’s Rexall Place. The Calgary Roughnecks kick off the 2010 season on Sunday, Jan. 10 at the Pengrowth Saddledome against the Minnesota Swarm.

SIX NATIONS -- The Boston Blazers used a four-goal fourth quarter to defeat the Rochester Knighthawks 9-7 today in a National Lacrosse League preseason scrimmage game at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena. Rochester finished its preseason schedule with a 1-1 record.

Jamie Rooney had the hot hand for the Knighthawks, collecting four goals and one assist. Daryl Veltman led the Blazers with three points (2g, 1a), while Gary Bining and Greg Downing each scored twice. Mike Poulin earned the win in goal, allowing four goals in two quarters of play. Jake Henhawk picked up the loss as he backstopped Rochester in the fourth quarter.

Veltman opened the scoring at 3:50 of the first quarter as he converted a rebound past the right arm of Pat O'Toole. Rochester tied things up at 5:27 off a goal by Rooney. Rooney took the feed from Shawn Williams and drove across the crease and beat Anthony Cosmo to the far post. Yet, the Blazers regained the lead at 11:50 on a power-play goal from Bining to make it 2-1.

In the second, Veltman picked up his second point of the game, assisting on Brendan Thenhaus’ goal power-play goal at 1:29 and the lead was 3-1. Boston quickly went on its fourth PP, but this time John Grant tallied for Rochester, receiving an outlet pass from O’Toole to make it 3-2 at 2:23. The Knighthawks knotted their second straight at 6:41, while on a 5-on-3 power play. Shawn Evans converted from just outside the crease to tie the game at three. The Blazers recaptured the lead with two goals in 11 seconds as Mike Kirk beat O’Toole at 9:12 to make it 4-3 and then Downing tallied at 9:23 for a 5-3 Boston advantage.

In the third quarter, it was the Jamie Rooney show as he scored three straight. His first of the quarter cut the lead to 5-4 at 3:47 off a pretty pass from Peter Jacobs. Rooney struck for the third time today at 10:45 from Jacobs to tie the game at five. He scored an acrobatic goal, as he leapt in the air and dunked the ball over a diving Mike Poulin. Rooney recorded his fourth of the game, and third straight, off a crease dive at 12:43. It was the first lead of the game for the Knighthawks.

The final quarter began with Rooney picking up his fifth point of the contest. His pass was deflected off the stick off Craig Point and past Poulin for a 7-5 lead 46 seconds into the final frame. The Blazers, however, stormed back with three goals in the next 2:22 to take an 8-7 lead. Veltman, Downing and Bining all scored their second goals of the game in the three-goal outburst. Mike Stone then added an insurance goal for Boston with 1:15 to play.

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