January 29, 2011

Wings Edge Mammoth for Third Straight Win

from press release

DENVER – The Colorado Mammoth outscored the Philadelphia Wings, 7-2, in the second half on Saturday night at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, but it wasn't enough as the Mammoth lost on the road for the first time this season, 12-11. One week ago, it was the Wings with a strong second half against the Mammoth after stumbling to a 7-3 halftime deficit to win at Pepsi Center, 11-10.

Philadelphia's ability to score goals late in the game last week continued early in tonight's match-up. The Wings got the scoring started as transition player Max Seibald swim-dodged over his defender, then bounced the ball around Mammoth goalie Chris Levis 5:34 into the game.

Mammoth forward Brian Langtry got Colorado on the board about three minutes later, stepping into a power-play rocket from the top-corner. The Wings took a 3-1 lead into the second quarter after a low bouncer from forward Athan Iannucci and a fast-break opportunity for defenseman Matt Alrich at the 12:59 and 14:02 marks, respectively, found the back of the net.

The Mammoth struck first in the second just 1:08 into the quarter as forward Cliff Smith beat Wings goalie Brandon Miller, receiving a pick-and-roll pass from forward John Grant Jr. Grant contributed quickly to the next Mammoth goal as well, scoring an outside shot less than 30 seconds later to tie the game at three.

The Wings countered, however, with three consecutive goals, capitalizing on sloppy Colorado defense. The Philadelphia scoring spree caused Mammoth Head Coach Bob Hamley to pull Levis in favor of goalie Rob Blasdell, who played for the Wings from 2008-2010. Colorado came up with another power-play goal as forward Jamie Shewchuk snuck one past Miller in tight.

Alrich answered, as he pulled down a high rebound near midfield and scored by outrunning the Mammoth transition defense. Wings forward Brendan Mundorf added a short-handed goal at the 10:34 mark. Philadelphia tacked on two more goals to bring the score to 10-4. The offensive onslaught inspired another Mammoth goalie change, as Hamley opted to return to Levis between the pipes just before halftime.

The Mammoth hit its stride in the third quarter, scoring four goals while blanking the Wings. Alex Gajic scored three goals in the period, sandwiched by a Langtry dive-shot at 7:44.

The Wings regained momentum early in the fourth quarter, as Kyle Sweeney scored in transition less than two minutes in. Westervelt's hat trick at the 7:36 mark brought the score to 12-8 Philadelphia, and appeared to put the game out of reach.

But Colorado responded. Grant's second of the night came in transition, while Steve Toll's tally was the 150th of his career. Following two penalties by the Wings and one by the Mammoth, Smith's power-play score with 2:27 remaining in regulation made it a one-goal affair. With approximately one minute remaining, Grant faked out Miller and buried one for the apparent game-tying goal. The officials called a crease violation, which was confirmed in the replay review. Colorado would not get another good scoring opportunity.

"It was a tale of two halves again," said Hamley. "I'm proud of my guys for battling back, but we can't play only 30 minutes [and expect to win]."

With the loss, the Mammoth falls to 1-3 on the season and 1-1 on the road. All four of Colorado'sgames this season have been decided by just one goal. Dating back to last year, 13 of the team's last 19 games have been one-goal contests.

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