January 15, 2012

Langtry Honored, Mammoth Handle Swarm in Opener

from press release

DENVER – The Colorado Mammoth immortalized Brian Langtry on Saturday night by retiring his jersey.

If the Mammoth hadn't scored so often, they would have made prognosticator out of him as well in a 20-14 season-opening win against the Minnesota Swarm.

After his No. 6 was raised to the Pepsi Center rafters before the game, the recently-retired forward predicted to the fans that Colorado would win by three. Close enough, according to teammates.

"Did he say three? That's it?" Mammoth captain Gavin Prout quipped. "He obviously has no confidence in this team. But seriously, we had about 18 or 19 Brian Langtrys running around out there tonight."

Before a small-but-enthusiastic crowd undoubtedly reduced because of the Broncos-Patriots game, the Mammoth broke a five-game losing streak to the Swarm with one of the finest offensive outbursts in team annals.

John Grant Jr. registered 11 points (four goals, seven assists) and Prout surpassed the 800-point mark for his career with three goals and six assists, allowing Colorado to kick off its 10th season by equaling a club record for goals.

Forward Sean Pollock, acquired in a multi-player trade with Minnesota in the offseason, contributed two goals and six assists. First-round draft pick Adam Jones added three goals and three assists, and two more Mammoth players scored their first career goals: Jamie Lincoln (three) and Jordan McBride (one).

"We had Brian speak to our guys last week at team building, and I think he kind of fired them up," Mammoth coach Bob Hamley said. "I think these news guys understood where he was coming from with his passion."

The Mammoth (1-0) broke open the back-and-forth contest by scoring six straight goals after Minnesota (0-1) trimmed the deficit to 14-13 early in the fourth quarter. Goaltender Chris Levis (32 saves) kept the Swarm scoreless for nearly 10 minutes during the Mammoth's flurry.

Callum Crawford led Minnesota with four goals and five assists. Ryan Benesch, the NLL's leading scorer last season, added three goals and four assists.

The Mammoth returns only eight players from last year's roster, a necessary turnover after last season's 5-11 marked the franchise's third straight losing season.

"All the new guys call me daddy, so I guess I'm pretty old," said Grant Jr., who turned 37 in November and crept to within 12 points of 1,000 for his career.

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