January 21, 2012

Grant Scores Winner With 14.5 Left, Mammoth Improves to 2-0

from press release

DENVER – In the first half of the Mammoth's road debut this season, 37-year-old John Grant Jr. watched as 22-year-old rookie Adam Jones scored four goals. In the second half, the veteran took over, scoring four of his five goals on the night, and assisting on two more. Grant scored the final two goals in the 4th quarter, including the game-winner with 14.5 seconds remaining, to help the Mammoth jump out to its first 2-0 start since 2008. Edmonton, opening the season at Rexall Place, fell to 0-1 with the 13-12 loss.

"I'm not sure how it got in there," said Grant, referring to his fifth of the night. "On the last couple, I shot between [Rush goaltender Aaron Bold's] legs, so this time I ducked my shoulder and went high."

Everything Grant is doing early in the season is working. He now leads the National Lacrosse League with 20 points through just two games.

The Rush got out of the gate early, scoring three goals in the first five minutes. After Jones' first of the night cut Edmonton's lead to 3-1, Rush forward Zack Greer's second gave the home team a three-goal cushion back 10:03 into the 1st quarter. Edmonton wouldn't score again for nearly 24 minutes, as Colorado reeled off six straight and took a 7-4 lead into halftime.

Just as the Mammoth appeared to be running away with the game as it mounted a 9-5 advantage, the Rush scored four straight, including two power-play goals, an extra-attacker goal, and one in transition. It was a back-and-forth affair from there.

Rush forward Ryan Ward completed his hat trick on a short-handed tally with 5:10 remaining in regulation to give Edmonton a 12-11 lead, its first since early in the 2nd quarter. The last two scores of the game belonged to Grant.

A 12-year NLL veteran, the former league MVP is now just three career points shy of 1,000. Grant (5G, 4A) and Rush forward Shawn Williams (1G, 8A), who was acquired by Edmonton in the off-season, paced all players with nine points apiece. Jones finished with five goals and three assists, while forwards Gavin Prout and Sean Pollock, and transition player Jed Prossner, each had a goal for Colorado.

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