February 24, 2012

Mammoth Defeated for First Time in Worst Home Loss Ever

from press release

DENVER – On the eve of the 2012 National Lacrosse League All-Star Game, the Colorado Mammoth was humbled by the Calgary Roughnecks.

Colorado suffered its worst home loss in team history, falling 21-10 to Calgary on Friday night at Pepsi Center. The Mammoth’s previous worst loss at home was by nine goals on Jan. 10, 2009 versus Portland, a 14-5 game.

“They wanted it a little more than we wanted it today,” said Colorado captain Gavin Prout. “There are no excuses. You can’t score one goal in a half - and on transition - and win a game. That is not the way this league works and we had to be better offensively.”

The Mammoth had been the only undefeated team in the NLL coming into the match-up with the Roughnecks, and is now 6-1 overall on the season. Colorado remains in the lead in the West Division, with a one-game cushion over Calgary (5-2).

Five Colorado players will be represented at the All-Star game on Saturday at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y.: forwards John Grant Jr., Gavin Prout and Adam Jones, defenseman Rory Smith and goaltender Chris Levis. Grant will captain the West Division All-Star squad.

The first eight minutes of the game was played tightly by both squads as neither club could find the back of the net. Colorado had two power-play chances and several good shots on net during that time period, but was unable to get the ball past Calgary goaltender Mike Poulin.

The Roughnecks opened the scoring at 8:39 of the first quarter with a Shawn Evans goal at the top of the crease. Calgary would score 14 seconds later and would add on three more in the period to take a 5-0 lead after 15 minutes.

Evans had two goals and one assist in the first quarter and teammate Daryl Veltman picked up points on four of the Roughnecks’ five goals (one goal and three assists). Evans notched his third tally of the game 22 seconds into the second quarter.

Colorado finally scored with its 11th shot-on-goal of the game at 4:13 of the second stanza, when Scott Stewart scored a breakaway, power-play goal.

The Roughnecks scored two more times before Levis was pulled with 6:33 left in the second. Levis was replaced in net by Dan Lewis, who made his NLL debut.

“It wasn’t Chris’ fault, definitely. We were bad in front of him,” said Colorado head coach Bob Hamley. “We were just trying to change momentum more than anything.”

The Mammoth backup goalie’s time in the crease was short-lived as Levis returned 2:09 later. Lewis also replaced Levis in the fourth quarter and finished with five saves in the game.

Calgary took an 11-1 lead into halftime after Jeff Shattler scored his second goal of the evening with less than a second remaining in the half. The Mammoth picked up three goals in the third quarter, but the Roughnecks scored two as well and held a 13-4 lead with one period to go.

Grant scored two of Colorado’s third-quarter goals, both coming in the final 1:10 of the stanza, and then scored two in the first 1:17 of the fourth in an attempt to spark a Mammoth comeback and electrify the 15,134 in attendance at Pepsi Center.

The seven-goal deficit was as close as Colorado got to Calgary as the Roughnecks scored eight more times in the final quarter. The Mammoth finished with six goals in the fourth, including four in a row.

“You always think that you can come back, but you have to play with pride and do the good things in the second half,” said Mammoth forward Jamie Lincoln on the team’s mindset in the final 30 minutes. “Just keep working hard and build for the next game.”

Grant led all Colorado scorers with seven points (four goals and three assists), while Lincoln and Prout finished with two-goal nights. Sean Pollock finished with four assists for the Mammoth, and Jones had three helpers.

Veltman registered a nine-point game for Calgary (three goals and six assists), as Shattler had eight points (two goals and six assists) in the contest. Travis Cornwall scored four times for the Riggers while Evans and Curtis Dickson both finished with hat tricks.Poulin needed just 28 saves to record the victory for the Roughnecks. His counterpart, Levis, made 27 saves in 50:15 of playing time.

Colorado had defeated Calgary earlier in the season, 13-12, in overtime on Jan. 21 in Alberta.

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