December 9, 2012

Calgary, Edmonton, Rochester Win NLL Exhibitions

from staff reports

The Calgary Roughnecks, Edmonton Rush and defending league champion Rochester Knighthawks each picked up exhibition game wins on a busy Saturday night of National Lacrosse League preseason action.

Rochester Knighthawks earned an 11-10 home win over the Minnesota Swarm at Blue Cross Arena. Knighthawks forward Johnny Powless scored the winner on a penalty shot with 1:40 remaining.

“I was really nervous. I’m just glad that I scored,” Powless told “The players kind of looked at me, and then coach just said, ‘Go ahead and take it.’"

Trailing 9-7 in the fourth quarter, Minnesota scored three consecutive goals, two by Greg Downing, to regain the lead with 3:20 remaining. One minute later, Joel McCready completed his hat trick for the Knighthawks to tie the contest at 10-10.

McCready and Powless led the Knighthawks offense with three goals each while Powless led all scorers with seven points (three goals, four assists). Rookie Sam Bradman and Greg Downing both scored twice for Minnesota in the losing effort.

Calgary defeated the Colorado Mammoth with a 20-11 preseason win at Langley Events Centre in Langley, British Columbia. After falling behind 6-2 in the first quarter, Colorado rallied to score four straight to the end the period. In the final 45 minutes, Calgary outscored Colorado 14-5.

"A little bit shaky to start," said Roughnecks forward and Nanaimo, B.C. native Scott Ranger. "We're striving to have perfection at the end of the year, not this early on. The boys battled hard. Doesn't matter who scores. It's a team effort and we had that tonight."

Jeff Shattler and Curtis Dickson each scored five goals to lead the Calgary offense, which pleased Roughnecks head coach Curt Malawsky.

"We're very dynamic offensively," Malawsky said. "We always have five good players on the floor. It's real tough to defend. If we share the ball and move our feet, then we're very successful."

The Mammoth never led in Saturday's matchup of the top two teams from the 2012 regular season standings.

"We had a tough first half – a lot of penalties," said Mammoth head coach Bob Hamley. "We've got to work on our [penalty kill] obviously, but it's training camp. We saw a lot of good things from the guys that are fighting for jobs and that's what tonight was about."

For the second consecutive week, second-year forward Jordan McBride led Colorado in scoring with six points (four goaks, two assists).

Further East, the Edmonton Rush defeated the Toronto Rock 12-8 in front of a capacity crowd at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville, Ontario. The Rush lead early and never looked back as they never trailed in the contest.

The Rush got out to a 2-0 lead through one quarter on goals by 2012 No. 1 overall pick Mark Matthews and Ryan Ward. The Rock offense got rolling the second quarter, but the Rush had the answer each and every time as they held a 6-5 lead at the half.

The Rush outscored Toronto 3-1 in the third quarter to lead 9-6 after three quarters of play.

The Rock battled hard in the fourth quarter but couldn't make up any ground and were again outscored 3-2 and fell 12-8.

Kyle Belton led the way offensively for the Rock with three goals while Blaine Manning and Rob Hellyer each chipped in a pair.

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