December 8, 2013

Rock Top Mammoth in Preseason Tune-Up

from Press Releases

Toronto and Colorado continued tuning up for the NLL season Saturday night, with the host Rock taking a 13-12 win over the Mammoth.
© Colorado Mammoth

Toronto, ON – The Toronto Rock defeated the Colorado Mammoth 13-12 in NLL preseason action on Saturday night at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville in front of a full house.

The Rock fell behind early as they trailed 4-1 at the end of one quarter. The Mammoth's John Grant Jr. assisted on three of Colorado's four goals in the opening 15 minutes.

Toronto answered the bell in the second quarter by scoring three times within the first 1:21 of the quarter to even the score 4-4. The Rock scored two more times to go on a five-goal run and lead 6-4. Colorado evened the score 6-6 before Rob Hellyer scored on a long bomb pass from Ethan O'Connor to give Toronto a one-goal lead at the half 7-6.

The two teams exchanged goals in the third quarter as the score stood 9-8 in favour of the Rock after 45 minutes.

With the score tied at 10-10 in the fourth quarter, Stephan Leblanc scored his third goal of the night to restore Toronto's one goal lead. Rookie Jeff Swift increased the Rock's lead to two goals with 5:23 left in the fourth quarter. The Mammoth narrowed the gap to 12-11 with just over three minutes left but Brenden Thenhaus put the game away with just under a minute to go. The Mammoth scored one more before the final buzzer as the Rock held on for a 13-12 win.

Zak Boychuk played the entire game for the Rock and was spectacular at times in earning the win.

Toronto will be home again next Saturday night at 7pm at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville when they host the Rochester Knighthawks.

Rock goal scorers were Leblanc (3), Scott Johnston (2), Garrett Billings (2), Rob Hellyer (2), Jesse Gamble (1), Jeff Swift (1), Thenhaus (1), Mike Woods (1).

Colorado Release

The Colorado Mammoth continued its weekend of training camp in Oakville, Ontario on Saturday night as it took on the hometown Toronto Rock. It was the second and final preseason game of the trip north of the border, and one in which coach Bob Hamley saw some positives and some negatives.

"It's a learning process and we're getting down to numbers, and we saw lots to get that done tonight."

Teams have until Mon., December 16 to name their 20-man rosters. Colorado had 30 at camp this weekend. In Saturday's 13-12 loss to the Rock, the Mammoth received seven goals from returners and five from newcomers.

"We saw some good things – Jackson Decker had a couple real nice goals in the second half and really gutted it out," explained Hamley. "We saw some bad things – we gave up four transition goals in the second quarter and that ultimately was the game."

Decker's goals, his first in a Mammoth uniform, led to the coaches calling his number in pursuit of the equalizer. With Colorado trailing by one with 4.5 seconds remaining in regulation, the coaches drew up a play for the draft-day acquisition. (Decker was traded from Calgary to Colorado in exchange for a future second-round pick.)

"I was just trying to get myself prepared and make sure I did everything right," said Decker, referring to the final play.

Joining Decker with multiple goals were Jordan McBride and rookie Cameron Mann. Drew Westervelt, Mat MacLeod, Adam Jones, Sean Pollock, John Grant Jr., and Jaeden Gastaldo also scored.

Mammoth training camp continues in Colorado next weekend. Opening Night is three weeks away.

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