On Saturday March 1, 2014, the Colorado Mammoth (4-6) played their historic 100th home game, and 200th in franchise history in front of a crowd of 15,212 at The Pepsi Center in Denver, hosting the Rochester Knighthawks, (5-3). Defenseman John Gallant was honored during the first quarter as the all-time franchise leader in games and loose balls in his 12th season with the Mammoth.
Even with all the festivities, the Mammoth could not overcome the Knighthawks and lost 11-9 giving them a 4-7 record on the season while the Knighthawks sit with a record of 6-3. This was Rochester’s first win of the season against a Western Division opponent.
It didn’t take long for Rochester to put up a goal. Only 22 seconds into the game, forward Stephen Keogh #28 would score his first of five goals in the game. He was assisted by forwards Dan Dawson #6, and Johnny Powless #93.
The Mammoth would answer back quickly, when forward Drew Westervelt #26 would score at 1:31, assisted by forwards John Grant Jr. #24, and Casey Powell #22. There wouldn’t be another goal until 5:28 when Rochester’s Keogh scored, assisted by Powless.
Less than a minute later, Knighthawks defenseman Dylan Evans #16, would receive a two-minute minor for too many men on the field. Unfortunately, the Mammoth couldn’t capitalize on the power play opportunity. At 8:56 Rochester’s defenseman Paul Dawson #2 would score, assists going to transition player Brad Self #25, and Keogh.
Offsetting penalties were called at 11:14 against Rochester defenseman Ian Llord #29, and Colorado forward Sean Pollock #17 for intentional contact. Both received two-minute minors. Only 37 seconds later, Mammoth defenseman Creighton Reid #62, was called for holding, received a two-minute minor, and Rochester took advantage when Keogh scored at 12:11, giving him his third goal of the quarter, assists to forwards Cody Jamieson #88, and Dan Dawson. The Mammoth had two goals in the first quarter wiped out due to crease violations; they were outshot 11-4; and outscored 4-1.
The second quarter was penalty free, but equally frustrating for the Mammoth. The Knighthawks put up their first goal at 4:09, when defenseman Brad Self, scored an unassisted goal. Rochester’s Keogh would score his fourth and fifth goals of the game, one at 6:01, assisted by Dan Dawson; and the next at 10:28, assisted by defensemen Evans, and Jon Sullivan #32. The final goal of the half would go to Mammoth defenseman Colton Clark #10, assist to Grant Jr. Yet again, the Mammoth were outscored 3-1 with the half ending, and Rochester leading 7-2.
The third quarter seemed more promising for Colorado. They came out onto the floor after half-time with a new attitude: outscore the opponent. At the start of the quarter, both teams would have players called for unsportsmanlike conduct. Mammoth defenseman Chet Koneczny #21, and Knighthawks defenseman Sid Smith #79 received two-minute minors.
At 3:36, Knighthawks defenseman Paul Dawson, would receive a two-minute minor for slashing, and Mammoth forward Westervelt would take advantage, scoring a PPG at 3:56, assisted by Powell. It wasn’t until 7:03 on the clock that another goal would be put up on the board. Knighthawks defenseman Paul Dawson scored an unassisted goal.
At 8:40, Paul Dawson would receive a two-minute minor for holding. The next goal would again go to Rochester, when at 11:05, defenseman Scott Campbell #37 would score, assisted by Paul Dawson, and Llord. Only one minute later, at 12:07, Rochester’s Llord would be called for holding and a two-minute minor which allowed the Mammoth to score.
Westervelt got the PPG at 12:21, assisted by Grant Jr., and Powell. The final goal of the quarter would go to the Mammoth when Powell would score at 14:08, assists to Grant Jr., and defenseman Mike McNamara #7. Penalties would equal goals, and even though the Mammoth outscored the Knighthawks 3-2, the Mammoth still trailed 9-5.
With the final 15 minutes left for the Mammoth to make a comeback, their offense began to click. The quarter started out with Rochester’s Powless, and the Mammoth’s McNamara both being called for roughing.
At 2:00, the same two players would be called for roughing yet again, both receiving two-minute minors. The Mammoth would score at 3:03, when transition player Mat MacLeod #15 put up a goal, assists to forwards Pollock, and Joel Dalgarno #96.
Knighthawks forward Mike Accursi #44 would answer back scoring at 4:26, assisted by Dan Dawson, and Brad Self. Two players, Rochester forward Jamieson, and Colorado defenseman Bob Snider #41, would be called for slashing, each receiving a two-minute minor. Only 25 seconds later at 5:13, Knighthawks defenseman Mike Kirk #36 would be called for holding, receiving a two-minute minor.
Mammoth forward Grant Jr., would take advantage, scoring a PPG at 6:25, assist to Westervelt. Mammoth transition player Joey Cupido #82 would put up another goal for Colorado at 10:26, assisted by goalie Dillon Ward #45.
Less than 30 seconds later, Rochester’s Dan Dawson would answer with another goal at 10:52, assists to Jamieson, and Brad Self. Mammoth forward Powell would put up the final goal of the game at 11:39, assisted by Koneczny, and Ward. The scoring would end there, but not the penalties.
At 13:32, Knighthawks defenseman Mac Allen #75 received a two-minute minor for roughing, and with just seconds left on the clock, Paul Dawson received a five-minute major for slashing. Although the Mammoth outscored the Knighthawks 4-2 in the final quarter, it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit and they would lose by the score of 11-9.
This would give the Mammoth their second loss in a row. The Mammoth would have all four challenges go to the visitors; multiple crease violations; held scoreless for over 28 minutes of game time; and Rochester’s penalty killing late in the game which all played an integral part in the Knighthawks victory.
The loss of Mammoth forward Adam Jones #16, who has been on injured reserve since he suffered a shoulder injury against the Swarm on February 1, 2014, is having an impact on the team. The return of Casey Powell has been huge for the Mammoth, but Athan Iannucci has also been out of the line-up for the last two games. The Mammoth are again having problems scoring in the first half, and they aren’t playing a full 60 minutes of quality lacrosse. They need to regroup and figure out what it will take to get them back on track for the second half of the season.
The Mammoth still have multiple players in League Leader categories. John Grant Jr., is first in SOG with 118, third in points with 57, fourth in goals with 23, and fourth in assists with 34; Bob Snider is first in FOW with 177, and second in loose balls with 113; Drew Westervelt is fifth in goals with 22; and Adam Jones is third in goals with 25.
Mammoth—14 assists; 23 points; SOG 41; PPG 3; SOG 42; SOT 21; SOG% 67%; saves 31; save percentage .738; FOW 10; FTO 20; PPA 6; PK 1; loose balls 62.
Knighthawks—16 assists; 27 points; SOG 42; PPG 1; SOG 42; SOT 9; SOG% 82%; saves 33; save percentage .786; FOW 13; FTO 15; PPA 1; PK 6; loose balls 51.
Players of the game:
- Drew Westervelt—3 goals (two PPG); 1 assist; 8 SOG; .62 SOG percentage; 2 loose balls.
- Casey Powell—2 goals; 3 assists; 12 SOG; .71 SOG percentage; 1 loose ball.
- John Grant Jr.—1 goal (PPG); 3 assists; 9 SOG; .69 SOG percentage; 3 loose balls.
- Steve Keogh—5 goals; 1 assist; 10 SOG; .91 SOG percentage; 1 loose ball.
- Dan Dawson—1 goal; 4 assists; 7 SOG; .78 SOG percentage; 2 loose balls.
On Saturday March 8, 2014, the Mammoth will host the Calgary Roughnecks on their Lacrosse Out Cancer Night, and their final match-up between the two teams during the regular season. Will the Mammoth win the series against their Western Division rivals who are on a four-game winning streak? Colorado has one week to figure out what they need to do to get back on track, and if they can, the losing streak very well might end.