Mammoth starts season with win

Mammoth starts season with win

Postby Sonny on Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:37 am

DENVER - The night began with a celebration of the 2006 season and ended up giving fans high hopes for 2007. After raising a banner commemorating the Colorado Mammoth's 2006 National Lacrosse League championship to the Pepsi Center rafters, the team kicked off the 2007 campaign with a 20-15 victory over the visiting Rochester Knighthawks.

The Mammoth set a single-game record with 20 goals on Saturday night, including a game-high six from forward Brian Langtry, to begin defense of the title with a win before 15,670 rowdy fans. The game's 35 combined goals tied the Mammoth's single-game record.

Langtry's two fourth-quarter goals broke a 15-15 tie and broke open what had been a close game. Rochester's Marshall Abrams then took a 5-minute major penalty for cross checking that led to Mammoth power-play goals by Mike Law and Dan Carey and a 19-15 lead. Carey finished off the Knighthawks with his third goal of the game and the record-breaking 20th of the night.

"I was very proud of the way we finished this game," Mammoth coach Gary Gait said. "It was back-and-forth from the beginning and we came up with the plays when we needed them."

Langtry added four assists to lead all scorers with 10 points, but the Mammoth's scoring was typically balanced despite the small forward's big night. Carey and Josh Sims each had three goals and four assists and captain Gavin Prout also tallied seven points on the strength of two goals and his game-high five assists.

Law and Ben Prepchuk each scored twice and Andrew Burkholder added one goal. Mammoth rookie Jason Bloom scored his first career goal to give the Mammoth a 4-1 lead in the first quarter.

Rochester, picked by many to replace the Mammoth as NLL champions this season, got back in the game by reeling off five consecutive goals to take a 9-7 lead early in the second quarter. Bill Greer's goal early in the fourth quarter made it 15-14 and gave Rochester its last lead of the game. Burkholder answered just 12 seconds later to tie the game at 15.

Scott Evans led the Knighthawks with four goals and Shawn Williams' two goals and four assists gave him a team-high six points.

As he did four times last season, Mammoth goaltender Chris Levis came off the bench to earn the victory. He made 30 saves, allowing just seven goals in nearly three full quarters of work after replacing starter Gee Nash.

Rochester also made a goalie change, pulling Pat O'Toole after he gave up five first-quarter goals. His replacement, Mike Miron, took the loss with 31 saves and 15 goals allowed.
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