Di Miller, Correspondent Colorado Mammoth
Lacrosse is Awesome©
Featured Image Photo Credit: Rochester Knighthawks
On Friday April 12, the Colorado Mammoth (6-10) hosted the Rochester Knighthawks (5-11) for the only meeting of the two teams this season. It was “Fan Appreciation” night at the Pepsi Center and Mammoth fans were 13,202 strong in the hopes that their team would finally clinch the remaining spot in the west in their final home game this season. It was not to be as the team from the previous week’s double header victory was absent until the fourth quarter and in OT could not stop the Rochester offense, making them 0-2 in overtime this year. Final Score: Rochester 10—Colorado 9.
Rochester would draw blood first off the turnover by Colorado. Cody Jamieson (1G, 2A) would get the cross field pass from Chris Boushy on the wing bouncing it through the five-hole on Dillon Ward only 26 second in. The Mammoth were not getting their shots on point and it wasn’t until the 8:06 mark they would get their first shot on goal. It took more than 10 minutes for the next goal to go up and it was a beauty. Ryan Lee (2G, 3A) would come from behind the left side of the cage and with five seconds on the shot clock caught Warren Hill out of position and hit net short side at 10:45. It took only nine seconds for the Knighthawks to hit back when Jake Withers would score unassisted on the break off the ensuing face-off. Former Mammoth Forward Ryan Benesch (2G, 2A) said hello to his former team when he teamed up with Kyle Jackson, faking left and using the screen found a piece of the net far side catching Ward on the fake at 13:36. Rochester held a huge lead in shots on goal 18-8. Score at the end of one: Rochester 3—Colorado 1.
The second would start out with a two-minutes holding call on Jake Withers at the 26 second mark. The Mammoth would control the ball and on a delayed penalty attempted the shot, but missed the net. Luc Magnan would go to the box with an illegal body check at 1:00 giving Colorado a three on five for 43 seconds but the Knighthawks defense played stellar keeping Colorado out of net for both a three and four on five. The first goal wouldn’t go onto the board until the 3:29 mark and it would Colorado who would strike first. Cory Vitarelli (2G) off the feed from Ryan Lee faked left, right, left hitting far side to bring them back to within one. Rochester would control the ball and be the next to score at 3:55 with the feed from Brandon Robinson to Mike Triolo (1G, 1A) with the quick stick shot on the fly he’d catch Ward off guard stick side. Colorado would challenge the next goal. Jamieson made the shot into the chest guard of Ward, Jackson got the rebound and dove at the crease on the door step, but after review, the left toe of Jackson was on the crease and the Mammoth challenge stands. The Mammoth would be next to score, with a beautiful fee from Kyle Killen to Chris Wardle (3G) beating his defender, he’d fake the shot, jump and slam dunk it far side at 9:57. For the remaining five minutes, Colorado had numerous missed opportunities, passes off, turnovers and missed loose balls; and on the other side, Ward stopped the Rochester shots keeping them within one. Shots on goal: Rochester 30—Colorado 20. Score at the end of two: Knighthawks 4—Mammoth 3.
Colorado would start off and finish the scoring in the third, but Rochester would go on a four goal run in between stunning the Mammoth fans. Taylor Stuart would start it of as he noticed Vitarelli hanging on the back side of the cage, Vitarelli would get the feed and come around hitting net to tie the game at 1:42. That’s when the Knighthawks would stun the Colorado fans scoring three in only one minute and 14 seconds. Rookie sensation Austin Shanks (2G, 2A) started off the barrage. It was their fourth shot on goal in the frame and Shanks made it count hitting Ward top left corner on the front door at 4:28. Only 25 seconds later, Benesch would team up with Triolo with the cross crease pass at the front door hitting net top left at 4:53 to put Rochester up 6-4. Mike Burke (1G, 1A) would keep the run going shooting right to left sending a bounce shot on Ward glove side at 5:42. That’s when tempers flared behind the Mammoth cage. At the 6:00 mark, Jamieson would head butt Scott Carnegie and the fisticuffs started. Both men went to the turf fists flying and when the dust settled, each went to their respective sin bins with two penalties apiece. Jamieson received a five minute fighting major and a two minute head butting; while Carnegie would also receive a five minute fighting major and a two minute roughing. Each team would remain five on five until the 11 minute mark. Dawson Theede (1G, 1A) would break the silence with the next goal, as he pushed back his defender turned right and snuck in the shot between two defenders at 8:06 to extend their lead to 8-4. Less than a minute later, on the fast break Rochester couldn’t get set, Stuart fed the ball across the floor to Lee, who passed to Wardle making the shot short side low at 9:03. Fans would watch the ball go up and down the floor, more bad passing, missed loose balls and no offense for the next five and half minutes. With 25 seconds remaining on the clock, Mammoth Head Coach Dan Coyle would pull Ward for the extra man but could not capitalize and close the gap. Rochester continued to increase the shots on goal margin outshooting Colorado 42-35. Score at the end of three: Rochester 8—Colorado 5.
With five penalties and no power-play goals, the Mammoth would finally get two in the fourth. Rochester would get his with an illegal substitution bench minor at 4:00 and Colorado would take advantage. Kyle Killen (1G, 3A) would get his first on the night with one second left on the shot clock; he stepped and shot scoring short side at 5:59. The Knighthawks would score their next on transition as Shanks faked right going left far side low on Ward at 7:38 and that would be it for them in regulation as Colorado would go on a three goal run. Stuart (1G, 2A) would score on the power-play (assist Jeff Wittig) and 12:31; Wardle would score with the extra attacker at 14:10; and with 31 seconds on the clock, Ryan Lee would tie the game (assist Jacob Ruest) at 14:29. Rochester would win the ensuing face off, Withers would get the loose ball and with 26 seconds they’d call a time out. They were able to control possession for the remaining seconds forcing overtime. Shots on goal: Knighthawks 52—Mammoth 47. Score at the end of regulation: Rochester 9—Colorado 9.
Colorado would win the opening face-off in overtime and Ruest would get the loose ball. The Mammoth would turn the ball over at 14:29 as James Barclay nabbed the ball and passed to Burke, he missed the cage and John Lintz from Colorado would get the loose ball feeding to Stuart who’d miss the shot at 14:02. Possession would go back and forth for the next minute and a half, with three unsuccessful shots on goal, two for the Mammoth and one for Rochester. After Lee’s last shot on goal, Magnan got the loose ball, fed it to Jamieson who made the pass to Jackson (1G, 1A) for the goal at 12:45. Final Score in OT: Knighthawks 10—Mammoth 10.
The Mammoth have still not clinched that final spot in the west and with their final two games away, the first at San Diego on April 19 and their final in Saskatchewan on April 27, they have to hope for losses by Vancouver to get the playoff berth.
The Mammoth (6-10) will head west to face their Western Division Rivals, the San Diego Seals on Friday April 19, game time 10:30 p.m. EST.
The Rochester Knighthawks (5-11) will host the Vancouver Warriors (4-11) on Saturday April 20, game time 7:30 p.m. EST.
Di Miller, Correspondent Colorado Mammoth
Lacrosse is Awesome©