The Colorado Mammoth kicked off their 10th anniversary season Saturday night by honoring one of the franchise’s all-time greats.
After that, they downed the Minnesota Swarm 20-14 in front of 14,106 fans at Pepsi Center on “Brian Langtry Night." The team honored their all-time scoring leader by raising his No. 6 jersey to the rafters before the opening faceof.
“We wanted to honor him tonight,” Mammoth head coach Bob Hamley commented. “And luckily in the second half we got on a roll and managed to pull away a little bit."
Colorado outscored Minnesota 13-7 in the second half, snapping a five-game losing streak to the Swarm.
John Grant Jr. led the Mammoth with 11 points, including four goals, followed by newly appointed captain Gavin Prout, who had three goals and six assists, including his 800th career point.
Callum Crawford led the charge for the Swarm with four goals and five assists. Ryan Benesch had three goals and four assists.
Minnesota opened the night with a power-play goal by Jordan MacIntosh in the opening moments of the game. Grant would tie the game on the ensuing short-handed opportunity. The teams would exchange leads ultimately leading to a 3-3 game at the end of the opening quarter and 7-all at halftime.
After a short-handed goal by Sean Pollock gave Colorado a 12-8 edge in the third quarter, the Swarm took a timeout and then got goals from Crawford and Benesch 26 seconds apart as Minnesota drew within 12-10 heading into the fourth.
“I thought we played a very good first half” Swarm head coach Mike Lines said. “We took some selfish penalties in the second half and basically with a one-goal game…we packed it in.
“We took some penalties, we weren’t running, got extremely lazy, and it’s going to cost us. You don’t play 60 minutes in this league, you don’t win.”
Minnesota took a high-sticking major midway though the fourth quarter – its only penalty in the second half.
The Mammoth’s Jamie Lincoln also had a hat trick in his NLL debut. Young talent Adam Jones (three goals, three assists), Jordan McBride (one goal, one assist) and Dan Coates (two assists) also fared well for Colorado.
“We knew they could play and we knew they had skill,” Hamley said. “It’s just another game at a higher level and they played at the high level all their lives so we weren’t surprised.”
Chris Levis eclipsed 3,500 career minutes while stopping 41 of 55 shots for the Mammoth. Nick Patterson turned aside 32 of 52 shots for the Swarm.
The Mammoth will travel to Edmonton next weekend to face the Rush in their season opener, followed by a visit to Calgary the following night. Minnesota meanwhile will take a week off before hosting the Buffalo Bandits at Xcel Energy Center January 28th.