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Roc-ky Mountain win: Knighthawks top Mammoth, 12-11

03/02/2013, 11:00pm EST
By Nick Salen, Mammoth beat writer for NLL.com

Jamieson scores four as Rochester hands Colorado fourth-straight loss

Cody Jamieson scored four goals to help the Rochester Knighthawks (4-5) get back in the win column and hand the Colorado Mammoth (2-6) their fourth-straight loss with a 12-11 road win before a crowd of 16,118 at Pepsi Center on Saturday night.

“It was a good entertaining game,” said Knighthawks head coach Mike Hasen. “Both teams didn’t give an inch, they battled hard, and we’re real glad we came out on the good side tonight.”

The teams tied each other seven times in the game, with Cody Jamieson netting the game winner at 7:11 of the fourth quarter, sending Colorado to their fourth straight loss.

“The guys battled hard, that was the good news. The bad news is another ‘L’ and we’re not happy about that,” said Mammoth head coach Bob Hamley. “We had some opportunities late, and we had some opportunities early. With a little break here and there, we may end up with a ‘W’ instead of an ‘L'.”

Dan Dawson led the Knighthawks with seven points in the game (1+6). Jamieson and Johnny Powless followed close behind each posting five points (4+1) and (3+1) respectively.

John Grant Jr. led the Mammoth in points (2+5), but Jordan McBride highlighted the scoring effort with a team high three goals to go along with an assist.

“It’s tough,” said McBride. “We definitely were out there battling for the loose balls, but that’s how it goes. We got to work a little smarter and keep on working hard and get some bounces and we will be looking good.”

Colorado opened the game with back-to-back tallies by McBride and Jamie Lincoln. Rochester, who appeared to struggle in early offensive possessions, answered with three unanswered goals including one by Cory Vitarelli with 0.4 left in the first quarter.

Both teams would exchange three goals apiece in the second, including the 300th career goal by Gavin Prout. Powless netted a hat trick early in the quarter as well, putting Rochester on top before Colorado tied the game prior to the half.

Rochester pulled away briefly in the third after pocketing four straight.  Colorado would respond early in the final frame to force the seventh tie of the evening, but Rochester would hold on thanks to Jamieson’s late score, the only one by the Knighthawks in the fourth and giving the team a much needed victory.

“We needed that one and I think we played like it,” Jamieson stated. “We played desperate, and that’s kind of how we got to play the rest of the year. We had a bad, bad first half but we’re looking to turn the ship around in the second half.”

The Mammoth had a chance to tie it after calling timeout in the final minute but Knighthawks defenseman Paul Dawson made a courageous shot block to thwart the first equalizer attempt. After recovering the ball, Colorado’s captain Gavin Prout fired the ball into the net about one second after time expired so it was waved off. Following an official review, the call and Knighthawks win was confirmed.

Dan Lewis played admirable in his first career start with the Mammoth, posting 28 saves on 40 shots as well as playing the full 60 minutes, only the second time for a Colorado goaltender this season. 

“A young guy going in there thrown in the fire,” Hamley added. “He gave us a chance, that’s what you ask your goaltenders to do, give you a chance.”

Hasen expressed his thoughts on the young netminder, taking special note of coming up big for his team when they needed it most.

“Dan stepped up his game and they were doing a lot more pressure,” Hasen mentioned. “They were rushing our shots and we were rushing to get around it. I think defensively they did very well. Dan made the stops that he had to.”

Vinc played the full game as well opposite of Lewis and finished the game with 33 of 44 saves.

Despite the loss, Colorado appeared more solid overall than previous outings this season.  As the team continues to improve, they hope to turn their fortunes as well down the stretch, with a goal in mind to be in playoff form by the season finale.

“I thought we played pretty good,” McBride added. “We were winning faceoffs, we were going down the middle, banging bodies and playing good. Just a few mistakes we got to clean up and I think we will be looking good coming down the stretch.”

The teams combined for just six penalty minutes but both teams made the most of their limited power plays with Rochester going 1-for-1 and Colorado converting 2-of-2.

Colorado now sits alone at the bottom of the West Division and faces a back-to-back road trip this coming week, playing at Toronto on Friday, March 8 and in Buffalo the next night.

Rochester has a bye next weekend before returning to action at home against the Edmonton Rush on Saturday, March 16 in a rematch of the 2012 NLL Championship Game.

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