2014 Season Tickets

MAMMOTH’S COMEBACK FALLS SHORT IN SEASON-OPENING LOSS TO RUSH

MAMMOTH’S COMEBACK FALLS SHORT IN SEASON-OPENING LOSS TO RUSH

DENVER – Starting and finishing the game on scoring sprees seemed like a positive formula for the Colorado Mammoth in its National Lacrosse League opener Saturday night.

The early and late bursts, however, weren't enough for the Mammoth to overcome a mid-game swoon that included a near 20-minute scoreless stretch in a 13-10 loss to the Edmonton Rush at Pepsi Center.

“I'm disappointed, because we had a good training camp and I thought they were ready,” Mammoth coach Bob Hamley said. “We made some real bad mental mistakes that, when the lights are on, you have to be better. We're going to have to regroup and figure it out.”

Third-year forward Adam Jones led the Mammoth with four goals and added two assists, and John Grant Jr. contributed three goals and one assist. Colorado erupted to a 4-1 lead in front of an enthusiastic opening-night crowd, but Edmonton followed with a 10-2 run that stretched into the third quarter.

The Rush, which went an NLL-best 7-1 on the road last season, kept the Mammoth off the board for 19 minutes, 37 seconds after a Jones goal put Colorado ahead 6-5 midway through the second quarter. The drought allowed Edmonton to build an 11-6 lead.

“All the good things we did to get to 4-1, we didn't continue to do it,” Hamley said. “They made some adjustments and their defense is good, but we have to get better through that middle section for sure.”

The Mammoth got a lift from reserve goalie Dillon Ward, who replaced starter Tye Belanger after Edmonton took the five-goal lead with 3:48 remaining in the third. Ward stopped 10 of 12 shots and didn't permit a goal during his first 17:11 in the net.

That allowed the Mammoth to put together a Grant-fueled rally of its own, which trimmed the deficit to 11-10. But Edmonton got tallies from Curtis Knight (3g, 3a) and Cory Conway (2g, 3a) in the final 1:37 to put it away. Zack Greer added three goals and two assists for the Rush.

“You win and lose games in transition, and tonight we had a few unfortunate bounces,” Jones said. “It's something we'll have to fix up.”

The contest featured the NLL's previous two Rookie Of The Year winners in Colorado's Jones (2012) and Edmonton forward Mark Matthews, a former University of Denver player. Matthews registered three assists.

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