Grant Sets Record as Mammoth Falls in Finale
In a West Division Semifinal preview between Minnesota and Colorado, the Swarm got the best of the Mammoth, 16-13, in the regular-season finale from Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. on Saturday. On a night lacking postseason significance for the Mammoth, Colorado forward John Grant Jr. set the National Lacrosse League’s single-season points record (116) with a fourth-quarter goal.
“It’s disappointing,” said Mammoth head coach Bob Hamley, referring to the loss. “At the end of the day, we’re 11-5 and we’re hosting next week. We can’t wait to get home.”
The previous points record of 115, held by Buffalo Bandits forward John Tavares, stood for 11 seasons. It took Grant every moment of every game he played this year, setting the record with less than five minutes remaining in the final period.
“It’s cool to be recognized, but I’m more focused on the playoffs at this point,” said Grant, who was honored by the Swarm franchise following the game.
On a night when Colorado never led, the Mammoth was down 4-2 after one and 9-4 at halftime. The visitors scored four of the first five to start the third quarter to climb to within two (10-8), but never got any closer.
Grant’s six-point effort (2g, 4a) led all Colorado scorers. Jamie Lincoln had two goals and two assists, and Mat MacLeod had two tallies. Forward Adam Jones, a leading candidate for NLL Rookie of the Year honors, had a goal and two assists. His fourth-quarter score, Jones’ 29th of the season, set a new franchise rookie goal-scoring record.
Mammoth goaltender Chris Levis recorded 30 saves in the loss, finishing the season with a new franchise record of 603.
Swarm forward Ryan Benesch led all scorers with three goals and four assists, and transition player Jordan MacIntosh had two scores and four helpers.
The Mammoth (11-5) plays host to the Minnesota Swarm (9-7) next Saturday at 5:30pm MT in the West Division Semifinal of the Champion’s Cup Playoffs. Tickets are on sale now at the Pepsi Center box office, all Colorado Dick’s Sporting Goods retail kiosks, online at TicketHorse.com, or by phone at 303.53.HORSE.