Archive for December, 2007


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NLL All Access: Opening Night

By now we’ve all seen the final score from Saturday in Denver and are busy poring over the game stories and highlights to glean some more insight into how the Mammoth and the Roughnecks may fare over their next fifteen games.

Opening night of the salvaged season certainly lived up to everyone’s expectations: A frustrating and physical contest that ended with a furious comeback by Colorado to deny their most hated rival a victory on the road.

But, as usual, there’s more to the NLL than just the game.

I had the best seat in the house at the Pepsi Center – just a few feet away from Bob McMahon on the Mammoth bench – and was able to get unfettered access to just about every part of the night, from the pre-game turf installation to the post-game party (check out the photo gallery from opening night here).

After the jump, we’ll take you through the opening day and night of the 2008 NLL Season…
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Lessons in losing

Losing isn’t fun, but it can be educational.

That’s why Calgary Roughnecks general manager Kurt Silcott isn’t too disappointed with Saturday night’s loss to the Colorado Mammoth. When the ‘Necks arrived in Denver, they were already without veteran defenders Andrew McBride (shoulder) and Devan Wray (work commitments). Then they lost Ryan McNish to a game misconduct.

Still, the ‘Necks were able to take the Mammoth down to the wire and that’s the kind of effort that has Silcott amped for the rest of this season, he told The Calgary Sun.


B2 needs to BBetter

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Finally! The season’s underway. It always seems like an eternity between the Champion’s Cup game and the start of the next season. And when you’re a player or a coach, the pre-season feels like it will never end. You tend to get a little stale when your preparation is predominantly practice with next to no game action.

I took in last night’s ’08 season debut via the B2 broadcast. Although it was great to be able to take in the game on live video, the broadcast was lacking in a number of areas.

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Mammoth 4th Quarter in Colorado

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17, 811 fans showed up for game one of the 2008 NLL season and although the Mammoth Fans had a scare, they eventually went home happy. The Mammoth overcame an 8-4 deficit to score 6 straight goals enroute to a 10-9 victory. NLL refs have a tough job – especially with rules changing every year- so I try not to bash them. However I thought that they were “whistle happy” on Saturday and the game’s turning point was a double minor against Curt Malawsky at the end of the third quarter. With the score 8-5 for Calgary and seconds remaining in the quarter, Calgary forced a turnover deep in the Colorado end. After a couple of quick passes Curt Malawsky was in alone on Nash. The buzzer went seconds before his shot beat Nash and referee Rick Lum correctly waived off the goal. However he also gave Malawsky a minor for “delay of game” and an additional minor for “unsportsman like” (which I’m sure Malawsky earned). Given the crowd noise, how quickly Malawsky shot after the buzzer, and the fact that it was a harmless inside shot; I was very surprised that he got a penalty. Jamie Shewchuk scored 2 goals while Malawsky was in the box and the momentum was all Colorado’s for the rest of the game.  The Mammoth went on to score a short-handed goal, an even strength goal and another power play goal.  Gee Nash also came up big in the last minutes of the game to preserve the victory.
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Shanny’s Power Rankings: Week 1

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Week 1

1 (1)

Rochester Knighthawks
0-0-0
Defending champs

2 (2)

Colorado Mammoth
1-0-0
Squeezed out opening game win.

3 (3)

Buffalo Bandits
0-0-0
How much will Greenhalgh’s injury hurt?

4 (4)

Calgary Roughnecks
0-1-0
One bad quarter Saturday.

5 (5)

San Jose Stealth
0-0-0
No surprise this year.

6 (6)

Philadelphia
0-0-0
If they don’t move up this year – they never will.

7 (7)

Toronto Rock
0-0-0
Looked good in pre-season. Might surprise.

8 (8)

Minnesota Swarm
0-0-0
Always tough. How good will Point be?

9 (9)

Edmonton Rush
0-0-0
Playoff bound?

10 (10)

Portland Lumberjax
0-0-0
Dawson might have something to say about this.

11 (11)

Chicago Shamrox
0-0-0
If anyone falters, Batley’s crew will pounce.

12 (12)

New York Titans
0-0-0
No where to go but up.


Classic Rock

Brian Silcott may be none too pleased with the news, but Rock fans can breathe a sigh of relief as the Toronto Sun reports that their team is returning to the defense-heavy playing style that has served them so well in the past. With that question mark answered, Rock fans can go back to worrying about what really matters: whatever happened to Sister Satellite, and are they available Saturdays?

On the sad news front, the Rocky Mountain News has the story of the funeral for the Colorado Mammoth usher who was brutally killed several weeks ago in Denver.

In other Mammoth news, Dan Carey will be going One on One on the radio: coloradomammoth.com

And Rochester’s John Grant will be dropping the puck at tonight’s Amerks game: knighthawks.net


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Calgary and Colorado Reignite Rivalry in Season Opener

Watching the first and second half of the Calgary Roughnecks and the Colorado Mammoth was like watching two different games. In the first half there was an aggressive and physical Calgary defense that stifled any offensive opportunities Colorado could generate. And in the second half, the Mammoth decided to show up, coming away with a come-from-behind 10-9 win. A lot has yet to be learned about these two teams as the season moves on but a lot was learned at the Pepsi Center tonight as well:
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Where’s the Respect?

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It has been a long time since I was a rookie, but for six or seven years it seemed as if I was some one’s rookie every year. Whether it was lacrosse or hockey, junior, senior, field or box, I had my head shaved more then my fair share of times. I had to drink a lot of warm beer and tequila through a straw out of a stainless steel popcorn bowl that was being heated by a Bunsen burner. I ran around icy parking lots without any clothes on carrying a marshmallow passenger in some unmentionable place that some other rookie (who was slower then me) was likely going to have to eat. My parents found me duct-taped to our front porch one year, mostly unclothed, thoroughly soaked with the garden hose. I’ve slow danced in public places with more then my share of dudes at the behest of some group of chuckling veterans.

Funny thing is I’m still alive to tell the stories and I learned a whole lot about respecting my sporting elders, aka vets. I might have learned it the hard way but I learned it never the less.

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Calgary & Colorado, the definition of lax rivals

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Rivalries based on geographical proximity are cool I guess, but serve me up somma that hate based stuff that only comes outta the best playing the best over-and-over until the roofs about to blow off.

Oh yeah, that stuff!

And we got that kinda war comin’ at us tonight when Calgary jets over to Denver to dance with the Colorado Mammoth. No doubt bloods gonna be drawn early this year, literally and figuratively. READ MORE »


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Dispersal collateral and pre-season wrap-up

Feeling firsthand the effects of the dispersal draft and subsequent roster trimmings, Arizona Sting draft pick Jamie Pilon (must…not…joke) told the Windsor Star how it felt to lose his rookie spot to veteran players. And since he was left out in the cold instead of the desert, he had no choice but to show off his lacrosse skills on ice.

On the other side of the fence, Matt Brown is nothing but smiles over how the labour dispute helped his situation, reports the Denver Post.

In other news:

  • The Rochester Knighthawks capped off pre-season action with a last-minute 14-13 victory over the Toronto Rock: knighthawks.net
  • The San Jose Stealth, who were apparently celebrating some sort of professional sports teams’ opposite day, have lowered ticket prices: sjstealth.com