In breaking National Lacrosse League news, the Edmonton Rush have added George St. Pierre to their coaching staff. Okay, that’s not true, but they may want to consider the idea after crushing the Colorado Mammoth 17-6 with the UFC legend joining them on the bench. Mark Matthews and Zack Greer each had 5 goals, with Matthews adding 4 assists, in an offensive onslaught that underscored the goaltending woes the Mammoth have faced so far this season. Dillon Ward and Tye Belanger went back and forth in the Colorado net but neither had the answer for Edmonton’s blitzkrieg of an offence. Jarrett Davis added a hat trick and 5 assists, rookie Riley Loewen put up 2 goals and 4 assists and Robert Church made his NLL debut a memorable one with 5 assists. Colorado did manage 46 shots on Aaron Bold but the Edmonton keeper turned aside 40 of them.
Adam Jones and Drew Westervelt were about the only offence Colorado could muster. Jones had his third straight 6-point night, scoring twice and adding 4 assists, and Westervelt had a hat trick and an assist. The game was never close as Edmonton scored four times in the first five minutes and held quarter leads of 6-1, 9-2 and 14-3. Edmonton remains perfect at 2-0 while the Mammoth drop to 1-3.
As good as Bold’s performance was for the Rush, it wasn’t the gold standard for goalies last night. That would be the game turned in by Tyler Richards. He faced 50 shots, including 20 in the fourth quarter alone, but made 45 saves—several of them spectacular—to lead the Stealth to an 8-5 victory over the Minnesota Swarm in their first game as Vancouver.
Goals were at a premium in the game, but the Stealth made the most of their chances, scoring their 8 markers on just 33 shots against Tyler Carlson. Rhys Duch got the first two for Vancouver to give them a lead they would never surrender. Duch added an assist to lead all scorers in the game, tied with Kiel Matisz. The Swarm’s big attack man put up the same 2-goal, 1-assist line and was Minnesota’s only dynamic threat for most of the game. He scored the goal of the night, skirting the crease line and sprawling to bat home his own rebound just before touching down in the crease for the final tally of the night.
After Duch had given the Stealth a 2-0 lead and Matisz had responded for Minnesota, Jeff Moleski took a feed from Kyle Sorensen and broke away to pot a shorthanded marker with 31 seconds left in the first quarter. The Stealth continued to have an answer for everything the Swarm could muster; they scored the next goal each time Minnesota was able to beat Richards except for the final Matisz marker, after which they just worked the clock till the final buzzer.
In a rarity this season, neither team was very successful on the power play. Each scored just one goal with the extra man, Vancouver on four chances and Minnesota on six. The Stealth evened their record at 1-1 while the Swarm drop to 0-2 on the young season.
Rochester did most of their damage in a dominating second quarter as the defending champs improved to 2-0 with a 13-9 win that dropped the Philadelphia Wings to 1-1. The Knighthawks blanked Philly 6-0 in the period, including potting all three of their power play goals for the game. Dan Dawson had 3 goals and 3 assists and Craig Point 3 and 2 as the right side of Rochester’s offence led the way; Stephen Keogh also added a goal and 3 assists on the right side. Cody Jamieson was pretty good on the other side, too, scoring twice and chipping in with 6 assists.
Kyle Buchanan had another big night for the Wings, scoring 2 goals and 4 assists, while Jordan Hall and Kevin Ross each contributed a pair of goals.
There’s still one game to go in this busy NLL weekend. Philadelphia returns home to face the Buffalo Bandits in a 4 pm start that you can see live on The Lacrosse Network via YouTube.
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