STING TAKE DOWN MAMMOTH 14-8
Arizona Improves to 8-4 on the
Season with Impressive Road Win
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, March 30, 2007
DENVER, CO --- The Arizona Sting scored a pachyderm-sized victory on Friday night, defeating the defending NLL Champion Colorado Mammoth 14-8 at the Pepsi Center to move to within 1.5 games of first place in the West Division. The Sting dominated the match from start to finish, confounding the Mammoth’s offense and scoring several highlight-reel goals to earn their biggest win of the season by a large margin.
“This was a total team victory,” said Head Coach/GM Bob Hamley following the match. “We played hard from start to finish and stuck to our game plan
. I’m really proud of the effort I saw out there tonight.”
Arizona came out extremely strong on Friday night, taking an 8-4 lead in the first half on the strength of 22 saves by Rob Blasdell and a pair of goals by Andrew Lazore. The second half saw further domination from the Sting, as Blasdell continued to play well between the pipes and the Sting attack maintained their remarkable productivity against the top-ranked team in the National Lacrosse League.
The Sting power play took center stage in the early going, converting on a pair of opportunities in the opening five minutes to give the visiting squad from the Valley of the Sun and early 2-0 lead. Jamie Shewchuk responded for the Mammoth, scoring on a breakaway to cut the Sting lead in half, but Andrew Lazore then scored his first goal of the season to make the score 3-1 in Arizona’s favor. A short-handed tally by Josh Sims brought Colorado back to within one at the 9:25 mark of the first period, but Peter Veltman unleashed a rocket of a shot that found the back of the Mammoth net 2:14 later to re-establish the two-goal Sting advantage as the opening quarter came to an end.
The second period opened favorably for the visitors, as Brad MacDonald scored his first goal in a Sting uniform to put Arizona up by three 3:53 into the frame. Mike Law and Lindsay Plunkett then exchanged goals to make the score 6-3, but Andrew Lazore’s second goal of the night gave the Sting a four-goal cushion midway through the second quarter. A breakaway goal by Mike Law then brought the home team to within a field goal with 2:09 remaining in the opening half. ‘Dangerous’ Dan Dawson then got in on the action, out-dueling defenseman Tom Ethington one-on-one in the Colorado zone and beating Mammoth goaltender Gee Nash with a well-placed shot as he dove through the air to make the score 8-4 as the match reached its midway point. Dawson was pleased with his team’s effort on Friday night.
“We really came out with a lot of energy tonight and it showed on the score board,” said Dawson. “This was a really big win for us tonight and we can’t wait to get back on our home floor tomorrow for another big game against the Stealth.”
Chris Seller netted his seventh goal of the season early in the fourth quarter to put Arizona up by a score of 9-4. The speedy defender took an outlet pass from Scott Self and proceeded to charge uncontested into the Mammoth zone, beating goaltender Chris Levis with a low shot to continue the unrelenting onslaught for the Sting. Dan Dawson’s second tally of the match put Arizona up six at the 9:13 mark of the third, and Lindsay Plunkett scored on the power play two minutes later to make the score 11-4. Colorado’s Ben Prepchuk then scored the Mammoth’s lone goal of the third period with 2:27 remaining in the frame, but Lindsay Plunkett’s fourth goal of the match shortly thereafter put Arizona back up by a converted touchdown as regulation’s penultimate quarter came to an end.
The fourth period saw a more defensive tone take over, as neither team was able to light the lamp until midway through the frame when Peter Veltman tallied his second of the match on an impressive behind-the-back feed from Dan Dawson. Colorado scored on their next possession however, as Josh Sims scored in transition to make the score 13-6 in favor of the Sting. A goal by Derek Malawsky with 5:44 in regulation then put the Sting up by Craig Conn’s uniform number. A pair of meaningless goals from Jamie Shewchuk and Gavin Prout resulted in the final score reading 14-8 in favor of the Sting.
Goaltender Rob Blasdell, who finished the evening with 37 saves, was happy to have earned his eighth win of the season for the Sting in Denver.
“This was a big game for us and we really stepped up on both sides of the ball,” said Blasdell. “Our offense was really firing on all cylinders out there and our defense did a great job of keeping their forwards from getting many quality chances. We’re happy with the win, but we’ve got to stay focused on the task at hand, and come out tomorrow night with a solid effort against San Jose.”
The Sting take on the San Jose Stealth tomorrow night at Jobing.com Arena. The action gets underway at 7:30pm, as Arizona looks to capture their sixth straight victory against their divisional foes.