February 16, 2013 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Colorado Mammoth
DENVER "" On a night when the U.S. Armed Forces were honored by the Colorado Mammoth (2-4) and its fans, the team lost, 14-7, to the Edmonton Rush (3-4). The Mammoth\'s 3-0 first-quarter lead evaporated 42 seconds into the second period, as Rush rookie and University of Denver alumnus Mark Matthews tallied his second of the night to tie the game. He\'d later add three more.
"The fact that [Mark\'s] the size that he is, he can move like he can, and he has the shot that he does is just unbelievable," said Colorado goaltender Dan Lewis, who made 22 saves in 28-plus minutes on Saturday night in relief of starter Matt Roik. "He\'s a great athlete, a great player, and he\'ll be in the league for a long time to come."
Matthews led all scorers with six points. Reigning NLL MVP John Grant Jr. recorded a hat trick for Colorado, and 2012 NLL Rookie of the Year Adam Jones notched two goals and two assists.
Military Appreciation Night was littered with tributes to the men and women who serve the country. At halftime, an Oath of Enlistment ceremony engaged the 17,059 fans in attendance. The postgame featured a "Jerseys Off Our Backs\' presentation to active and retired military. But it was the pregame ceremonial face-off that will live in the minds of many for years to come.
Army Corporal Nick Orchowski, a Mammoth season ticket holder, was recognized for his service. One of only a handful of quadriplegics in the world who can walk, Orchowski was thrown from the gunner\'s hatch of a vehicle that was hit during an insurgents\' attack in Baghdad, Iraq in 2004.
"It was so inspirational, and I think that showed throughout our whole team when we jumped out to that 3-0 start," said Colorado transition player Mat MacLeod, referring to the Orchowski tribute. "It\'s just unfortunate that we couldn\'t maintain it. The military does so much for this country and it\'s an honor to be able to play in front of them."
The Mammoth will be in Philadelphia next week to take on the Wings on Sunday, February 24 at 2:00pm MST.