March 21, 2008 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Portland Lumberjax
PORTLAND, March 20, 2008 - The calendar read March 20th, but Thursday night\'s game between the Portland LumberJax and Colorado Mammoth had the vibe of a playoff game. 6,182 roaring fans stood as the Jax (4-7) defeated the Mammoth (6-4) 16-15 at the Rose Garden Arena. Forward Derek Malawsky (2 goals, 7 assists) matched a franchise-high in assists and points scored and rookie forward Peter Jacobs (1 goal, 2 assists) scored the game winning goal with 1:06 left in regulation.
"It was a huge win," said Head Coach/General Manager Derek Keenan. "The guys knew we really needed this win and they executed the game plan real well."
The first quarter began as Colorado struck quickly, but Portland fired back when forward Dan Dawson (4 goals, 2 assists) beat Mammoth goalie Gee Nash with 10:56 left in the first quarter. Matt Holman and Malawsky were credited with assists on the goal.
The quarter continued as Colorado scored the next two goals before the Jax could respond with 21.4 seconds left in the quarter. Malawsky scored off a rebound shot to cut the Mammoth lead to 3-2 heading into the second quarter.
After two quick Mammoth goals, Portland responded with a goal from Peter Morgan (3 goals, 2 assists) with 12:27 left in the half. Malawsky and forward Ryan Powell (2 assists) worked a series of exchanges before setting up P. Morgan for the goal.
Tempers flared with 6:44 to play as Powell and Mammoth defenseman Bruce Murray traded shoves. Both were penalized, but Murray had a few additional choice words for Crew Chief Tom Sutton and not only did he receive a roughing penalty, but also a two-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
The physical play seemed to invigorate Portland as they scored two consecutive power play goals. P, Morgan scored with 2:34 left in the half and forward Cory Conway (2 goals, 3 assists) scored 29-seconds later to tie the game at five.
Colorado continued to play a man down, and the Jax continued to score on the power play. Dawson scored with 1:27 to play to give Portland its first lead at 6-5. Both Powell and Malawsky assisted on the goal, giving Malawsky five assists for the half. The goal was the fifth power play goal of the half for Portland, making the Jax 5-for-5 on the half.
It didn\'t take long for the Mammoth to tie the game for the third time at six as they scored just one-minute and 24-seconds into the third quarter. The run continued as Colorado scored the next goal to take a 7-6 lead. However, Portland scored its sixth power play goal as P. Morgan scored off feeds from Malawsky and Conway with 9:32 left in the third quarter.
The Mammoth were able to break the tie by going on a 2-0 run to make it 9-7 in favor of the visiting team. Portland soon cut the lead as defenseman Brodie Merrill (3 assists and 21 loose balls) collected a loose ball deep in the Portland end and hit a streaking Dawson to cut the Mammoth lead to one with 5:06 left in the third.
Dawson\'s goal sparked an enormous rally as Malawsky scored with 4:07 left to tie the game at nine. Then, defenseman Pat Jones won the ensuing face-off and sent a pass to Merrill, who in turn hit forward Scott Stewart ( 2 goals) for the running goal to give Portland a 10-9 lead with 3:56 left in the third quarter.
The run continued as Dawson scored his fourth goal of the game with 2:49 left in the quarter to extend the Portland lead to 11-9.
Colorado would add a late goal, but Conway would sneak in a goal with 0.8-seconds left in the quarter to give Portland a 12-10 lead after three quarters.
The Mammoth would waste little time keeping themselves in the game, scoring with 13:52 left in regulation before Portland could answer with defenseman Richard Morgan. Off a pass from goalie Matt King, Morgan resembled his old self when he played for the Boise Stats Broncos Men\'s Basketball Team, going coast-to-coast and besting Nash to make it 13-11 with 11:38 to play in regulation.
The Mammoth were once again able to put a run together, scoring the next two goals in a 55-second span to knot the game up for the sixth time at 13.
Portland responded with its own 2-0 run that gave the Jax a 15-13 lead with 5:45 to play. Merrill sent a cross-turf pass to transition player Tyler Codron who beat Nash with 6:48 to play and then Stewart scored his second goal of the game to make it 15-13 with 5:45 left in regulation.
Two Mammoth goals set the stage for Jacobs\' epic game clinching goal. Off passes from Jacobs and Conway, the Akwesasne, Ontario native buried the game clincher behind a defenseless Nash with 1:06 to play.
The staunch Jax defense was able to steal Colorado\'s final possession and watch as the clock hit zero and Portland\'s rowdy bunch went into a euphoric craze over the win.
Notes: The 16 goals scored by Portland matched a franchise-high...Malawsky\'s seven assists matched a franchise-high as did his nine points scored...Powell has scored at least one point in all 38 career regular season games he\'s appeared in with Portland...Powell has tallied an assist in 37 straight regular season games...P. Morgan has scored at least one point in all 41 career regular season games he\'s appeared in with the Jax...Powell had not appeared in the penalty box since 2/17/07 vs. Rochester, a span of 16 games until tonight...Five of the eight meetings between the Jax and Mammoth have now been decided by three goals or less...Dawson matched a season-high with four goals scored.