Vinc, Orlando Shut Down Mammoth Again
by Ron Knabenbauer | NLL.com
For the third time this season goaltender Matt Vinc kept the opponent to less than 10 goals.
Vinc made 47 saves and shutout the Colorado Mammoth in the first and third quarters to help the Orlando Titans to the 12-5 victory on Friday night at Pepsi Center.
"Early in the game I got a couple of good lucks at a couple shots and if things start bouncing your way, you gain a little bit more confidence every minute," Vinc said. "Our team did a good job of letting me see the ball, and giving me shots that I had a chance to stop."
After stopping all 10 shots he faced from the Mammoth (2-4) in the first quarter, Colorado's 15th shot of the game finally beat Vinc as forward Ilija Gajic got the ball in transition and found the back of the net for the shorthanded goal 6:32 into the second quarter.
The first quarter shutout of the Mammoth marks the second time this season that Colorado has been shutout in the first 15 minutes of play. The last time came in their season opener against the Washington Stealth on Jan. 9.
After the game, Colorado head coach Steve Govett said his team needs to get back to the successes they had in their first five games of the season.
"We have to refocus on what we have done right early in the season," Govett said. "I think we have been good on offense, but that game that was similar to the first Washington game, we shut down and didn't get through the middle, and we just have to recommit to that."
Colorado did outshoot Orlando 53-40 in the game.
Coming into the game, Orlando (3-1) forward Pat Maddalena was one goal shy of being the 13th player in NLL history to score 300. It didn't take long for him to get it as he beat Colorado goaltender Andrew Leyshon nearly three minutes into the game for the milestone and the early one goal lead for the Titans.
The goal was special to Maddalena and he said he couldn't have done it without the support from his father over the years.
"I'm quite proud of it," Maddalena said. "It is the accumulation of a lot of hard work throughout the years and I dedicate it to my dad who has always been there for me. He has always been there for me and he is deserving of it. If I could just back up my stats with a championship that would be great this season.
"It was also great to get it in Colorado. I remember playing in two all-star games here and getting my 300th here, it's been a good building for me."
Maddalena's goal was the beginning of four unanswered goals for the Titans in the first quarter (cq), with Mike McLellan, Casey Powell, and Ryan Boyle also scoring. After Powell's goal, Leyshon was replaced in net by Chris Levis who was traded to Colorado from Calgary on Wednesday. Levis finished the game with 26 saves.
Boyle and Powell both finished with six points for the Titans with them each netting three goals and adding three assists in the game.
Down by five, Chris Gill gave Colorado some momentum going into the half after he scored with 2:51 to play in the second quarter to make it a 6-2 game. Gill's goal was his first as a Mammoth after he was signed by the team on Wednesday.
The Titans continued their momentum that they had in the first half in the second, as they scored six unanswered goals before the Mammoth's Jeff Prossner beat Vinc with 3:24 remaining in regulation.
In the final three minutes, Cory Conway scored and Prossner added another goal as Colorado pulled Levis for the extra attacker to start a run. However the run came too late to start any kind of a comeback.
Titans head coach Ed Comeau said that the team knew how deadly Colorado was late in the game when they had the extra man.
"We knew that they were going to pull their goalie," Comeau said. "We knew they were going to do that, we played them tough there. They have some good shooters and on a 6-on-5 they are going to get some open shots, and they buried a couple."
Colorado had the slight edge in face offs, winning 11 of 21, but it was Orlando who had success while being a man up, scoring three power play goals on the night.
Orlando's game in Denver was the first part of a double header as they were scheduled to play the Wings on Saturday in Philadelphia. That game has been cancelled by the NLL as a pending winter storm is supposed to hit the Philadelphia area. The game will be rescheduled at a later date.
Both Colorado and Orlando's next game is on Feb. 20 with the Titans hosting the Boston Blazers at 7:35 p.m. EST at Amway Arena while the Mammoth will be in Minnesota to take on the Swarm later that night at 8:35 p.m. EST at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.
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