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Sloppy play costs Jax in opening-game loss

by: , MALAWSKY

Based on their first game, the Portland LumberJax need to clean up their act.

The Jax gave up nine power-play goals on 14 man-down situations against New York, including two in the fourth quarter that hurt dearly in their 14-11 loss Saturday at the Rose Garden.

Penalties on Mike Kilby and Derek Malawsky led to Titan goals after the Jax had fought back to tie the game at 11-11.

General Manager-coach Derek Keenan and his players say the National Lacrosse League referees were whistling everything to set their standards high for the season. But the Jax just made some bonehead plays.

The 16-penalty tally: five roughing, three holding, two too-many-men, two delays, one checking-from-behind, one interference, one tripping and one unsportsmanlike.

'The refs are going to set the standard - can't set it low and bring it up,' says Portland star Dan Dawson, who had four goals and five assists. 'But there were blatant calls that were penalties, six to eight bad penalties.

'We can clean it up. We've just got to look at ourselves in the mirror. Guys need to relax, control their aggression. That's all it will take. We have two weeks to clean things up. The good thing is they weren't lazy penalties, like a hook or a slash,' says Malawsky.

'They're doing more off-ball calls; if you're clutching and grabbing, they're scrutinizing that.' 'Midway through the season, half of those calls won't be made like they were tonight. We need to be aware of that. It's typical, it's how the league works. We need to know what the parameters are.'

The Jax had only three fewer power play opportunities, going 6 of 11 with the man advantage. It just seemed like Portland played a man down for half the game.

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