Mammoth deal leading-scorer Ryan Benesch to Rochester

Georgia Swarm v. Colorado Mammoth at Pepsi Center, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017, in Denver. (Photo by Jack Dempsey for the Colorado Mammoth)

The Colorado Mammoth announced today that they have acquired left-handed forward Cory Vitarelli from the Rochester Knighthawks in exchange for forward Ryan Benesch.

Benesch leaves the Mammoth as the leading scorer on the team so far in 2019 and was exactly that in 2018.

“Vitarelli is a player that our organization has had an eye on for a few years,” Pat Coyle said, Mammoth interim general manager and head coach. “We really like the type of teammate that he is, and, with his compete level, we feel that he could really give us a push to make the playoffs this year.”

Thirty-three-year-old Vitarelli was originally selected by the Rochester Knighthawks in the fifth round, 61st overall, in the 2006 NLL Entry Draft, but made his career debut with the team in 2011.

The Peterborough, Ontario native has played nine seasons with the Knighthawks, including three championship-winning seasons from 2012-14. In his 116 regular-season appearances, Vitarelli has amassed 184 goals and 129 assists for 313 points.

Last season, Vitarelli tied for fourth all-time in goals for the Knighthawks and tied for fifth all-time in playoff goals (21). In the regular season, he posted 25 goals and a career-high 20 assists for 45 points. This season, Vitarelli appeared in nine games for Rochester.

Playing alongside Mammoth defensemen Brad Self and Robert Hope, Vitarelli has played nine summer seasons for the Peterborough Lakers in the Major Series Lacrosse league, winning four Mann Cups with the team (2007, 2010, 2012, 2018).

Vitarelli will make his first appearance in Denver at the Mammoth’s Colorado Night matchup against the San Diego Seals at 7pm on Saturday, March 9.

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