COLORADO MAMMOTH (4-4) VS. PANTHER CITY LACROSSE CLUB (5-4)
SAT FEB 18 | DICKIES ARENA
6 P.M. MT FACEOFF
ALT TV | ESPN+
After dropping a 13-9 final to the Calgary Roughnecks last weekend, Colorado suddenly finds itself in fifth place of the competitive West Conference standings as the NLL’s Week 12 of action quickly approaches. Now 4-4 on the season, the Mammoth will prepare for a set of matchups against Panther City Lacrosse Club, first travelling to Dickies Arena Feb. 18 and later hosting the squad inside Ball Arena the following weekend, Feb. 24. Saturday’s showdown will represent the second of two matchups between the franchises, and the second inside Dickies Arena.
RELATED: Mammoth Drop 13-9 Final to Roughnecks, Fall to 4-4
Entering the contest with a 5-4 record after picking up a dramatic 14-13 win over the 1-8 Vancouver Warriors last weekend, Panther City sits in fourth place of the West Conference with 105 goals recorded in its first nine opportunities. The club began its season with a 2-0 record, beating up on the Las Vegas Desert Dogs during the expansion club’s first two NLL games, but eventually ran into the defending champs Week 3, falling to Colorado 12-9 at Dickies Arena. Following the holiday pause, Panther City went on to lose its next two games, but has since secured wins in three of its last four games, including a victory over the Philadelphia Wings and a pair of wins against Vancouver.
Through the Mammoth’s first eight matchups, forward Eli McLaughlin continues to lead Mammoth personnel with 38 points (18g, 20a) and 18 goals, while veteran forward Rhys Duch paces the squad with 22 helpers amongst his 30 points (8g, 22a). Despite missing Saturday’s game against Calgary, Connor Robinson’s 29 points (17g, 12a) round out the top three totals for the defending champions. Zed Williams has continued to provide a balanced scoring attack with 24 points (13g, 11a) while constantly drawing attention, and usually an extra defender. In his first six appearances of the season, Chris Wardle has contributed 19 points (5g, 14a) while continuing to execute quality picks, seals and passes in setting his teammates up for success.
Absolutely dominating the circle last weekend, credited for winning 23-of-26 draws, faceoff specialist Tim Edwards has now secured 113-of-193 draw opportunities (58.5%) and has secured a team-best 69 loose balls in eight games.
With John Lintz returning from a few games on the Injured Reserve List, Tyson Gibson seeing his first action of the 2022-23 campaign and beyond, a significant set of transactions heading into last weekend’s showdown with the Roughnecks impacted the personnel available for the key contest. After seeing defenseman Joey Cupido moved to the Season-Ending Injured Reserve List after suffering a lower-body injury in the team’s Feb. 3 game against the Georgia Swarm, the team placed standout forward Connor Robinson on the Injured Reserve List Saturday afternoon, joining fellow stud Ryan Lee. Additional moves could be made this weekend heading into the team’s contest against Panther City.
The Mammoth organization also executed a trade this week, sending veteran forward Mike Burke to the New York Riptide in exchange for a third-round selection in the 2024 NLL Entry Draft. Burke managed five points (0g, 5a) and 15 loose balls in his three appearances this season with Colorado.
Mammoth fans can stay tuned to the team’s social media channels and NLL.com’s transaction page for the team’s latest transactions, news and beyond heading into Saturday’s matchup against the Calgary Roughnecks!
Saturday’s matchup at Dickies Arena is slated to begin at 6 p.m. MT and can be viewed locally on Altitude TV and nationally via ESPN+.
Last Time They Played
Colorado secured a 12-9 victory over Panther City earlier this season when the Fort Worth-based club hosted the Mammoth Dec. 17 down south. The contest was part of the home team’s first doubleheader of the season, as Panther City visited the Desert Dogs the night before.
RELATED: Mammoth Pick Up Win Down South in 12-9 Final Over Panther City
The Mammoth came out firing, too, outscoring the purple and black contingency 5-1 through the contest’s first 18 minutes, and 7-3 overall in the first half. But, the second-year-squad showed some resilience in the second half, beginning the third quarter with a pair of goals, but veteran Rhys Duch had an answer a few minutes later to stop the run.
Eventually matching Colorado’s four-goal fourth quarter, the team wasn’t able to complete the weekend sweep, dropping the contest at home.
Dillon Ward stopped 48-of-57 in earning his first win of the season by turning in a stellar performance on the road as Eli McLaughlin (4g, 3a) and Zed Williams (3g, 5a) combined for 15 points in the win. Dylan Kinnear (0g, 5a), Rhys Duch (2g, 1a), Ty Thompson (2g, 0a) and Brett McIntyre (1g, 1a) rounded out scoring efforts for Colorado.
Consistency is Key
While the results from the team’s past few games haven’t been extremely encouraging, the individual performances Eli McLaughlin continues to produce are impressive, to say the least. Most recently racking up six points (4g, 2a) en route to logging his 200th career goal, all with Colorado, McLaughlin has been a walking toolbox, scoring when he wants and setting up teammates to do the same on the regular. Continuing to average more than 4.5 points per-game (currently 4.75), the B.C. native’s 38 points (18g, 20a) pace overall scoring for the Mammoth, while his 18 goals also rank first for Colorado, after Robinson missed last weekend’s matchup against Calgary due to injury. After scoring four of the team’s nine markers against the Roughnecks, Colorado will rely on the forward to find twine again this weekend in Fort Worth as the West Conference opponents look to put on a show Saturday night inside Dickies Arena. McLaughlin joins the following Mammoth scorers in showing up on the scoresheet in each game they’ve participated in, including:
Eli McLaughlin (0g, 5a), (4g, 3a), (2g, 1a), (1g, 3a) (3g, 1a), (2g, 4a), (2g, 1a), (4g, 2a) = 38 points (18g, 20a)
Rhys Duch (2g, 1a), (1g, 4a), (1g, 6a), (0g, 2a), (2g, 5a), (1g, 3a), (1g, 1a) = 30 points (8g, 22a)
Connor Robinson (1g, 0a), (0g, 1a), (5g, 1a), (4g, 1a), (2g, 2a), (4g, 3a), (1g, 4a) = 29 points (17g, 12a)
Zed Williams (2g, 0a), (3g, 5a), (3g, 0a), (1g, 0a), (1g, 2a), (2g, 1a), (1g, 3a) = 24 points (13g, 11a)
Brett McIntyre (1g, 1a), (1g, 1a), (0g, 1a), (1g, 4a), (1g, 1a), (1g, 0a) = 13 points (5g, 8a)
Ty Thompson (2g, 0a), (1g, 3a) = 6 points (3g, 3a)
On the Prowl
Featuring a variety of former Mammoth players and personnel, including the likes of forward Will Malcom, General Manager Bob Hamley, Assistant Coach Steve Toll and beyond, Colorado remains pretty familiar with the franchise’s values and approach. That said, after dropping its regular season series to Fort Worth last season, 1-2, the Mammoth understand this team is full of talent, ready to explode in transition and compete in 5-on-5 sets each time they battle.
Featuring one of the more top-heavy offensive units so far this season, Malcom currently leads the scoring charge for Panther City with 57 points (21g, 36a) as the young forward continues to develop his skillset and understanding of playing at the professional level. He’s been keyed in on by defenses throughout the year, but has used his agility and understanding of the game to convert and keep teammates involved. Fellow youngster Jonathan Donville is finding is way this season as well, having recorded 50 points (12g, 38a) in his first campaign as a regular NLL player, and the fit seems to be well-received. Continuing the youth movement, Patrick Dodds has accumulated 35 points (12g, 23a) in nine games, while Phil Caputo’s 20 points (9g, 11a) and Nathan Grennon’s 19 points (11g, 8a) round out the top 5 totals for the club.
Nick Damude has seen a majority of the action in net so far for Panther City, bringing a 5-3 record, 10.10 goals-against average and .795 save percentage into Saturday’s showdown down south. Cam Macleod has made 41 saves in brief relief duty, albeit limited action.
Get in the Game
Mammoth road games can be viewed on Altitude TV and streamed live via ESPN+. Saturday’s game against Panther City can be viewed locally on Altitude TV and nationally on ESPN+. Mammoth fans can keep an eye on the team’s social media channels and coloradomammoth.com for the latest news, transactions and organizational updates throughout the 2022-23 NLL season.
RELATED: Altitude Announces 2022-23 Colorado Mammoth Broadcast Schedule
Limited tickets for Colorado’s Feb. 24 Military Appreciation Night matchup against Panther City Lacrosse Club are available for purchase.