2.3.23 vs. Georgia Swarm Game Preview
Colorado Opens Doubleheader Weekend by Hosting Swarm Friday
GEORGIA SWARM (0-4) VS. COLORADO MAMMOTH (3-2)
FRI FEB 3 | BALL ARENA
7 P.M. MT FACEOFF
ALT TV | ESPN+
Colorado is set to close out its season-long, four-game homestand inside the Loud House Friday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. as the Mammoth host the Georgia Swarm at Ball Arena during Lacrosse Out Cancer Night. The showdown against the Swarm will represent the teams’ only regular season meeting and first of two overall battles this season scheduled against East Conference opponents, as a looming NLL Finals rematch with the Buffalo Bandits representing the only other cross-conference bout this year for the Mammoth. Despite beginning the year with an 0-4 record, the Swarm have endured several bye weeks thus far, only playing four games through the first nine weeks of action. With annual All-Pro Lyle Thompson, 2019 NLL Most Valuable Player Shayne Jackson still around and a sudden offensive surge from Andrew Kew in the works, Colorado will still need to bring their A-game as they open the back-to-back weekend at home.
After registering a championship hangover, season-opening loss in Saskatchewan earlier this year, the Mammoth went on to enjoy a three-game win streak while inside the confines of Ball Arena, but dropped its most recent contest to the San Diego Seals, 13-9. With Dillon Ward being deemed a last-minute scratch en route to getting moved to the team’s Injured Reserve List, Tyler Carlson stepped in and provided a quality start, but Colorado’s offense couldn’t get much going, trailing 7-2 at the halftime break. While the O-unit started to heat up in the second half, closing out the session with the game’s last four goals, the 7-tally mark wasn’t enough to complete the comeback, as Colorado dropped to 3-2 on the season.
RELATED: Mammoth Drops 13-9 Final to San Diego
Eli McLaughlin continues to lead Mammoth scoring efforts with 23 points (10g, 13a) in his first five games, while veteran forward Rhys Duch has logged 15 of his own (4g, 13a) in one less contest after being signed by Colorado following its loss to Saskatchewan. Connor Robinson (12g, 5a) leads the team with 12 goals and remains tied with Duch with a team-second-best 17 points. Forward Zed Williams has recorded 14 points (9g, 5a) in four appearances so far, while sophomore Brett McIntyre rounds out the top five just two points behind Williams with 12 points (4g, 8a) in his five games play. Heading into the team’s sixth matchup of the year, faceoff specialist Tim Edwards has secured 64-of-116 draw opportunities (55.2%), while fellow defenseman and team captain Robert Hope leads the loose ball charge for Colorado with 43.
Colorado rolled with the same squad of 21 last weekend as they did during their win against the Saskatchewan Rush, barring the swap of Nate Faccin to the Active Roster for the injured Ward. Defenseman Brett Craig continued to see his time on floor count rise as the defenseman regains 100% health and trust in his knee after missing the entire 2021-22 campaign due to injury. While the team continues to trend toward full health with Ryan Lee and John Lintz remaining on the Injured Reserve List, 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 Friday’s matchup against the Georgia Swarm!
Friday’s contest at Ball Arena is slated to begin at 7 p.m. MT and can be viewed locally on Altitude TV and nationally via ESPN+.
Lacrosse Out Cancer Night & Postgame Autographs
Friday’s matchup means so much more than a typical lacrosse game inside Ball Arena; For you, for us, for fans, family members, friends and beyond who continue to fight against a disease which has impacted us all in some way. Our contest against Georgia represents that fight, as the best fans in lacrosse come together to honor those who continue to Lacrosse Out Cancer here in Colorado and throughout the lacrosse community. Thanks to our friends at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, who have graciously supported us again this year in bringing light to the fight, we’ll have the Ball Arena bowl glowing in lavender as the team honors RMHC patients, survivors and all of those who continue to work toward finding a way to Lacrosse Out Cancer for good.
Fans will also have the opportunity to share who they fight for on the back of this weekend’s Get in the Box Cards, and will be asked by the public address announcer to stand and showcase their cards early in the third quarter of Friday’s match.
Keeping the postgame action right on the playing field itself, fans will be able to step onto the turf following the end of the contest for postgame autographs and interactions with the entire Mammoth squad. Our longtime fans know how these work, but for any of our new followers, be sure to bring your favorite Mammoth swag, some markers and the biggest smiles you’ve got as the boys are set to interact in-person with the best fans in the league.
Due to the team’s back-to-back weekend of action, Friday’s postgame autograph session, presented by Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, will be limited to 15 minutes to allow the team time to recover and prepare for its second matchup against the Las Vegas Desert Dogs, slated to begin Saturday, Feb. 4 at 8:30 p.m. MT. Stay tuned for in-arena messaging on where and when to line up following the game, and we’ll see you on the turf!
Last Time They Met
Last meeting on Dec. 4, 2021, as the squads opened what would become Colorado’s 2022 NLL Championship campaign at Gas South Arena, the Mammoth exited the contest with a convincing 16-11 victory over the Swarm. Featuring the recently acquired Zed Williams facing his prior squad, there was a lot of excitement heading into this one, and plenty remaining after the team opened its season with the win.
Ryan Lee paced Mammoth scoring efforts with 6 points (5g, 1a), including an impress five-goal outing, while Dillon Ward stopped 42-of-53 shots for his first win of the campaign. Forward Eli McLaughlin (3g, 0a) recorded a hat trick on the evening and Connor Robinson picked up three points (2g, 1a) in his Mammoth debut.
Consistency is Key
Racking up 23 points (10g, 13a) in his first five appearances of the season and in similar fashion to last year’s postseason, Eli McLaughlin has stepped up to fill the void of an injured Ryan Lee. Averaging 4.6 points per-game, along with 2 goals per-game, McLaughlin’s 23 points pace overall scoring for the Mammoth, while his 10 goals rank second to Robinson’s 12 tallies. More importantly, the veteran continues to perform each game, having logged three points or more in each contest so far to complement his two hat tricks in five games. Most recently delivering four points (3g, 1a) last weekend against San Diego, Colorado will need McLaughlin to find twine early and often against the Swarm and Desert Dogs if the team wants to pick up a pair of victories. Typically joining McLaughlin on the scoreboard, the following players have contributed at least one point in each of the contests they’ve participated in, including:
Eli McLaughlin (0g, 5a), (4g, 3a), (2g, 1a), (1g, 3a) (3g, 1a) = 23 points (10g, 13a)
Connor Robinson (1g, 0a), (0g, 1a), (5g, 1a), (4g, 1a), (2g, 2a) = 17 points (12g, 5a)
Rhys Duch (2g, 1a), (1g, 4a), (1g, 6a), (0g, 2a) = 17 points (4g, 13a)
Zed Williams (2g, 0a), (3g, 5a), (3g, 0a), (1g, 0a) = 14 points (9g, 5a)
Brett McIntyre (1g, 1a), (1g, 1a), (0g, 1a), (1g, 4a), (1g, 1a) = 12 points (4g, 8a)
Evan Downey (0g, 2a), (0g, 1a) = 3 points (0g, 3a)
Ty Thompson (2g, 0a) = 2 points (2g, 0a)
Swarm N’ Ready
While it may be a big week for Beyonce and the BeyHive collective, Georgia will need to bring their best efforts into the Loud House as they look to steal a victory from the 2022 NLL Champions in just their fifth contest of the 2022-23 campaign. Friday’s matchup also serves as the organization’s second away game of the year, but coming off another bye week of rest, the Swarm will be rested and ready to right the ship.
While perennial all-world talent in Lyle Thompson does pace the team with 10 goals, its his teammate Andrew Kew’s 21 points (7g, 21a) that lead the team in scoring so far. After logging a career-best 59 points (33g, 26a) last season with the Albany FireWolves, Kew has been a bright spot for the organization during his first season in Georgia. Thompson continues to pull his share of the weight though, with 19 points (10g, 9a) in four appearances, the forward is averaging 4.75 points per-game and will look to stay involved while utilizing the skillsets of teammates Brendan Bomberry and 2019 NLL MVP Shayne Jackson.
Jackson, who’s amassed 15 points (5g, 10a), and Bomberry, who’s recorded 10 (5g, 5a) of his own, will need to step up for the Swarm, as Colorado put up a 16-spot the last time the opponents collided. In his fourth season with Georgia, Adam Wiedemann has provided a spark from the back end, as the defenseman’s four goals (4g, 1a) rank fifth-best on the team as he remains on pace to best a career-high in that category, needing 8 more in 14 remaining contests.
Craig Wende and Brett Dobson have split time in net for the Swarm through four games, with each sporting 0-2 records, and less than favorable goals-against averages and below .750 save percentages. The Mammoth, who had a slow night offensively last weekend, will need to be active and alert for the potential “trap game,” as Lyle Thompson and crew remain hungry for their first win of the season as Colorado closes out its four-game homestand inside the Loud House.
Get in the Game
Mammoth road games can be viewed on Altitude TV and streamed live via ESPN+. Friday’s game against Georgia 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. 3 Lacrosse Out Cancer Night matchup, presented by Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, against the Georgia Swarm are available for purchase, so break out the throwback Lacrosse Out Cancer jerseys and celebratory cowbells and come party at Ball Arena as the LOUD HOUSE shows the East Conference how to have some fun.