COLORADO MAMMOTH (6-6) VS. VANCOUVER WARRIORS (3-10)
SAT MARCH 25 | ROGERS ARENA
8 P.M. MT FACEOFF
ALT TV 2 | ESPN+
After dropping four of its last five contests, the Colorado Mammoth secured a key 13-8 victory over the Buffalo Bandits last weekend to improve to 6-6 on the season. Now sitting in fourth place of the NLL’s West Conference after seeing the Saskatchewan Rush drop its fourth-consecutive matchup last weekend and watching Panther City handle the league’s newest franchise to maintain the current No. 3 spot, Colorado will look to get a win streak brewing in hopes of making its March to May pay off with another trip to the NLL postseason.
RELATED: Visiting Mammoth Secures 13-8 Victory over Bandits
Defeating the league’s top-ranked team is a feat in itself, but considering the Mammoth have now picked up wins in four of its last five matchups against 2022 NLL Most Valuable Player Dhane Smith and his squad, the Bandits will need to hope they don’t run into the defending NLL Champions again in this year’s finals. While Buffalo prepares to face one of Colorado’s well-documented rivals this weekend in the San Diego Seals, the Mammoth will turn its attention to the 3-10 Vancouver Warriors, the conference foe it secured a regular season series against last season.
Since starting the season with a four-game losing streak, eventually dropping nine of its first 10 games of the 2022-23 season, Vancouver has now secured victories in two of its last three matchups, specifically a pair of West Conference wins against the Saskatchewan Rush (16-12) and the Las Vegas Desert Dogs (14-5). Oddly enough, the recent success has come after the team sent its top scoring threat, Mitch Jones, to the Philadelphia Wings earlier this season while dealing with changes within its front office personnel.
The warriors currently occupy the bottom spot of the competitive West Conference, but with former Mammoth forward Kyle Killen and company still showing up to work with a sincere effort, Mammoth fans can expect a quality competition Saturday night in Vancouver.
As the 2023 NLL Trade Deadline approached on Monday afternoon, March 20th, Colorado found itself involved in two last-minute deals, both with in-conference rivals, as the Mammoth found themselves dealing veteran forward Rhys Duch to the Saskatchewan Rush in exchange for a conditional third-round selection in the 2023 NLL Entry Draft before later sending a conditional third-round selection in the 2025 NLL Entry Draft to the Las Vegas Desert Dogs in exchange for defenseman Garrett McIntosh. After making a pair of deals last season during the deadline session, acquiring forward Tyson Gibson and defenseman Anthony Joaquim, Mammoth General Manager Brad Self was back at it again, not settling for anything less than another run at the championship.
Working alongside former Offensive Coordinator Shawn Williams (current Las Vegas Desert Dogs General Manager and Head Coach) and previous Team Operations Manager Cody Moll (now, Assistant General Manager for the Desert Dogs), the exchange marks the first-ever swap between the organizations, all within the Sin City contingency’s first official season.
With Noah Lebar officially being moved the team’s Season-Ending Injured Reserve List, the team elected to sign forward Connor Watson and defenseman Tyler Garrison to contracts as the injury carousel continues to spin round. After welcoming back Ryan Lee to the Active Roster last weekend in Buffalo while the talented forward was dealing with some lingering knee soreness, the team opted into activating Ty Thompson from the Practice Player List as well, which quickly proved dividends. Defenseman Brett Craig saw action in his fourth game of the season, while forward Brett McIntyre was delegated to the Practice Player List, leaving the door open for a whirlwind of potential transactions heading into this weekend’s clash with Vancouver.
Mammoth fans can stay tuned to coloradomammoth.com, the team’s social media channels and NLL.com’s transaction page for the team’s latest transactions, news and beyond heading into this weekend’s contest against the Warriors.
Saturday’s matchup in Vancouver represents the first of two regular season matchups against the Warriors and the only to be hosted inside Rogers Arena, with the second of two contests set to be played in Ball Arena just two weekends after, April 8. Saturday’s West Conference showdown is slated to begin at 8 p.m. MT and can be viewed locally on Altitude TV 2 and nationally via ESPN+.
Leading the Way
Through Colorado’s first 12 games of the 2022-23 campaign, no forward has been active for all 12 games, as the offensive unit, and team overall, has dealt with a variety of injuries. That said, forward Eli McLaughlin continues to lead the team in overall scoring, goals and assists with his 50 points (24g, 26a) in 11 games played. With nearly identical offensive totals through their own first 11 games played this year, forwards Connor Robinson (23g, 19a) and Zed Williams (22g, 19a) round out the top three scoring leaders for Colorado, able to strike at a moment’s notice an regularly providing sparks for the defending NLL Champions. With veteran Rhys Duch being dealt to the Rush earlier this week, forward Chris Wardle’s 24 points (6g, 18a) and Dylan Kinnear’s 19 (6g, 13a) presently round out the top five totals, with Ryan Lee’s 16 points (2g, 14a) logged in his two appearances currently representing the sixth-best for the Mammoth.
While the debate on the faceoff will always rage on, Tim Edwards has showcased his ability to contend with the best in the league at the dot, most recently securing 13-of-23 (56.5%) last week against Buffalo, now bringing his total to 173-for-294 on the season (58.9%), the fifth-most among all NLL players. Captain and defenseman Robert Hope just overtook Edwards last weekend leading the loose ball charge after picking up 12, now with a team-best 106 on the year, while fellow back-ender Warren Jeffrey leads the way with 13 caused turnovers.
Consistency is Key
Missing Ryan Lee during its last game, the squad was back in productive form last weekend with Lee’s six points (0g, 6a) pacing all Mammoth scorers in his second game of the season. When Lee is healthy, Colorado’s offense feels alive, allowing the quarterback to execute while fellow righty Zed Williams gets things flowing down low. After seeing Williams put up another five points (2g, 3a) during the team’s win in Buffalo, a hometown matchup Williams, it’s he, Eli McLaughlin and Connor Robinson who have been powering the O-unit as of late, with McLaughlin most recently recording five points of his own (3g, 2a), while Robinson picked up yet another hat trick (3g, 0a) against the Bandits. It’s never been about who gets it done, but as the season continues, the Mammoth have seen McLaughlin, Williams and company record at least one point in each contest so far this season, including:
Eli McLaughlin (0g, 5a), (4g, 3a), (2g, 1a), (1g, 3a) (3g, 1a), (2g, 4a), (2g, 1a), (4g, 2a), (3g, 1a), (0g, 3a), (3g, 2a) = 50 points (24g, 26a)
Connor Robinson (1g, 0a), (0g, 1a), (5g, 1a), (4g, 1a), (2g, 2a), (4g, 3a), (1g, 4a), (1g, 1a), (2g, 3a), (0g, 3a), (3g, 0a) = 42 points (23g, 19a)
Zed Williams (2g, 0a), (3g, 5a), (3g, 0a), (1g, 0a), (1g, 2a), (2g, 1a), (1g, 3a), (1g, 3a), (3g, 1a), (3g, 1a), (2g, 3a) = 41 points (22g, 19a)
Brett McIntyre (1g, 1a), (1g, 1a), (0g, 1a), (1g, 4a), (1g, 1a), (1g, 0a), (1g, 0a), (1g, 0a) = 15 points (7g, 8a)
Ty Thompson (2g, 0a), (1g, 3a), (0g, 1a), (3g, 1a), (2g, 1a) = 14 points (8g, 6a)
Ryan Lee (2g, 8a), (0g, 6a) = 16 points (2g, 14a)
Tyson Gibson (0g, 2a), (1g, 2a), (1g, 3a) = 9 points (2g, 7a)
Get in the Game
Mammoth games can be viewed on Altitude TV and streamed live via ESPN+. Saturday’s game against Vancouver can be viewed locally on Altitude TV 2 and nationally on ESPN+. Mammoth fans can keep an eye on coloradomammoth.com and the team’s social media channels 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 March 31 Grow The Game matchup against the Las Vegas Desert Dogs are available for purchase.