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Colorado Visits Calgary Saturday for TSN’s Sports Interaction Game of the Week

Since dropping a 9-8 loss to Saskatchewan April 16, the team’s second one-tally deficit on the road against the Rush this season, the Mammoth enjoyed some rest last weekend during the bye week. While watching along with the Week 21 action, Mammoth fans (players and staff, alike) witnessed this weekend’s opponents, the Calgary Roughnecks, drop a stunning 15-7 matchup to the Rochester Knighthawks. Further upping the ante on Colorado’s odds of securing a home playoff game, San Diego ended up suffering a 17-14 to the Rush, the Seals’ sixth-consecutive loss as the club continues to stumble into the postseason.

Despite dropping last weekend’s contest, the Roughnecks were able to secure a postseason berth, as the remainder of the West has seven-or-fewer victories entering the final week of NLL play, while Calgary has amassed a 9-7 record thus far, stringing together some key victories after its slow start to the 2021-22 campaign.

Jesse King’s 90 points (28a, 62g) lead the Roughnecks in scoring, while forward Curtis Dickson has recorded a team-best 36 goals on 74 points (36g, 38a) this season. Tyler Pace (23g, 38a), Dan Taylor (18g, 22a) and Tanner cook (11g, 27a) have rounded out secondary scoring efforts for Calgary, while transition player Zach Currier has posted 17 points (10g, 7a) while securing an impressive 226 loose balls and recording 59 caused turnovers, both of which represent league-best totals this year. While Calgary’s netminder Christian Del Bianco was playing well throughout the season, he’s seen his win total and save percentage increase drastically since the team has continued to get in the swing of things on both ends of the floor. The goaltender has also added an NLL-best 16 assists this season, as the former Adanacs prospect isn’t afraid to look for teammates and create transition opportunities.

Given a variety of postseason berths, home field advantages and elimination scenarios will be decided throughout the weekend, teams are going “all in” during the exciting conclusion of the NLL regular season. Accompanied by the league’s 15th franchise announcing its team name and logo in Las Vegas Tuesday, the stars continue to align for another dramatic, action-packed week of pro lacrosse.

Colorado ultimately controls its own destiny heading north to Calgary, as the Mammoth will secure the West Conference Championship and one seed in the West with a win Saturday, thus hosting the wild card team next weekend at Ball Arena. Should the Mammoth drop its contest against the Roughnecks this weekend, depending on the result of the San Diego Seals’ game, Colorado could drop to the two or three seed and either host San Diego or travel back to Calgary for what would be a feisty postseason rematch. For a complete, updated listing of playoff scenarios, Mammoth postseason information and beyond, be sure to check out our 2022 Colorado Mammoth Playoff Hub.

Saturday’s matchup at Scotiabank Saddledome represents the third of three regular season contests scheduled against the Calgary Roughnecks, and the second of two to be hosted in Calgary. Mammoth fans will be able to stream Saturday’s matchup, and all Mammoth games this season, on ESPN+!

Looking Back:

Colorado dropped its season series against the Saskatchewan Rush April 16, as the Mammoth dropped a competitive 9-8 contest at SaskTel Centre two weekends ago. The away team got off to a successful start, as forwards Eli McLaughlin and Dylan Kinnear logged a pair of goals within a minute of each other during the opening quarter’s first five minutes of play. Following a Marshal Powless marker a few minutes later, Zed Williams was able to re-establish a two-goal lead for the Mammoth. The Rush eventually found some momentum, recoding three-in-a-row at the 12:18 mark of the first (Dan Lintner) and then opening the second quarter with strikes at the 2:54 (Robert Church – PPG) and 6:06 (Mark Matthews) marks. McLaughlin continued his active first half with a tying-tally halfway through the second before Williams earned his second of the night two minutes later, giving Colorado a 5-4 lead at the break.

A third quarter which saw a combined two goals and two penalties resulted in the Rush recording both tallies, one less than a minute into the third quarter and another Lintner strike nearly eight minutes in. Following the quiet third, the contest witnessed five combined goals in the first two-and-a-half minutes of fourth-quarter play, as McLaughlin finished his hat-trick to start the streaky play 32 seconds into the fourth. The Rush were the benefactor of three of the next four however, as Saskatchewan logged consecutive markers at the 1:39 and 1:48 marks before ultimately erasing Ryan Lee’s strike (2:21) with an unassisted Holden Garlent conversion at the 2:30 mark. Connor Robinson kept his goal streak alive via a tally with five minutes to play, but Colorado couldn’t complete the comeback.

Ryan Lee paced Mammoth scorers with eight points (1g, 7a), while Eli McLaughlin (3g, 1a), Zed Williams (2g, 2a) and Connor Robinson (1g, 1a) highlighted offensive efforts for the club. In a game where goaltender Dillon Ward surpassed career and franchise-best save totals for a single season, the veteran stopped 41-of-50. Only registering 31 shots against on the evening, Adam Shute recorded the win for the Rush, as Eric Penney wasn’t available for Saskatchewan

Showing up to Work:

Despite the Mammoth losing its last contest in Saskatchewan, Ryan Lee continued to showcase his ability to lead Colorado’s offense, as the forward picked up a point on all eight of his team’s goals (1g, 7a) to earn his fourth-straight, six-plus point game, and 11th overall this season. Consistently creating space for and connecting with teammates Connor Robinson, Eli McLaughlin and beyond, Lee continues to add to his career-best 113 points (33g, 80a) and enters Saturday’s matchup ranked second in points (113) and assists (80). Lee’s 6.65 points-per-game rank third-best in the NLL and second-best among players who’ve logged 16+ contests, as the RIT product continues to perform alongside elite NLL scoring talent, including:

Dhane Smith: 7.94 PPG (135 in 17 GP)

Jeff Teat: 6.86 PPG (103 in 15 GP)

Ryan Lee: 6.65 PPG (113 in 17 GP)

Callum Crawford: 6.07 (85 in 14 GP)

Lyle Thompson: 6.06 PPG (97 in 16 GP)

Keegan Bal: 5.93 PPG (95 in 13 GP)

Through Colorado’s first 17 games and with one regular season matchup left on the schedule, Eli McLaughlin joins Ryan Lee as the only players to have recorded at least one point in all 17 contests for the Mammoth this season. Since seeing Lee record season-best figures throughout the season, McLaughlin recently surpassed his own career point total while operating alongside roommate Connor Robinson as the team’s top weapons on the left side. After suffering an injury early in the team’s April 4 matchup against the Riptide, Mammoth forward Zed Williams exited the contest without a point, breaking his 13-game scoring streak with his new club and leaving McLaughlin and Lee as the team’s two players to have recorded at least one point in each game played this season:

Ryan Lee (5g, 3a), (1g, 1a), (2g, 3a), (2g, 10a), (4g, 3a), (0g, 9a), (2g, 2a), (5g, 2a), (2g, 4a), (3g, 2a), (1g, 12a), (1g, 2a), (0g, 3a), (1g, 7a), (1g, 5a), (2g, 5a), (1g, 7a) = (33g, 80a)

Eli McLaughlin (3g, 3a), (1g, 2a), (1g, 3a), (3g, 4a), (1g, 3a), (2g, 1a), (3g, 0a), (1g, 4a), (2g, 2a), (3g, 4a), (5g, 6a), (0g, 2a), (0g, 2a), (1g, 3a), (4g, 1a), (1g, 2a), (3g, 1a) = (34g, 43a)

Mammoth League-Leaders:

Colorado enters Week 22 of NLL play with several of its offensive contributors having surpassed their season-best totals, as the team’s revamped offense under Assistant Coach Jason Bishop continues to make strides. With the additions of Zed Williams and Tyson Gibson this season, Mammoth forward Ryan Lee has been able to operate at will, receiving quality seals, picks and switches from his fellow-right handed scorers while also fueling Connor Robinson and Eli McLaughlin to personal-bests of their own. Representing the league’s second-highest point total this season (113), Lee could potentially double his former career-best 60-point season by recoding seven points Saturday against Calgary. The forward also needs three points to tie NLL legend John Grant Jr. for the most regular season points in franchise history (116). As the squad continues to find ways to grind out scrappy wins as a collective force, the Mammoth roster features several individuals who rank among league-leaders in multiple categories, including:

Goals: 41 (T5th) Connor Robinson

Assists: 80 (2nd) Ryan Lee

Points: 113 (2nd) Ryan Lee

Points-Per-Game: 6.65 (2nd) Ryan Lee

Shots on Goal: 171 (5th) Ryan Lee

Caused Turnovers: 25 (T9th) Robert Hope

Shorthanded Goals: 3 (T2nd) Connor Robinson

Shorthanded Assists: 3 (T1st) Chris Wardle

Game-Winning Goals: 4 (2nd) Eli McLaughlin

Save Percentage: .808 (2nd) Dillon Ward

Saves: 658 (2nd) Dillon Ward

Wins: 9 (T3rd) Dillon Ward

Goaltender Points: 10 (2nd) Dillon Ward

*All rankings updated through Week 21 of NLL play

Get in the Game

Colorado’s road game in Calgary this weekend can be viewed on Altitude 2 and streamed live via ESPN+. Mammoth fans can keep an eye on the team’s social channels for upcoming updates on 2021-22 Playoff announcements, 2022-23 ticket renewals and more! The NLL is scheduled to release the remaining first round play matchups and dates on Sunday, May 1, following the conclusion of the regular season. Tickets for Colorado’s potential Round One playoffs are on sale now!

 

Colorado Mammoth Pro Lacrosse Team