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Colorado’s March to May Homestand Continues with Rematch Against Warriors


After picking up a huge 11-9 victory last weekend inside Ball Arena against the Las Vegas Desert Dogs, which marked the first time the NLL’s newest franchise stepped foot inside the Loud House, Colorado now enters Saturday night’s rematch against the Vancouver Warriors with a 7-7 record. Despite being outscored 7-3 by the Desert Dogs through the first 17 minutes of last weekend’s contest, Colorado went on to enjoy a six-goal run, and eventually outworked the first-year franchise for an 8-2 differential in the final 43 minutes of play.

Once Ward was able to reset in the crease, refusing to allow a goal for 30 minutes from 2:10 in the second until 2:26 into the fourth, the rest of the team seemed to rebound as the All-Pro netminding talent did. Seeing productive offensive efforts from Eli McLaughlin, Ryan Lee and company, Colorado completed the comeback and managed to return to a .500 record with just four games remaining in the 2022-23 NLL campaign.

RELATED: Defending Champs Take Care of Business Against Dogs as March to May Rages On

McLaughlin paced scoring efforts for the Mammoth, racking up a season-high eight points (3g, 5a) and earning his sixth hat trick, while forward Zed Williams recorded his fifth hat trick of the campaign amidst his six-point (3g, 3a) outing. Ryan Lee chipped in four points (2g, 2a), including a late power-play tally to help solidify the 11-9 final, with Connor Robinson (1g, 3a), Chris Wardle (1g, 2a) and Evan Downey (1g, 2a) continuing to chime in.

Perhaps even more importantly though, the defending 2022 NLL Champions have started the year 5-2 at home behind the rowdy support of the LOUD HOUSE! Securing a 7-2 home record overall last year during the championship run, Colorado will look to get back to that same mark in hopes of qualifying for the 2023 playoffs as the organization is set to play its second of three-straight home games as its last homestand of the season.

That said, the squad will be sure not to look past the Vancouver Warriors this weekend, who posted a 14-12 final over the Mammoth just two weeks ago inside Rogers Arena March 25. Especially after Vancouver most recently needed an overtime session to decide last weekend’s matchup against the Saskatchewan Rush, the Warriors will look to play spoiler to Dillon Ward and the defending champs after nearly putting a big dent in the likelihood of the Rush earning a spot in the postseason.

Colorado currently occupies the fourth spot in the West Conference and would be slated to visit the San Diego Seals for the first round of postseason action if the playoffs were to begin today. The Mammoth are already primed to face the Seals in two of its last four regular season matchups of the season, so if that pairing was to come to life, on top of the rivals’ storied history, it would be an absolute must-watch for lacrosse fans around the league. Vancouver continues to hold the seventh and last overall spot in the West, but at 4-11, just one and two wins behind the Las Vegas Desert Dogs (5-9) and Saskatchewan Rush (6-8), has officially been eliminated from a playoff berth as the competitive conference continues to puzzle piece its way into a postseason picture. With San Diego and the now No. 2 seed Calgary Roughnecks already clinched, only one more guaranteed spot for a West Conference playoff team remains, as the eighth overall seed is reserved for the team with the best record from either the East or West Conference. Knowing that Panther City holds a 9-6 record and currently the third spot in the West with three games remaining, Colorado would need to win at least two of its final four games of the season for a shot at the three seed, while seeing the purple and black squad lose each of its last three matchups. If both teams were to finish with identical 9-9 or 10-8 records, Colorado would earn the three seed, as it captured the regular season series against the second-year franchise, 2-1.

All things considered, Panther City is likely at least to get to 10 wins, meaning Colorado would need to win three of its four games to earn the three seed for a second-straight year. The other route to earning a spot would be compiling a better record than the fifth-best team in the East, so Mammoth fans can keep a close eye on both the Halifax Thunderbirds (7-8) and Philadelphia Wings (7-8), while also watching out for a streaking Georgia Swarm (6-8) team, who’s won its last four games after starting the season 2-8. If team must resort to the Wild Card berth, Colorado will also have to worry about the veteran-led Saskatchewan Rush squad mixing things up as well, just one game back of Colorado heading into the NLL’s Week 19 slate.

As the team’s overall health and player availability continue to trend toward 100%, the Mammoth welcomed assistant captain and defenseman John Lintz back onto the Active Roster from the Injured Reserve List Saturday afternoon prior to the team’s win over Las Vegas. In a corresponding move, recently signed defenseman Tyler Garrison was moved to the Practice Player List, while NLL Trade Deadline acquisition and defenseman Garrett McIntosh has updated his number from 6 to 90 after leading the team with two caused turnovers last weekend.

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 at the Loud House represents the second of two regular season matchups with the Warriors and the only to be hosted inside Ball Arena. The ever-important West Conference clash is slated to begin at 7 p.m. MT and can be viewed locally on Altitude TV 2 and nationally via ESPN+.

Last Time They Played

The Colorado Mammoth dropped a 14-12 final against the Vancouver Warriors two weekends ago north of the border as the squad attempted a fourth quarter comeback, but ultimately fell short, falling to 6-7 on the season with five games remaining. Colorado actually outscored Vancouver 3-1 in the opening quarter, but the Warriors eventually went on a 10-4 run throughout the second and third quarter to bring an 11-7 advantage into the final 15.

Keeping the momentum flowing for the home squad, the Warriors logged a pair of conversion in the opening three minutes of fourth-quarter action to create a six-goal differential. Colorado wouldn’t go away though, racking up five consecutive goals to create a dramatic 13-12 score with four minutes remaining, courtesy of a fourth-quarter hat trick from Zed Williams. Vancouver’s Chase Scanlan eventually found twine with three minutes to go and solidified the 14-12 final.

Zed Williams (4g, 3a) and Ryan Lee (0g, 7a) paced Mammoth scorers with seven points each, with Connor Robinson (4g, 2a) and Eli McLaughlin (2g, 1a) rounding out top offensive totals for Colorado. Goaltenders Dillon Ward (19-of 29) and Tyler Carlson (9-of-13) combined for 28 saves in the loss.

Riley Loewen (1g, 6a) and Keegan Bal (2g, 5a) each produced seven points for Vancouver, while Adam Charalambides (2g, 3a), Shawn Evans (1g, 3a), Chase Scanlan (3g, 0a), Brandon Goodwin (1g, 2a) and Ryan Martel (2g, 0a) providing quality depth scoring for the organization. Veteran goaltender Aaron Bold secured the win for the Warriors, stopping 41-of-53 on the night.

Leading the Way

Through the team’s first 14 games of its championship-defending season, forward Eli McLaughlin has proved time and time again that he’s able to operate with a variety of approaches. Continuing to pace the Mammoth in overall scoring (61 points) and assists (32) while sitting tied with Zed Williams for the team’s best goal total (29), McLaughlin has seemingly morphed into whatever type of offensive weapon the team the needs most on any given night. From helper-based five-tally nights (0g, 5a) to four-goal (4g, 3a) performances and everything between the walking toolbox netted a season-best eight points (3g, 5a) during last weekend’s win over Las Vegas and continues to be Colorado’s X-factor as the season begins to wrap up. Never afraid to take turns sharing the load with Zed Williams (54 points: 29g, 25a), Connor Robinson (53 points: 28g, 25a), who have been dominant in their own fashion, McLaughlin has worked well beside a multitude of scoring personnel this year, including Chris Wardle (29 points: 7g, 22a), Dylan Kinnear (19 points: 6g, 13a) and beyond.

Tim Edwards has been an absolute gem at the faceoff dot for Colorado, and recently built on his epic presence in the circle against Las Vegas by securing 15-of-23 draws. Continuing to rank among the league’s best faceoff specialists, he’s now secured 205-of-346 draws on the season (59.2%), the fifth-most among all NLL players. After collecting nine loose balls last weekend, Captain Robert Hope’s 119 scoops continue to set the pace for Colorado, while fellow defenseman Warren Jeffrey leads the way with 14 caused turnovers.

Consistency is Key

While Colorado’s offense was a bit hit or miss through the team’s first half of the season, forward Ryan Lee has helped turn things around in the O-zone since returning from injury. Now with 27 points (4g, 23a) in his first four appearances of the season, Lee has quickly surged up the Mammoth scoring chart, now ranking fifth in scoring and fourth in assists despite playing in eight or nine fewer games than those above him. The All-Pro forward most recently notched four points (2g, 2a) in the team’s win over the Desert Dogs, his second two-goal game of the year, as he continues to serve as the team’s touchpoint for offensive sets. Despite dealing with some knee soreness following last season’s year-ending injury, he continues to set an unmatchable precedent for Colorado, and if the team is able to secure a prizes postseason berth, it will likely be on the back of number 16, who joins the following Mammoth players to record at least one point in each contest played 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), (2g, 1a), (3g, 5a) = 61 points (29g, 32a)

Connor Robinson (1g, 0a), (0g, 1a), (5g, 1a), (4g, 1a), (2g, 2a), (4g, 3a), (1g, 4a), (1g, 1a), (2g, 3a), (0g, 3a), (3g, 0a), (4g, 3a), (1g, 3a) = 53 points (28g, 25a)

Zed Williams (2g, 0a), (3g, 5a), (3g, 0a), (1g, 0a), (1g, 2a), (2g, 1a), (1g, 3a), (1g, 3a), (3g, 1a), (3g, 1a), (2g, 3a), (4g, 3a), (3g, 3a) = 54 points (29g, 25a)

Brett McIntyre (1g, 1a), (1g, 1a), (0g, 1a), (1g, 4a), (1g, 1a), (1g, 0a), (1g, 0a), (1g, 0a) = 15 points (7g, 8a)

Ryan Lee (2g, 8a), (0g, 6a), (0g, 7a), (2g, 2a) = 27 points (4g, 23a)

Tyson Gibson (0g, 2a), (1g, 2a), (1g, 3a), (1g, 0a), (0g, 2a) = 12 points (3g, 9a)

Get in the Game

Mammoth games can be viewed on Altitude TV and streamed live via ESPN+. Saturday’s game against the Warriors 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 April 8 Country Music Night matchup against the Vancouver Warriors are available for purchase.


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