CALGARY ROUGHNECKS (2-1) VS. COLORADO MAMMOTH (1-1)
SAT. JAN 7 | BALL ARENA
7:30 MT BANNER-RAISING CEREMONY | 8 P.M. MT FACEOFF
ESPNU | ESPN+
Saturday’s Jan. 7 home opener against the Calgary Roughnecks will mark the team’s first game in three weeks after teams around the NLL enjoyed some time off for the holidays. Furthering the break, Colorado was one of several teams to have a Week 5 bye week, with only six teams registering action last weekend. That said, the boys are ready to make their debut inside of Ball Arena against one of its fiercest West Conference rivals in the Calgary Roughnecks. After defeating the team 16-12 in last year’s NLL Championship run, Calgary will enter the Loud House with a vengeance, but Colorado will be ready and playing in front of the best fans in lacrosse.
Capturing its first victory of the 2022-23 NLL campaign, a 12-9 win road win over Panther City Lacrosse Club, the Mammoth have righted the ship to a 1-1 record after a slow start Week 1 up in Saskatchewan, when the club dropped an 18-6 decision while working out some injury kinks in the lineup. But the squad that showed up in Texas was far from rusty, allowing Dillon Ward to shine in net while Zed Williams (3g, 5a), Eli McLaughlin (4g, 3a) and company oversaw primary scoring efforts for Colorado.
RELATED: Mammoth Pick Up Win Down South in 12-9 Final Over Panther City
Celebration of Champions
With doors for our 2023 home opener set to open at 6:30 p.m. MT, all fans in attendance for Saturday’s showdown will receive a commemorative 2021-22 NLL Championship banner, courtesy of Ball Corporation, when entering Ball Arena. Fans can also take photos with the NLL Championship trophy outside of Section 126 during the first three quarters of the game, while our dedicated Season Ticket Members are able to pick up their 2022-23 STM gift outside of Section 118 throughout the contest.
Pregame festivities, including our championship recap video, banner-raising ceremony and a few other surprises are set to begin at 7:30 p.m. MT, so make sure you’re in your seats by then! (You won’t want to miss any of this one-of-a-kind experience.) Be sure to stay around for halftime in the bowl as well, as we salute youth lacrosse state champions from around Colorado!
Saturday’s faceoff at Ball Arena is slated to begin at 8 p.m. MT and can be viewed nationally on ESPNU and ESPN+.
Last Time They Met
The Mammoth captured a statement 16-12 victory over the Calgary Roughnecks May 6 at Scotiabank Saddledome during the NLL’s Quarterfinal round of postseason action. Despite dramatically exchanging the lead through three quarters of the game, Colorado was able to score when it counted most, as the squad tallied five in the fourth quarter en route to securing its spot in the Conference Finals.
Ryan Lee paced Mammoth players with 10 points (2g, 8a), while Connor Robinson lead the goal-scoring charge amidst six points (5g, 1a). Eli McLaughlin (3g, 3a), Jordan Gilles (2g, 2a), Chris Wardle (1g, 4a), Zed Williams (1g, 2a) and Tyson Gibson (1g, 1a) rounded out offensive efforts. Matched against top-tier talent in Curtis Dickson, Jesse King and company, Dillon Ward exited with the win over Calgary’s Christian Del Bianco.
Unfortunately for Lee and Colorado, the victory represented the forward’s first and last playoff appearance of the year after suffering a lower-body injury in the matchup. That wouldn’t stop McLaughlin, Williams, Robinson and company from getting the job done, though.
Consistency is Key
Everybody knows the phrase, but what does it mean?
It means hitting an extra workout even though you don’t necessarily have to, and then following it up with 200 wall-ball reps (each hand!) It’s about focusing on the vegetables and proteins instead of going back for more mashed potatoes. It’s putting the ball in the net, finding open teammates, setting a hard pick and keeping your eyes open, and while the season-opening contest against Saskatchewan didn’t produce stellar offensive outcomes, the boys still showed up to work. Fresh off a team and season-high eight points (3g, 5a) during the team’s 12-9 victory over Panther City, Zed Williams is warming up to his lead role. Not at the expense of Eli McLaughlin though, who picked up seven points (4g, 3a) himself in the matchup, not to mention another team and season-best four goals. Riding the momentum of its last matchup and anticipating the electric support of the Loud House Saturday, the boys will look to put on a show as fans come out to witness the team’s banner-raising ceremony and 2023 home opener inside Ball Arena Jan. 7.
Eli McLaughlin (0g, 5a), (4g, 3a) = (4g, 8a)
Zed Williams (2g, 0a), (3g, 5a) = (5g, 5a)
Brett McIntyre (1g, 1a), (1g, 1a) = (2g, 2a)
Dylan Kinnear (1g, 0a), (0g, 3a) = (1g, 3a)
Connor Robinson (1g, 0a), (0g, 1a) = (1g, 1a)
Tim Edwards (0g, 1a), (0g, 1a) = (0g, 2a)
Ty Thompson (2g, 0a) = (2g, 0a)*
Rhys Duch (2g, 1a) = (2g, 1a)*
Evan Downey (0g, 2a) = (0g, 2a)*
* = Didn’t participate in season-opener against the Saskatchewan Rush
With former organizational pillars in Dane Dobbie, Curtis Dickson and company recently jumping ship to join the San Diego Seals in the past two seasons, combined with a bit of a branding (and field …) overhaul last year, the Calgary Roughnecks are breathing new life. Starting the season with a 2-1 record, the squad drop its most recent contest, 17-14, to said San Diego squad to log its first loss of the young season. With the departed veterans out of the way, Tyler Pace (4g, 15a) and Jesse King (8g, 9a) have stepped up for the offense, with Haiden Dickson (6g, 3a), Tanner Cook (5g, 2a) and Kyle Waters (2g, 5a) rounding out the top 5 scorers through the team’s first three contests.
Following up on his MVP-caliber season, transition player Zach Currier has begun the year with four points (2g, 2a) while holding team best totals in loose balls (42) and caused turnovers (3). While the team is littered with quality, veteran players on both sides of the ball, none are as important as the man who stands between the pipes for Calgary, Christian Del Bianco. The respected goaltending talent and Twitter extraordinaire has enjoyed a healthy start to the season, and other than letting a few too many by from old friends last weekend, should be slated for another successful season in net. That said, Connor Robinson and Eli McLaughlin seemed to have him figured out last year, and especially with Robinson’s slow start to the season, expect the left side of Colorado’s offense to be getting some solid looks Saturday.
It’s very much going to be a special night inside the Loud House, one that Calgary would love to step in and spoil, especially after Colorado ended its season just a short seven months ago. Not to worry though, as Defensive Coordinator Andrew McBride, a former NLL Champion and longtime Roughneck himself, has taken advantage of the extra preparation time by hosting several film sessions with his defensive unit. Calgary is also coming off a frustrating loss to the San Diego Seals last weekend, so albeit a bit banged up from the recent action, they’re likely to be fired up for what could play a huge factor in determining West Conference seeding and series outcomes later this season.
Get in the Game
Mammoth road games can be viewed on Altitude TV and streamed live via ESPN+. Saturday’s game against Calgary can be viewed nationally on ESPNU and 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 Jan. 7 home-opener against the Calgary Roughnecks are available for purchase, so come watch us raise our 2021-22 NLL Championship banner and match up with another West Conference rival as we welcome back the LOUDEST HOUSE IN LACROSSE!