SASKATCHEWAN RUSH (2-1) VS. COLORADO MAMMOTH (2-1)
FRI. JAN 13 | BALL ARENA
7 P.M. MT FACEOFF
ALT2 | ESPN+
Friday’s Jan. 13 matchup against the Saskatchewan Rush will mark the team’s second of three regular season meetings with the northern squad and first inside Ball Arena. Featuring one of the league’s top-end matchups of the year, goaltender Dillon Ward and his dedicated defensive unit will face the talents of Saskatchewan’s Mark Matthews-lead squad as two of the conference’s top teams duke it out again. After skunking the Mammoth 18-6 Week 1 during Faceoff Weekend, the Rush will look to secure the season series over Colorado, while the Mammoth seek revenge after getting embarrassed during its season-opening effort.
Since earning its first victory of the 2022-23 NLL campaign, a 12-9 win road win over Panther City Lacrosse Club, the Mammoth have begun its first win streak of the season after completing a dramatic comeback last weekend against the Calgary Roughnecks. Edging one of its conference rivals in the 9-8 final during the team’s banner-raising ceremony and home-opening contest, Colorado has found its stride.
RELATED: Colorado Completes Comeback, Defends Home Turf During Home Opener
Eli McLaughlin (6g, 9a) currently paces Mammoth scorers with 15 points, while Connor Robinson (6g, 2a) remains tied with his fellow B.C. native with a team-best six goals. Not entirely impressive team-highs by any means, but a testament to how deep the team’s talent pool is, which will only get deeper as the squad continues to trend toward better health.
After being moved to the Active Roster last weekend, defenseman Brett Craig has a chance to make his 2022-23 debut, which would represent his first action since suffering a lower-body injury during last year’s training camp. Mammoth fans who were missing the likes of Zed Williams and John Lintz last weekend can also stay tuned to the team’s social media channels and NLL.com’s transaction page for the team’s latest transactions heading into Friday’s game!
Y2K Night & The Return of Postgame Autographs!
Everyone loves a good theme night, so we’re switching it up this year by kicking it back to the Millennium era! We know the best fans in the league are ready to party on Friday night, and with a majority of our roster having witnessed the turn-of-the-millennium spectacle, we thought we’d have some fun with all the blue jeans, frosted hair tips and throwback pieces we can come up with! Whether you’re down low in the Party Zone or enjoying your favorite seat inside the Loud House, we know you’ll show up and show out, and can’t wait to blast some Backstreet Boys!
Doubling down on Friday night’s fun, fans will be able to step onto the turf following the end the contest for the return of postgame autographs! 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 fans for the first time in over two years! Stay tuned for in-arena messaging on where and when to line up following the game, and we’ll see you on the turf!
Friday’s faceoff at Ball Arena is slated to begin at 7 p.m. MT and can be viewed locally on ALT 2 TV and nationally via ESPN+.
Last Time They Met
After being plagued by away matchups in Saskatchewan for, well, a while now, Colorado headed north to begin its 2022-23 NLL Campaign as SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon. Fielding a bit of a banged up squad, which was missing several key players on both ends of the floor, the Mammoth ended up dropping an 18-6 final during the season-opener. The result also served as an eye-opener for the squad, helping the squad to regroup and lock in during its next practice and has since been followed up by a pair of conference wins over Panther City and Calgary.
Saskatchewan dominated the contest, scoring early and often, including the first six goals of the game. Carrying a 4-0 lead into the second quarter, the Rush logged a pair of goals within the opening two minutes of play to create the 6-0 deficit. The Mammoth finally got on the board with a pair of goals themselves, but were quickly answered by two more from Saskatchewan. Enjoying an 8-3 lead at the half, the Rush wouldn’t let off the gas pedal after the break, either.
Racking up three more tallies in the first four minutes of third quarter action, neither of Colorado’s goaltenders in Dillon Ward or Tyler Carlson had an answer for the Rush. Outscoring Colorado 10-3 overall in the second half, Saskatchewan successfully defended its home-opening contest, creating an 18-6 final inside SaskTel Centre.
DU product Mark Matthews paced the Rush in scoring with 10 points (2g, 8a), while Robert Church (4g, 5a), Marty Dinsdale (3g, 4a), Ryan Keenan (3g, 3a) and Marshall Powless (1g, 5a) each had stellar nights for Saskatchewan, as goaltender Alex Buque stopped 40-of-46 in the win. Colorado’s Eli McLaughlin finished the contest with a team-best five points (0g, 5a), with Zed Williams (2g, 0a) and Brett McIntyre (1g, 1a) the only others to record two-plus points.
Consistency is Key
While the team might not expect budding superstar Connor Robinson to notch five tallies each game, they’d certainly welcome it as the young forward continues to dominate on the turf. Getting a familiar face in Chris Wardle back on the left side of the offense, Robinson stepped up in a big way last weekend, recording six points (5g, 1a) in front of a rowdy Loud House audience. Keep in mind, this was without the physically-imposing presence of Zed Williams on the opposite side of the set, instead utilizing the body-banging efforts of forwards Dylan Kinnear, Wardle, Brett McIntyre and beyond. Regardless of which players show up on the scoreboard night in and night out, it’s the consistent effort of goaltender Dillon Ward and his stalwart defensive unit who continue to limit opponents to low-quality shots, keeping its last two opponents to 9 (Panther City Dec. 17) and 8 goals (Calgary Jan. 7), respectively.
Riding the momentum of its most recent closely-contested matchup, in which the squad was able to deny a set of oppositional power-play opportunities to close out the final four minutes of play, Colorado will look to stay consistent and competitive while hoping to pick up its third-straight victory during Y2K Night inside Ball Arena Friday. 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) = (6g, 9a)
Connor Robinson (1g, 0a), (0g, 1a), (5g, 1a) = (6g, 2a)
Brett McIntyre (1g, 1a), (1g, 1a), (0g, 1a) = (2g, 3a)
Tim Edwards (0g, 1a), (0g, 1a), (0g, 1a) = (0g, 3a)
Zed Williams (2g, 0a), (3g, 5a) = (5g, 5a)
Rhys Duch (2g, 1a), (1g, 4a) = (3g, 5a)
Evan Downey (0g, 2a), (0g, 1a) = (0g, 3a)
Chris Wardle (1g, 1a) = (1g, 1a)
Ty Thompson (2g, 0a) = (2g, 0a)
A lot can be said about the Saskatchewan Rush over the few years, but most conversations will be centered around veteran forwards Mark Matthews (3g, 18a) and Robert Church (9g, 13a). The potent duo has enjoyed playing together for a while now, with their chemistry regularly showing up on tape in conquering opponents in a variety of 5-on-5 sets. Currently ranked tied for 13th and tied for 17th in NLL scoring, respectively, Matthews’ 18 assists are also good for fourth-most in the league, while Church’s nine markers rank tied for 12th-most among scorers this season.
Following the two veterans, Ryan Keenan ranks third on the team in scoring with 16 points (5g, 11a), with Marshal Powless (4g, 7a) and Marty Dinsdale (5g, 5a) representing the remaining double-digit efforts through three games for the Rush. Ryan Dilks, Mike Messenger, Matt Beers and Kyle Rubisch continue to serve as the team’s defensive veterans, with Bobby Kidd III, Holden Garlent and company occasionally creating opportunities in the transition game. Journeyman goaltender Alex Buque seems to have found a decent fit with Saskatchewan, as he currently holds the league’s most efficient goals-against average (8.84) and ranks inside the Top 5 of save percentage totals (.812).
Saskatchewan also executed a trade with the Calgary Roughnecks this week, sending forward Josh Currier to the Roughnecks in exchange for a conditional draft selection, pairing Josh with his brother Zach in Calgary.
Get in the Game
Mammoth road games can be viewed on Altitude TV and streamed live via ESPN+. Friday’s game against Saskatchewan can be viewed on Altitude TV 2 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. 13 Y2K Night matchup against the Saskatchewan Rush are available for purchase, so get your throwback outfit together and come party at Ball Arena as the LOUD HOUSE hosts another Western Conference rival during the team’s season-long four-game homestand.