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Loud House, Mammoth Set to Host Game 2 of NLL Finals Monday at 2 p.m. MT


In the largest of Déjà vu fashion, the Colorado Mammoth dropped a 13-12 decision Saturday night during Game 1 of the NLL Finals inside KeyBank Center to the Buffalo Bandits after dropping the first game of last year’s best-of-three series on the road against the orange and black contingency just under a year ago. Setting up a “Win or Go Home” Game 2 matchup at the Loud House Monday afternoon, the NLL is in for another dramatic battle. This time, on Memorial Day.

RELATED: Mammoth Drop 13-12 NLL Finals Opener with Game 2 at Loud House Looming

Seeing Buffalo begin the game by logging four-straight goals to get Banditland rocking early, including early strikes 40 seconds and 122 seconds into the opening quarter. By the time the 8:16 mark came around, midway through the opening 15, two-time MVP Dhane Smith had earned his hat trick, with a Chase Fraser conversion serving as the other early marker. After being a last-minute scratch last weekend, defenseman Evan Downey returned to the lineup and made his presence felt in the transition game, as he got the visiting team on the board 10 minutes into the contest.

Ryan Lee followed it up over a minute later, but Smith was able to log his fourth in 12 minutes of play. With Zed Williams and Eli McLaughlin sneaking in scores during the final minute of first-quarter play, the Mammoth were back within one as the second quarter began. Outscoring Buffalo 4-2 throughout the next 15 minutes of play, thanks to goals from Tyson Gibson (x2), Connor Robinson and Mr. Lee himself, the defending champs eventually took a one-goal advantage into halftime.

But with Buffalo coming out of the break with a vengeance, the team managed to score four goals in the first three and a half minutes of third quarter action, courtesy of Tehoka Nanticoke (x2), Fraser and Smith (his fifth of the evening). Able to stop the run, McLaughlin got one for the good guys less than a minute later, but a Nanticoke hat trick would serve as the final strike of the third, leaving a scoreless eight minutes of third-quarter play. While Colorado was able to outscore Buffalo 3-1 in the final 15 minutes of combat, a Fraser hat trick completion three minutes into the fourth quarter ended up being the ultimate difference maker in the 13-12 final. Never afraid of a quality comeback attempt, the Mammoth saw Williams switch the momentum up 38 seconds into the fresh slate, later complemented by conversions from Chris Wardle and McLaughlin, but came up just one goal short after allowing a pair of four-goal runs to its opposition.

Eli McLaughlin (3g, 3a) and Ryan Lee (2g, 4a) each paced the Mammoth with six points, while Zed Williams (2g, 3a) and Connor Robinson (1g, 4a) recorded five. Tyson Gibson chipped in three points (2g, 1a), while Evan Downey (1g, 1a) and Chris Wardle (1g, 0a) also found twine. Mammoth goaltender Dillon Ward stopped 42-of-55, while veteran netminder Matt Vinc saved 31-of-43 in the win. Ian McKay paced all Bandits scorers with seven points (1g, 6a), while Dhane Smith (5g, 1a) and Kyle Buchanan (0g, 6a) rounded out the top three contributors. Tehoka Nanticoke (3g, 2a) and Chase Fraser (3g, 0a) each recorded hat tricks.

With Monday’s Game 2 of the NLL Finals right around the corner, the Colorado Mammoth find itself in familiar territory, both in trailing Buffalo by one game heading into the second matchup of the NLL Finals as well as coming home to be supported by the rowdy fans inside the Loud House. After recording a 7-2 record inside Ball Arena during the regular season, the defending champions summoned a productive effort a few weeks back by defeating the Calgary Roughnecks on home turf in Game 1 of the West Conference Finals. While Monday’s matchup will be the team’s second and last home game inside the Loud House, the burgundy squad knows what needs to be done in order to bring the hardware back to the Mile High City again.

Both teams exited the Game 1 matchup with matching 4-for-5 power-play efforts, and in a game with quite a few goal reviews, something that could play a huge factor in Monday’s Game 2, as neither team wants to give up odd-man opportunities in such a well-balanced battle. While Buffalo was able to summon elite scoring efforts from a trio of scorers in Smith (5), Nanticoke (3) and Fraser (3), the squad had just five players reach the scoring sheet throughout the night. Spreading the scoring around, in part to having so many top-tier weapons within its offense, Colorado had seven members of its personnel find the score sheet. Both teams had four players produce at least five points, while Ward was forced to make 11 more saves than Vinc in the duel.

Colorado didn’t execute any transactions leading into Saturday’s matchup, but saw the Bandits move star forward Josh Byrne to the Injured Reserve List prior to the game. In a corresponding move, the team moved defenseman Dylan Smith to the Active Roster, who went on to record seven loose balls for Buffalo. Mammoth fans can stay tuned to, the team’s social media channels and’s transaction page for the team’s latest transactions, news and beyond heading into Monday’s Game 2 showdown with the Bandits.

Monday’s Game 2 of the NLL Finals in Colorado represents the second of two scheduled postseason matchups scheduled against the Bandits, with a potential Game 3 set for Saturday, June 3, if needed, as well as the third overall contest to take place between the two storied franchises during the 2022-23 slate. It will also represent the first competition between the teams to take place inside Ball Arena this season.

The “Win or Go Home” Game 2 of the NLL Finals is slated to begin at 2 p.m. MT and can be viewed on ESPN 2 and ESPN+.

Consistency is Key

Seeing Ryan Lee make his first-ever appearance during an NLL Finals game, after missing most of last year’s championship run with a lower-body injury (eventually joined by Eli McLaughlin on the Injured Reserve List to close out the campaign), the talented quarterback has continued to make an impact as a lethal scoring and passion option in the Shawn Bishop-lead Offense. Recording six points (2g, 4a) in Game 1 against Buffalo, he continues to draw just as many two-man looks as fellow right-handed weapon Zed Williams does, but hasn’t been afraid to turn on the jets and convert with his patented Flyin Ryan Lee dives. Pacing the team overall throughout the first five games of postseason competition with 27 points, he’s one of now four Mammoth players to surpass the 20-point mark.

Between Lee, McLaughlin, Robinson and Williams, the four have combined for more than 75% of the team’s scoring during the playoff run, and out of a combined 20 game long entries, there were only three instances when the talented forwards have been held off the scoresheet (Lee twice, producing four-plus helpers in both case, and Robinson once).

With Ryan Lee’s 27 points (7g, 20a) representing the second-highest total among all players during the 2023 NLL postseason, combined with Eli McLaughlin (11g, 12a), Zed Williams (10g, 11a) and Connor Robinson (8g, 12a) each ranking within the NLL’s Top 7 producers, the team’s top scorers represent four of five Mammoth players who have logged at least one point in all five postseason contests, including:

Ryan Lee (4g, 5a), (0g, 4a), (0g, 6a), (1g, 1a), (2g, 4a) = 27 points (7g, 20a)

Eli McLaughlin (4g, 2a), (1g, 2a), (2g, 3a), (1g, 2a), (3g, 3a) = 23 points (11g, 12a)

Zed Williams (2g, 3a), (1g, 2a), (3g, 1a), (2g, 2a), (2g, 3a) = 21 points (10g, 11a)

Connor Robinson (0g, 1a), (3g, 2a), (3g, 4a), (1g, 1a), (1g, 4a) = 20 points (8g, 12a)

Chris Wardle (1g, 0a), (2g, 0a), (1g, 2a), (1g, 1a), (1g, 0a) = 9 points (6g, 3a)

Get in the Game

Mammoth games can be viewed on Altitude TV and streamed live via ESPN+. Monday’s game against the Buffalo Bandits can be viewed on ESPN 2 and ESPN+. Mammoth fans can keep an eye on and the team’s social media channels for the latest news, transactions and organizational updates throughout the 2022-23 NLL season.

Tickets for the NLL Finals Game 2 matchup inside Ball Arena on Monday, May 29 are officially on sale, with limited seats remaining.

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