Mammoth Host Roughnecks Friday as NLL Postseason Quickly Approaches
COLORADO MAMMOTH (5-5) VS. CALGARY ROUGHNECKS (7-4)
FRI MARCH 10 | BALL ARENA
7 P.M. MT FACEOFF
ALT 2 TV | ESPN+
After dropping a season-high three-consecutive opportunities throughout the first half of February, Colorado got back in the win column during its last competition, capturing a crucial 14-12 victory over Panther City Lacrosse Club. The Friday night showdown inside Ball Arena was electric, seeing the home team eventually break its losing streak while improving to 4-1 overall inside the Loud House. The win also secured the Mammoth’s first regular season series against a West Conference opponent, completing the series with a 2-1 record after earning its first victory of the season earlier this year in Fort Worth.
RELATED: Mammoth Capture Season Series Over Panther City with Electric 14-12 Win
All-Pro forward Ryan Lee made his 2022-23 season debut with Colorado after suffering an injury during the team’s postseason run last season. Returning to action with 10 points (2g, 8a), the Ball Arena crowd was more than entertained as the offensive leader’s speed and high lacrosse IQ were on full display in his first out back. The team managed a 14-score effort in Week 13, despite missing veteran forwards Eli McLaughlin and Rhys Duch, who both have a chance to return to play this weekend against Calgary.
Now turning its attention to the Roughnecks, who bring a 7-4 record into Friday’s contest, Colorado will look to capture its second-straight regular season series advantage, as the squads have each captured a matchup against the opposition earlier this year. With the home team exiting victoriously in both cases, Colorado won a tight 9-8 matchup inside the Loud House during its championship banner-raising and home opener Jan. 7, while Calgary stole a 13-9 final when the squads met inside Scotiabank Saddledome almost exactly a month before Friday’s matchup, on Feb. 11.
After dropping a close 11-9 decision to the Las Vegas Desert Dogs two weeks ago, Calgary joins Colorado in also coming out of a bye week, but after losing the first-year squad, which would’ve kept them on pace with San Diego in the conference standings, the Roughnecks will look to seal the deal. Especially after seeing Colorado eliminate them from last year’s playoffs in front of their own fans, some physicality is expected. After capturing just one regular season series last year during the team’s championship run, via the third seed in the West, Colorado will look to secure its second of this season this weekend.
Friday’s Rumble at the Loud House matchup represents the third of three regular season matchups against Calgary, and the last to be hosted at Ball Arena this season.
Mammoth fans can stay tuned to the team’s social media channels and NLL.com’s transaction page for the team’s latest transactions, news and beyond heading into Friday’s contest against the Roughnecks.
Friday’s matchup at Ball Arena is slated to begin at 7 p.m. MT and can be viewed locally on Altitude TV 2 and nationally via ESPN+.
Leading the Way
Through the first 10 games of Colorado’s season, forward Eli McLaughlin continues to lead Mammoth personnel with 42 points (21g, 21a) and 18 goals, while veteran forward Rhys Duch paces the squad with 22 helpers amongst his 30 points (8g, 22a). Connor Robinson’s 36 points (20g, 16a) round out the top three point totals for the defending champions. Zed Williams has continued to provide a balanced scoring attack with 32 points (17g, 15a), most recently picking up a key hat trick among his four points (3g, 1a) during the Mammoth’s most recent victory over Panther City. Fellow veteran forward Chris Wardle has added 21 points (5g, 16a) in eight appearances, while Dylan Kinnear has chipped in 15 points (4g, 11a) in 9 games played.
Continuing to assert his dominance in the circle, faceoff specialist Tim Edwards secured 17-of-27 draws two weeks ago against Panther City and is now 140-for-242 on the season (57.9%), the fifth-most among all NLL players. Regularly involved on the defensive end, as well as a contributor to the draw team, Edwards also paces the squad with 89 loose balls, while defenseman Warren Jeffrey leads the way with 10 caused turnovers.
Last Time They Played
Colorado traveled to the Scotiabank Saddledome last month for the second of three contests against Calgary. Eventually dropping a 13-9 decision to the Roughnecks, Colorado couldn’t keep up with the back-and-forth contingency. Letting Calgary rack up six-straight goals to open the contest, Chris Wardle finally got Colorado on the board nearly 18 minutes into the matchup. Calgary’s Dan Taylor and Haiden Dickson quickly provided an answer, but Eli McLaughlin responded midway through the second with a quality score. The Mammoth couldn’t find its offensive gel though, and continued to surrender opportunities in the transition game, as Calgary snuck three more in before the break, taking an 11-2 advantage into the half.
Forward Ty Thompson came out firing in the second half, getting on the board with a conversion, but Tanner Cook had an answer a few minutes later to restore the nine-goal lead. Despite Colorado outscoring Calgary 6-1 the rest of the way, effectively limiting opportunities and limiting the squad to just two second-half goals in general, Calgary exited the matchup with a four-goal lead, tying the regular season series at 1-1.
Eli McLaughlin, who found great success in the second half, scored a team-best six points (4g, 2a), while Zed Williams and Ty Thompson each scored four points (1g, 3a). Tyler Pace (4g, 3a) highlighted efforts for the Roughnecks, while Tanner Cook chipped in six points (2g, 4a). Jesse King (0g, 4a) and Josh Currier (4g, 0a) each recorded four points in the win, with Calgary netminder Christian Del Bianco stopping 45-of-54 on the night.
Consistency is Key
While Ryan Lee has consistently been out of the lineup this season, the talented forward made his first appearance of the year the last time Colorado played, amassing a game-high 10 points (2g, 8a) in his return to action. When he is in the lineup, he’s consistently got his teammates involved, essentially kickstarting the offense via his quarterback-like playstyle. That said, even following his injury, he’s consistently displayed his ability to pull up from range with a patented Leezer Lazer while still being able to charge crease side and tuck one home with the diving effort. Just ask the fans from two weeks ago, they saw it live again, and seemed to be impressed! While Eli McLaughlin missed his first contest of the year due to injury, he’s expected to return to the lineup sooner than later, and joins the following players in having recorded at least one point in each contest they appeared in, including:
Eli McLaughlin (0g, 5a), (4g, 3a), (2g, 1a), (1g, 3a) (3g, 1a), (2g, 4a), (2g, 1a), (4g, 2a), (3g, 1a) = 42 points (21g, 21a)
Connor Robinson (1g, 0a), (0g, 1a), (5g, 1a), (4g, 1a), (2g, 2a), (4g, 3a), (1g, 4a), (1g, 1a), (2g, 3a) = 36 points (20g, 16a)
Rhys Duch (2g, 1a), (1g, 4a), (1g, 6a), (0g, 2a), (2g, 5a), (1g, 3a), (1g, 1a) = 30 points (8g, 22a)
Zed Williams (2g, 0a), (3g, 5a), (3g, 0a), (1g, 0a), (1g, 2a), (2g, 1a), (1g, 3a), (1g, 3a), (3g, 1a) = 32 points (17g, 15a)
Brett McIntyre (1g, 1a), (1g, 1a), (0g, 1a), (1g, 4a), (1g, 1a), (1g, 0a), (1g, 0a) = 14 points (6g, 8a)
Ty Thompson (2g, 0a), (1g, 3a), (0g, 1a), (3g, 1a) = 11 points (6g, 5a)
Ryan Lee (2g, 8a) = 10 points (2g, 8a)
Tyson Gibson (0g, 2a), (1g, 2a) = 5 points (1g, 4a)
Second Place in the West
Since starting the season with a 3-3 record through its first six games, Calgary has gone on a 4-1 run, including a four-game win streak to start, which was recently broken by the NLL’s newest franchise. Much of that success stems from goaltender Christian Del Bianco’s ability to fuel the transition game, as the netminder enters Friday’s contest with a league-best 16 goaltender assists. He’s also been extremely solid between the pipes, escorting an NLL-best .813 save percentage and Top 3 goals-against average, at a 9.72 clip. Sure, MVP-caliber transition player Zach Currier and the defensive unit have helped keep those totals low, but the team has also done a quality job of keeping the rock on the opposite side of the end due to Del Bianco, Currier and company consistently looking for transition opportunities.
Jesse King leads Calgary in overall scoring, goals and assists with a team-best 58 points (22g, 36a), while Tyler Pace’s 51 points (17g, 34a) and Tanner Cook’s 33 (17g, 16a) have rounded out the Top 3 so far. Haiden Dickson has racked up 28 points (16g, 12a), while Currier has produced 24 (11g, 13a) and a team-high 144 loose balls in 11 appearances. Calgary will look to push the pace in transition while firing a large amount of shots on Mammoth goaltender Dillon Ward, but will have to limit the likes of Lee and company if they hope to survive another weekend inside the Loud House. Entering the weekend occupying the second position in the West Conference, Colorado will look to make up some ground, while both teams will vie for the regular season series as the familiar foes clash inside Ball Arena Friday night.
Get in the Game
Mammoth games can be viewed on Altitude TV and streamed live via ESPN+. Friday’s game against Calgary can be viewed locally on Altitude TV 2 and nationally on 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 March 10 Rumble at the Loud House matchup against the Calgary Roughnecks are available for purchase.