Last Saturday, Colorado punched its ticket to the postseason with a resounding win over Rochester. This Saturday, a Mammoth (9-7) win over the Stealth (7-9) would secure a top-two finish in the West Division and a home playoff game.
“It’s a critical game for us, and for Vancouver from their perspective,” said Coates. “It’s a big game. We treat it like it’s any other game this season, but it’s the most important right now.”
The Stealth’s win five days ago gave the team a half-game lead over the Roughnecks. A Vancouver victory in two days would mean a playoff berth for the first time since 2013.
Colorado has dropped two of three to Vancouver this season. But the Mammoth squad the Stealth will face is now clicking offensively, averaging 13.5 goals per game in its last four.
“They’re finally finding a groove,” said Colorado captain Dan Coates of the offense. “They’re comfortable with one another – we’ve got good chemistry. The addition of Stephen Keogh (via trade) brings a lot to our team. He crashes, bangs and does the little things. Guys are finding each other well, and finding a flow.”
That will test Vancouver’s Tye Belanger, whose .787 save percentage is second only to Colorado’s Dillon Ward (.796). Ward didn’t play in the March meeting, but knows full-well about Saturday’s opponent.
“They’re a talented team… They’ve got some great shooters up front, and they’ve got a pretty strong back end.”
There’s a chance the teams could meet in the playoffs. But first, for the Mammoth, there’s the task at hand – bring postseason lacrosse back to The Loudest House in Lacrosse.
Face-off is set for 8:00pm MDT at Langley Events Centre in Langley, British Columbia. The game will be broadcast live on NLLTV.