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Game Preview: Saskatchewan Rush, Feb. 2

The Mammoth Prepare for a Rush Rematch

2/1/2018

The Mammoth return to Pepsi Center Friday, February 2, for a rematch against the Saskatchewan Rush. The game’s theme is “Single’s Appreciation Night” and is the Mammoth’s only home game in February.

 In their first game against the Rush on January 13, the Mammoth fell 17-12, relinquishing their unbeaten 3-0 status. The Mammoth’s consensus post-game was not that Saskatchewan had been unbeatable though, it was that the Mammoth let Saskatchewan dictate the game.

Captain Robert Hope said, “We understand what the Rush did last game and we need to be able to disrupt that and dictate them. As a team we need to make sure everyone does their job and commits to staying within our offensive and defensive systems.

After their week 6 loss to the Rush, the Mammoth refocused during a week 7 bye before their Stealth rematch in week 8. The Mammoth clinched a 14-13 win thanks in large part to their power play performance. The Mammoth and the Stealth traded goals with the Mammoth trailing much of the game until Jeremy Noble tied the game 13-13 in the fourth then scored the game-winning goal with only 0:31 seconds left in the game.

The Rush left Colorado week 6 for two weeks of overtime games. Playing Buffalo in week 7, Saskatchewan led 9-3 at the half, but the Bandits rushed back to tie up the game 15-15 with 0:19 left in the fourth. In overtime, the Bandits secured a 16-15 win.

In week 8, playing Calgary, Saskatchewan once again led by 6 points at the half, 10-4, before the Roughnecks tied the game 10-10 after a six-goal run. Trading goals to tie up the game 12-12 in the final minute, the Rush held on to win the game 13-12 in OT. 

Now, going into rivalry game 2 of 3 this season, the Rush and Mammoth are in first and second place, respectively, in the NLL standings. The 5-1 Rush now sit atop the league but the Mammoth are close behind at 4-1.

Assistant Captain Joey Cupido said, “The biggest areas of focus this week are the ‘little things’. We need to ask ourselves: Are we outworking them and winning the loose ball battle? Are we hustling on and off the floor? Are we taking away and creating transition chances? Committing to winning the ‘hard work’ facets of the game will go a long way towards helping us come ahead on the scoreboard.”

What to Watch on Offense: Watch for the chemistry between forwards Ryan Benesch and Jeremy Noble. Benesch leads the Mammoth with 15 goals, 12 of which have been assisted by Noble who has 20 assists. Jacob Ruest also has 20 assists. He dished a game-record of 6 assists in the Mammoth’s first meeting with the Rush.

What to Watch on Defense: Captain Robert Hope leads the NLL with 14 caused turnovers. On Mammoth fast breaks, watch for Assistant Captain Joey Cupido who is second among league defensemen with 10 points (4+6) this season.

To find seats to watch the Mammoth play Saskatchewan on Friday, February 2, visit AltitudeTickets.com