Mammoth Looks to Avenge Opening-Night Loss to Stealth
One month ago, in Colorado’s season-opener, the Washington Stealth defeated the Mammoth, 17-13, on HealthONE Field at Pepsi Center. Heading into Saturday night’s match-up when the two teams will meet at Comcast Arena in Everett, Wash., the Opening Night defeat is still fresh in the minds of the Mammoth (2-2).
“We lost the first game of the season to Washington and we weren’t our best,” said Mammoth forward Jamie Lincoln.
Since then, Colorado has shown improvement. The team earned its first home win last Saturday, defeating the Minnesota Swarm, 15-9. Goaltender Matt Roik carried the Mammoth defense, stopping 36 shots on goal.
“We’ve worked really hard the last couple of weeks to sure up our defense,” said Mammoth head coach Bob Hamley. “Our defense, and Matt Roik, and [Dan] Lewis did a good job against Minnesota. We want to carry that momentum on to Everett.”
2012 National Lacrosse League MVP John Grant Jr. scored 11 points (5 goals, 6 assists) in the win, earning him his second league Offensive Player of the Week award this season.
“I think Grant is still the best player in the world,” said Lincoln. “Every time he has the ball, you don’t know what he is capable of…every time he shoots, you think he is going to score.”
Stealth head coach Chris Hall recognizes the importance of trying to contain Grant.
“It’s no secret the ball goes through [Grant] on Colorado’s offense,” said Hall. “You know you’re not going to keep him off the score-sheet, you just hope you’re strong enough, sharp enough to limit the amount of points he gets. He can beat you by passing; he can beat you by scoring. He is a handful and we know that and we will do the best we can.”
The 38-year-old is leading the NLL in goal-scoring (17) despite the Mammoth having played fewer games than several other teams in the league.
The first time Mammoth and Stealth met, former Colorado forward Cliff Smith scored four goals and three assists and was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Week. Smith and the Stealth (3-3) started the season 2-0, but have dropped three of four. Colorado’s last trip to Washington was March 11, 2012, when the Stealth defeated the Mammoth 11-8. Grant missed the game due to injury.
Game-time Saturday night is 7:45pm MST. The game will be broadcast live online on The NLL Network on YouTube.