Mammoth Hosts Swarm on 'Lacrosse Out Cancer' Night
by Tyler Perlmutter
In 2012, the Colorado Mammoth season ended at the hands of the Minnesota Swarm. A month into the 2013 National Lacrosse League season, the Mammoth’s loss in the West Division Semifinal nine months ago still lingers.
“It was very disappointing after having a great regular season – we were playing in front of our home fans and you don’t forget losses like that,” said Colorado Mammoth head coach Bob Hamley. “Every week is a grind and we are coming off a miserable loss in front of our home fans. We need to respond to that.”
The two teams collide in a rematch of the 2012 playoff game this Saturday on HealthONE Field at Pepsi Center at 7pm MST.
Last Friday, the Mammoth (1-2) fell to the Calgary Roughnecks in a game that exploited Colorado’s goaltending. On Tuesday, the Mammoth released goalie Chris Levis and signed former Colorado netminder Dan Lewis.
“We need more consistent play from out back-end, and, in particular, our goaltenders,” said Mammoth president and general manager Steve Govett earlier this week. “I’m grateful to Chris for his long-term commitment to our organization, but a change was needed. This is Dan’s opportunity to prove that he can be an impact player in the NLL.”
“Dan is a young player and has played at a high level throughout his career,” said Hamley. “We are looking forward to Dan coming in and giving us a positive attitude.”
According to Mammoth defenseman Dan Coates, the team’s defense needs to improve as well.
“We know what we are capable of,” said Coates. “It’s a matter of putting a full 60 minutes together of what (Mammoth assistant coach) Sean Ferris has put together for us. [Minnesota] sent us home packing early last year and I know we haven’t forgotten about that.”
Both team captains, Gavin Prout (Colorado) and Andrew Suitor (Minnesota), had notable performances a week ago. Prout scored his 200th career goal in a Mammoth uniform, and later notched his 600th career assist that brought his career point-total to 900. Meanwhile, Suitor’s inspirational play propelled the Swarm (1-2) to a 15-14 victory over Washington. Suitor left the game in the first quarter, tending to a knee injury. With 9:30 remaining in regulation, Suitor returned to the game wearing a knee brace to an arena that showered him with cheers. A minute later, Suitor scored what proved to be the game-winning goal for the Swarm.
“It’s really hard to watch when you know you can be out there,” said Suitor. “To finally get one in the win column was big. [Colorado] has an unbelievable offense… We have a lot of video we need to study. We know they are hungry and so are we. I think it will be a great game.”
Saturday marks the Colorado Mammoth’s 4th annual ‘Lacrosse Out Cancer’ Night in ‘A Big Game for a BIGGER Battle’. The Mammoth will raise funds that will be granted by Kroenke Sports Charities to local, non-profit organizations to fund and support cancer research and program services. Each Mammoth player will be playing to ‘Lacrosse Out’ a specific cancer that is near and dear to him. ‘Lacrosse Out Cancer’ bracelets are being sold outside of section 144 on the concourse at a location that also features a silent auction. An on-field check presentation will take place immediately following the third quarter.
“[Cancer] is a terrible disease and the Mammoth has done a wonderful job putting cancer on the forefront to raise money to find a cure,” said Hamley.
Single-game tickets to ‘Lacrosse Out Cancer’ Night are on sale now at the Pepsi Center box office, all Colorado Dick’s Sporting Goods retail kiosks, online at TicketHorse.com, or by calling 303.53.HORSE.