Sunday, the Colorado Mammoth (0-1) face off against the Calgary Roughnecks (2-1) in the first of two meetings between the teams this January; three meetings this season.
The Mammoth have a 23-20 win-loss record against the Roughnecks since 2003. In 43 meetings, 19 games have been decided by one point and 10 games have been decided in overtime. Notably, the Mammoth have beat the Roughnecks in every overtime decision but one.
Last season, Colorado won two out of three games against Calgary in the regular season, one on the road and one at home.
Last Time Out
In their season opener on Saturday, Dec. 22, the Mammoth fell to the San Diego Seals. Colorado came out to battle through a first quarter of runs and led 3-2 with a goal by Jeremy Noble (2 goals, 3 assists) at 3:07 in the second quarter.
The Seals surged back at 6:10, scoring six goals in just under six minutes and taking an 8-5 lead by halftime.
The Mammoth stayed active on the scoreboard for the first six minutes of the second half, coming within one point at 5:46 in the third after a four-goal streak (10-9), but in the game’s final 20 minutes, the Mammoth’s defense gave up seven goals while the offense only scored three, leading to a 17-12 Mammoth loss.
Calgary’s last game out, their third game of the season, was also against the San Diego Seals. In the final frame on Friday, Dec. 28, the Roughnecks broke a 4-4 tie with a five-goal rally to top the Seals 9-5. Calgary netminder Christian Del Bianco stopped 46 shots in the win, beating former teammate, Frank Scigliano, who stopped 49 shots for San Diego but had the lesser save percentage.
Last Time They Met
The Roughnecks prevailed over the Mammoth 15-12 in the 2018 West Division Semifinal, ending Colorado’s 2018 NLL Playoffs campaign. Ryan Benesch and Jacob Ruest co-led the team in points with five points apiece (two goals, three assists). Calgary’s Dane Dobbie topped the scoreboard overall with nine points on the night (six goals, three assists). In net, Dillon Ward stopped 44 shots while Del Bianco disallowed 50 shots in the Roughnecks’ win.
What To Watch
Though they didn’t come up with the win, many of the Mammoth’s numbers in their season-opener were positive. Colorado led in faceoffs won (18-33), loose balls recovered (77), and shots-on-goal (56). The numbers that most clearly showed room for defensive and goaltending improvement were the combined 34 saves on 50 shots by Mammoth goaltenders, in comparison to Scigliano’s 44 saves on 56 shots for San Diego.
In the Mammoth’s playoffs loss to the Roughnecks last season, the figures on game sheet looked very similar to the numbers above, with the Mammoth leading in nearly every important statistic. When looking at numbers on the game sheet, where Calgary gained the edge was in-net. Del Bianco saved 38 of 50 shots while Ward saved 31 of 44 shots.
Calgary’s last game against San Diego was gritty from the start. While racking up double-digit penalty minutes (32 minutes in total on 16 offenses) on both sides, both the Roughnecks and Seals left power-play opportunities on the table; each team ending the game below 30%. This season, Calgary has scored 10 power-play goals on 22 opportunities, leading teams that have played three games, however, the Roughnecks’ power play percentage has also fallen each game. The Mammoth, having played only one game with two power-play opportunities, are currently at 50%.
Players To Watch
Sunday is Dan Coates' 100th career game. Coates has played all 100 games in burgundy. In his eight seasons as a Mammoth defenseman, Coates has forced 116 caused turnovers, recovered 394 loose balls, won 420 faceoffs and scored 60 points (12 goals, 48 assists).
Eli McLaughlin, who scored a season-opening hat-trick, is three back from 100 regular-season career goals. Brad Self needs just one tally to hit the same milestone.
Calgary’s Dane Dobbie is on a three-game scoring streak with 11 goals on the season as is Rhys Duch who currently co-leads the league with eight assists.
Sunday’s contest between the Mammoth and Roughnecks is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. MST at Pepsi Center.
The game is also the Mammoth’s inaugural Celebrate the Game day. During the game’s halftime on Sunday, the Mammoth will celebrate the growth of lacrosse in Colorado by honoring youth lacrosse championship teams in the 2018 Parade of Champions.