Following their first road win of the season, the Mammoth return to Pepsi Center to host the Georgia Swarm in the only meeting between the two teams this season.
The Mammoth are 16-10 all-time against the Georgia/Minnesota Swarm franchise, and hold an 8-4 record at home. Last season, the Mammoth won twice against the Swarm, ending the series with a combined score of 25-21 Mammoth.
Last Time Out
With a nine-point night (two goals, seven assists) on the road last Saturday, Benesch led the Mammoth to a 12-10 victory over the Philadelphia Wings and added his name to the league’s top-ten all-time assists list. After ending the first quarter down 3-1, the Mammoth rebounded with four goals, two on power plays, to go up 5-4 by halftime. Philadelphia fought back in the third quarter, beginning the stanza on a two-goal run, then ending the stanza on a three-goal run to bring the score to 9-7 Wings. But with five goals in the fourth quarter, including two more on power plays, the Mammoth put the game to bed and sealed their second win of the season.
At home last Saturday, the Georgia Swarm fell 19-9 to the Buffalo Bandits. One problem that led to Georgia's loss was discipline. With 18 penalty minutes in the contest, Georgia gave Buffalo eight man-up opportunities. The Bandits scored on seven of eight power play opportunities. Shooting was another issue for Georgia. Buffalo outshot Georgia 70-41 shots on goal. Saving 34 of 46 shots on goal in the Swarm’s loss, Georgia goalie Mike Poulin stood in-net for 35:07 before Kevin Orleman subbed in to relieve him, making 17 saves on 24 shots in just under 25 minutes.
Last Time They Met
The Mammoth and Swarm met at Infinite Energy Arena on March 2. The Mammoth prevailed through a game that stayed tight for sixty minutes to take home an 11-10 win. The Swarm led at the end of the first, second and third quarters, and entered the final frame with a 9-8 lead. Georgia held the Mammoth off in the fourth quarter until Jacob Ruest began a three-goal Mammoth run in the final five minutes of the game that would edge the Mammoth to a one-goal victory.
The teams tied for shots with 52 shots on goal each. Dillon Ward saved 42 shots in the Mammoth’s win.
What To Watch
Start Fast And Hot
So far this season, the Mammoth have played games that have been decided in the third or fourth frames, but their contest against the Swarm could be decided after the first fifteen minutes. The Mammoth must start fast and hot this Saturday, because the Swarm won’t wait on them to warm up.
In seven of ten games this season, the Swarm have led after the first quarter. They have won six out of those seven games. That number says that if Georgia sets the pace of play in the first quarter of a game, Georgia will most likely win.
Keep A Good Thing Going
The Mammoth’s top-scorers are all on a streak. Forwards Ryan Benesch, Eli McLaughlin and Ryan Lee have scored in all seven games this season and now look to increase their scoring-streak to eight games this Saturday. Rookie forward Kyle Killen has also been on a streak since joining the active roster on Jan. 20, having scored in the Mammoth’s last four games.
Who To Watch
Though Noble hasn’t scored since tallying two markers against San Diego in December, he is on a seven-game assists streak, with 20 on the season, which is the second-most assists on the team. With five this season, Noble also has the second-most power play assists on the team. Noble added three of his five power play helpers just last week in Philadelphia. In the second quarter, Noble assisted on crucial back-to-back power play goals: one netted by Kyle Killen to bring the Mammoth within one point of the Wings (4-3 Philadelphia), and one notched by McLaughlin to tie up the game (4-4).
Jackson is tied with nine players for the ninth-most goals (14), the eleventh-most assists (22), and the thirteenth-most points (36) in the league. He’s not the flashiest player, but he is a grinder. For instance, though no one on Georgia’s offense had a good night against Buffalo last week, Jackson arguably had the best night of any Swarm attacker. With two goals and two assists, Jackson was the only Swarm player to notch more than one tally in both the goals and assists columns in their game against Buffalo.
The matchup between the Mammoth and Swarm is slated for 7:00 p.m. MST on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Pepsi Center.
Saturday is also the Mammoth’s Indoor Beach Party night. The forecast may be wintry, but that won’t stop the Mammoth and their fans from catching Spring Fever! Since the Mammoth are bringing the tropics to The Loud House, fans are encouraged to break out their Hawaiian shirts, board shorts and flip-flops for the ultimate indoor beach party.
Tickets are available now at AltitudeTickets.com. Local fans can watch the game live on Altitude. Fans can also live-stream the game on Bleacher Report Live.