The Colorado Mammoth, coming off a narrow loss in Saskatchewan last Friday, look to split their two-game road stretch with a win in Mohegan Sun against the New England Black Wolves this Saturday.
The Black Wolves, formerly the Philadelphia Wings (1986-2014), hold a 33-22 all-time regular season record over the Mammoth, but, since the Black Wolves became a franchise in the 2014-15 season, the Mammoth hold the 6-1 record between the teams.
The Mammoth haven’t lost to the Black Wolves on the road.
Last Time Out
Both the Mammoth and Rush put on a defensive masterclass last Friday, but the Mammoth fell 9-7 to the Rush.
In holding the Rush under 10 goals, the Mammoth’s defense accomplished a feat that has been unachievable by any other team this season. Once again, Dillon Ward was The Wall in-net, making 40 saves on 48 shots. And perhaps the best defensive performance came from Tim Edwards, who won his 500th faceoff in SaskTel Centre and ended the night with four caused turnovers and eight loose balls.
On Colorado’s offense, Ryan Lee and Kyle Killen led Colorado in goals with two apiece. Benesch, for the sixth week, led the team with five points (one goal, four assists).
The Black Wolves handed the Rock their second loss of the season in Mohegan Sun last Sunday. Callum Crawford tied the game 10-10 at 3:15 in the fourth quarter, then, with three more goals in the final 11:30, New England won the game 13-11.
Crawford, the league’s leading goals (30) and points (70) scorer, posted eight points last Sunday with three goals and five assists. He also earned a five-minute major and a game-misconduct for elbowing. Following the game, Crawford received a one-game suspension for the match penalty and an additional five-game suspension for receiving his second match penalty within one year. The PLPA can appeal the suspension, however, so Crawford could still play on Sunday.
Last Time They Met
The Mammoth and Black Wolves met twice last season. In their first meeting at New England last February, it seemed every Mammoth shot found the back of net in a 19-11 Colorado victory. But in April, the Mammoth surrendered to the Black Wolves on their home turf, 10-6.
What To Watch
Shoot Your Shot
The Black Wolves are 4-0 when outshooting their opponent, and all four of those games were at home. Notably, last week, though New England did prevail against Toronto at home, they were also outshot 79-63. The Black Wolves made up for the quantity of their shots with the quality of their shots, though. With goals from eight different players last Sunday, Callum Crawford and Dereck Downs leading the pack with three goals apiece, the Black Wolves made themselves comfortable at the crease, excelling in shot-creation and shot-selection against Rock goalie Nick Rose.
What the contest between the Black Wolves and the Rock shows is that, to hold the Black Wolves to a low-scoring game, the Mammoth’s defense must continue what they have been doing very well over the last three weeks: forcing uncomfortable shots.
Outshooting the Wolf Pack wouldn’t hurt either.
Who To Watch
If they bulge twine on Sunday, both Eli McLaughlin and Ryan Lee will extend their scoring streaks to 10 games. The longest scoring streak this season is 11 games and is held by the Georgia Swarm’s Lyle Thompson.
Mammoth forward Kyle Killen has a chance to extend his scoring streak to seven games on Sunday. The 22-year-old has scored in each of his appearances this season, and, with 11 goals, is tied for the third-most goals among league rookies.
Black Wolves forward Dereck Downs, a fifth-round selection (59th overall) in the 2018 Entry Draft, has added at least one tally in every game but one this season and is currently on a three-game scoring streak. A physical player at 6’3”, 220 lb., the Wheeling Jesuit product scored the Black Wolves’ first two goals against the Toronto Rock last Sunday, netting them both in the first 48 seconds of the game. With 13 goals on the season, Downs currently has the second-most goals among NLL rookies.
The matchup between the Mammoth and Black Wolves is slated for 11:00 a.m. MST on Sunday, Mar. 3, at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT. Fans can live-stream the game on Bleacher Report Live.
The Mammoth return to Pepsi Center for their annual Colorado game on Saturday, Mar. 9. Tickets are available now at AltitudeTickets.com.