The Mammoth wrap up their season series, currently tied at 1-1, against the Calgary Roughnecks this Saturday night in the Scotiabank Saddledome.
The Mammoth are 25-21 all-time against the Roughnecks, but have a two-game deficit on the road (11-13).
Last Time Out
After going into halftime down 7-2 against the visiting San Diego Seals last Saturday, the Mammoth surged, outscoring the Seals 8-6 in the second half. Unfortunately, the uptick in energy came too late and the Mammoth dropped another home decision, 13-10, to the Seals. For the first time since contesting Calgary on January 6, the Mammoth went 0-4 on power-play opportunities. In the Mammoth’s loss, Dillon Ward made 21 saves on 31 shots, standing in-net for 42:08. Steve Fryer, relieving Ward for the final 17:51, saved 7 of 9 shots.
After dropping two road games to the two top teams in the NLL, Buffalo and Saskatchewan, unable to score more than 10 goals against either team, the Roughnecks came back triumphant against the Toronto Rock last Saturday, winning at home, 15-9. Calgary’s defense held Toronto’s leading scorers, Tom Schreiber (four assists) and Rob Hellyer (one assist), to helpers only, while, in-net, Christian Del Bianco saved 46 of 55 shots. Curtis Dickson led the Roughnecks with 8 points made on assists only. Rhys Duch topped the goals column with four markers.
What to Watch
Calgary (6-6) is currently one game back from Western Division co-leaders Saskatchewan and San Diego. The Mammoth are 3.5 games back, along with the Vancouver Warriors. With back-to-back games against the Warriors next Friday and Saturday, winning the season series against Calgary this weekend is imperative in the race to the NLL playoffs.
Eli McLaughlin and Ryan Lee, who have both scored in all 11 Mammoth game this season, are on the third-longest goal-scoring streak in the league. McLaughlin leads the Mammoth with 28 goals this season, and with two more markers, he will best his career-high. Lee has posted 15 goals in his second season with the Mammoth, which is triple the number from his rookie year.
Kyle Killen, who has scored the second-most goals (14) among NLL rookies, has found the back of the net in all eight of his appearances this season. Of the five current rookie scoring leaders, Killen is the only player who has scored in all of his appearances.
Killen has also posted the second-most power-play makers (3) and helpers (3) among the league’s first-year players this season.
Who To Watch
Last Saturday, in his first appearance for Colorado, Peterborough, Ontario native Corey Vitarelli’s first shot of the night found the back of San Diego’s net and put the Mammoth on the scoreboard. Vitarelli’s fellow ‘Borough boys Robert Hope and and Kyle Killen led the charge in loose ball recovery, scooping up nine apiece. Hope currently leads the Mammoth in the loose balls column with 91 on the season. Brad Self, also a Peterborough transplant, sustained a lower body injury last Saturday. The Mammoth placed Self on the Injured Reserve List.
In Calgary, the Mammoth’s Peterborough pack will face-off against fellow native, Zach Currier. In his second NLL season, 24-year-old Currier has been formidable and is leading the Roughnecks in the caused turnover (24) and loose balls (124) columns.
Llord in the Lineup
The Mammoth acquired 6’2”, 198 lb. defenseman Ian Llord from the Rochester Knighthawks on trade deadline day, Monday, March 11. Llord, a 13-season NLL defenseman, is already familiar with much of the Mammoth lineup, including his Peterborough Lakers teammates Robert Hope and Cory Vitarelli. A St. Catharines, Ontario native, Llord shares the same hometown as Mammoth Captain Dan Coates. Coates and Llord both played for Six Nations Chiefs in the Major Series lacrosse league during the team’s back-to-back championship seasons in 2013-14.
The Mammoth’s final face-off against the Roughnecks is slated for March 16 at 7 p.m. MST. Mammoth fans can live-stream the game on Bleacher Report Live.
After traveling to contest the Vancouver Warriors on their home turf next Friday, the Mammoth return home on Saturday, March 23, to finish their series against the Warriors at Pepsi Center during their Military Appreciation game. Tickets are available now at AltitudeTickets.com.