In their final home game of the season, the Mammoth take on the Rochester Knighthawks this Friday.
This will be the 31st meeting between the Mammoth and Knighthawks. The overall regular season record between the teams is currently tied 15-15.
Two NLL Playoffs scenarios exist for the Mammoth this week: If the Mammoth win their contest against the Knighthawks, they’re in. They’re also in if the Vancouver Warriors lose their contest against the Philadelphia Wings on Sunday.
Looking forward to the game this Friday, Mammoth head coach Pat Coyle said that he and the Mammoth team are only focusing on the first scenario. They intend to clinch a playoff seed this week the right way: by winning.
Last Time Out
The Mammoth failed to seal their post-season bid last Saturday, losing to Saskatchewan, 9-7, at Pepsi Center. The Rush nearly shut the Mammoth out of the first half, outscoring the home team 4-1. With six goals in the second half, the Mammoth scored one more marker than the Rush, but Colorado’s late charge wasn’t enough to win.
Forward Mark Matthews topped the points column with four (two goals, two assists) in the Rush’s win. Netminder Adam Shute, stepping up for Evan Kirk, saved 25 of 32 shots.
Across the turf for the Mammoth, Dillon Ward stood on his head to hold Saskatchewan under ten goals for a second time this season, refusing 46 of 55 shots.
The offensive highlight of the night for Colorado came from rookie defenseman Julian Garritano who beat four Rush defenseman to the crease at 9:53 in the third quarter to net his first career goal in his his fifth career appearance
In their second-straight win in the last two weeks, the Knighthawks flew past the visiting Toronto Rock, outscoring them 7-3 in the first half, to win the matchup 12-10, and to tie the two-game series between the teams. Ryan Benesch led his team with six points (three goals, three assists), while Hill made 42 saves on 52 shots in the win.
Last Time They Met
During a back-to-back road trip last March, Colorado took down Toronto 11-7, on March 30, before heading to Rochester on March 31 for a high-scoring contest in which Colorado lost narrowly, 16-14.
The Knighthawks saw scores from nine different players in that game, with six players scoring two goals or more, including Cory Vitarelli who completed a hat trick. In comparison, seven different players scored for the Mammoth, but only two players netted more than one marker, including Eli McLaughlin, who posted two goals, and Stephen Keogh, who celebrated his 100th career game with seven goals on the night.
What To Watch
The Faceoff Circle
For the win and the clinch this Friday, Colorado must show more strength in the faceoff circle than they displayed last week versus the Rush (6-20), or last March versus the Knighthawks (9-34).
Despite the low statistic last week, the Mammoth are winning faceoffs at a 53-percent clip this season (198-375) with Tim Edwards at the helm as the team’s faceoff specialist. Edwards, age 26, has won 55-percent of his 303 faceoffs this season.
Who To Watch
Who Went Where
In February, Colorado also traded Stephen Keogh to Rochester in exchange for draft picks. On March 14, Rochester placed Keogh on the injured reserve list. Still on that list, Keogh will not take on his former squad at Pepsi Center this week.
The Rochester roster on Friday will include former Mammoth forward Ryan Benesch, who now wears #17 for the Knighthawks. Benesch has scored seven goals and six assists in his five games in Rochester this season.
In trading Benesch, the Mammoth acquired lefty forward Cory Vitarelli who will take the turf in his sixth Mammoth game on Friday. Vitarelli has scored six goals and six assists in his first five appearances for Colorado.
Appearing in his fifth game for Colorado this Friday, having been acquired in a trade with Rochester, defenseman Ian Llord will contest his former Knighthawks squad with 11 loose balls, one caused turnover and one assist under his belt since coming to Colorado.
In acquiring Llord, the Mammoth traded defenseman Rowan Kelly to Rochester. Kelly, who had been a practice player for the Mammoth, has not yet made a game appearance for the Knighthawks, though he has been activated to the 21-man roster.
The Mammoth’s Pepsi Center finale is slated for 7 p.m. on Friday, April 12 against the Rochester Knighthawks. Locally, fans can watch a live broadcast of the game on Altitude TV. Nationally, fans can live-stream the game on Bleacher Report Live.
The Mammoth’s game this Friday is also the team’s $1 Hot Dog, $5 Beer night. While supplies last, fans can purchase $1 hot dogs at sections 102, 118 126, 301, 331 and 342. Fans can purchase $5 domestic drafts at 104, 112, 118, 126, 136, 146, 301, 331 and 342, while supplies last.