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Mammoth ready for road rumble with Roughnecks

01/16/2013, 12:15pm EST
By Nick Salen, Mammoth beat writer for NLL.com

Colorado and Calgary both looking for first win on Saturday

The Colorado Mammoth (0-1) fly into Calgary to take on the Roughnecks (0-1) on Saturday night at 9 p.m. ET at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Photo: Michael Martin)

After a shaky home opener to begin their 2013 National Lacrosse League regular season campaign, the Colorado Mammoth (0-1) look to rebound on the road as they face off against their West Division rival Calgary Roughnecks (0-1) on Saturday night at 9 p.m. ET at Scotiabank Saddledome.

The game can be seen live on The Lacrosse Network on YouTube. The game will also be aired on tape delay on Altitude TV on Monday, Jan. 21 at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Colorado appeared productive in very little areas in the 17-13 loss to the Washington Stealth in Denver last weekend. Despite a late rally by the team in the fourth quarter, communication breakdowns led to several of the team’s offensive and defensive miscues, according to Mammoth captain Gavin Prout.

“You’ve got to forget those kind of games pretty quickly,” Prout said. “We have to build on the positives but also we can’t dwell in the past. We have to look forward into the future and our next game against Calgary.”

The recent history between the Mammoth and Roughnecks has been give-and-take. The two teams met in Langley, British Columbia on Dec. 8 where Calgary ran away with a 20-11 win. Overall, Colorado has posted a 3-4 regular season record against their division rival over the past three seasons. 

The Roughnecks are coming off a home opening loss as well, falling to the Toronto Rock by a score of 13-11 last weekend.

“First and foremost, I thought that Toronto [deserved] full marks,” Malawsky said. “It was a bit of a litmus test for our group. We were eager to see what we could do against one of the top teams in the East.”

Eager for a “W” in the win column, Malawsky will look for his team to improve during their next bout in the Saddledome.

“The big thing with us is accountability," he said. "The players let the team down. The penalties we took were at inopportune times. They know the ramifications. We’re putting trust in those guys that they will learn from their mistakes and that we’re going to get better and better every week. Let’s put that one behind us and move forward."

The exhibition game between the teams last month doesn't hold much stock according to Malawsky, who admitted that the Mammoth squad is much different compared to their preseason tilt.

Both teams hope to come out with a statement win, something that Colorado head coach Bob Hamley could not agree more with.

“Coaches don’t like losing and we’re no different,” Hamley said. “Washington played well, we didn't. We’ve talked already about improving each week and we have to get much better.”

Between goaltenders Chris Levis and Matt Roik, the Mammoth duo finished in net with a dismal .682 overall save percentage. Levis, who finished last season as one of the top overall net minders in the NLL, was relieved from net early in the opening frame against Washington before being rotated back into the game. Roik played the majority of the time in net and allowed 11 goals on 36 shots.

"We know we didn't play well," Prout said. "There were plenty of communication breakdowns, defensive and offensive breakdowns. That's something that we will get back into in practice on Friday to work out those kinks."

It is unclear who will be starting in goal on Saturday night for Colorado as Hamley stated that the decision will come on gameday.

John Grant Jr. led the Mammoth in their opening game in with a six-point (3+3) performance, followed closely by Adam Jones’ five points (3+2). The pair finished near the top of the NLL last season and could be poised to bring Jordan McBride into the mix after a head-turning preseason. McBride, in his third season in the NLL, tallied seven goals in the team’s two preseason games and added a goal last weekend.

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