This Saturday, December 23rd, the Colorado Mammoth will play their first home game inside the Pepsi Center in 224 days. The last time they were on their home floor, the team was bounced from the playoffs after being swept by the Saskatchewan Rush in the 2017 NLL Playoff Semi-Finals. Saturday, the Mammoth will be returning to the “Loud House” to face an equally challenging opponent: the 2017 NLL Champion Georgia Swarm.
The Mammoth will be riding more than just their fan’s support this weekend. They are still riding high following a dominant 15-8 win against the Vancouver Stealth.
Two weeks ago, as part of the league’s opening weekend, the Mammoth were able to prove doubters wrong, having a strong defensive showing despite losing their leaders on the back end, Cam Holding and Dan Coates, over the summer.
“I thought our D played great. I thought Dillion Ward played great.” Coach Coyle remarked. “Robert Hope is really establishing himself as one of the best defenders in the league.”
Hope played gritty defense all night leading the Mammoth with 10 loose balls, forcing three caused turnovers, and even added an assist on the team’s first goal of the year -one of forward Chris Wardle’s four tallies- to cap off his evening.
The Mammoth D was not only successful at keeping the Stealth from scoring, they also contributed on the offensive side of the ball netting four goals. They will need the same type of all-around effort exhibited versus the Stealth again this weekend when facing the lethal attack of the Swarm.
“There such a balanced offense that if you key in on one or two guys, someone will hurt you.” Coyle stated. “If you over-commit to someone, they’ll find the open guy; they’re really good at that. I think the best thing that we can do, since they play such a good team-offense, I think it’s important for us to play really good team-defense. We really have to play like a five-man unit.”
The team will be getting a boost on offense and in their transition game as Zack Greer and Brad Self are off the Physically Unable to Perform list and, if healthy (which they should be), should be full participants in Saturday’s game. The coaching staff has high hopes that Greer can get back to being the 40+ goal scorer he was with the Rush only a couple of years ago.
Moving outside the box but staying inside the Arena, the Mammoth are hosting an inaugural Teddy Bear Toss where fans will throw teddy bears onto the floor -all bears thrown will be donated- in support of A Precious Child, a local organization that assists children and families facing difficult life challenges such as abuse and neglect, crisis situations, and poverty.
If you haven’t bought or found a bear yet, don’t worry. You still have time to buy as many bears as possible or even, with their permission, raid your child’s collection to donate a bear.
Saturday’s game will be a great early test for the Mammoth against the Swarm. It’s one you won’t want to miss. Be sure to watch the Twitter Game of the Week live at 9:00 PM EST on Saturday, December 23rd on the social media platform or follow it live on NLLTV.