The lone game on Friday evening should be a competitive contest. The first place Eastern Division Toronto Rock and the second place West Division Colorado Mammoth square off in Toronto both trying to sure up their playoff seeding.
Even though the Rock are still without Tom Schrieber, it seems as though the team has regained it’s scoring prowess following their midseason skid. Hoping to win their third straight game and snap a three-game losing streak on their home turf, forward Adam Jones believes this team is back to playing at a winning-level.
“I think we weren’t playing a complete game and were not focusing on the little things,” Jones Said. “Offensive players were gripping our sticks to tight. I think we have been playing an all-around better game from the goaltending out. [Nick Rose] has been awesome, our defense has been getting stops and transition goals, and our offense has been clicking; we’re getting scoring from everyone. The last two games, in one, every offensive guy scored, and in the second, only one didn’t. Having depth up front can be challenging for opposing defenders.”
Over the last two games, the Rock have been spreading the offense at an unbeatable rate. Kieran McArdle had a hat trick in both games, Rob Hellyer scored three in on of those, and multiple goals have come from Reid Reinholdt, Phil Caputo, Brett Hickey, Dan Lintner, and Jones. The ability to distribute the ball and capitalize on chances have them on a two game win streak.
The Mammoth, who are coming off of a demoralizing home loss to the Vancouver Stealth will be poised to not loss two games in a row since they did back in early February. It has been a long, grueling month for the Mammoth, and this weekend, they will finish their seven-game March with a double-header starting with the match in Toronto.
“I think that overall we have handled the stretch really well,” said Joel Raether, the Mammoth’s Head of Sports Performance. “Although we would like to have last weekend back, we have to keep focused on what is ahead of us and being prepared by doing all the little things physically and mentally that will help us be successful this week.”
With only five games remaining on the Rock’s schedule and just a single game separating all the teams in the East Division, every match is meaningful for the home side. Despite having the second-worst home record in the NLL at 3-4, the Rock will hope to win this home game in front of a raucous crowd inside the Air Canada Centre. Friday’s home match will be the second-to-last regular season home game for the Rock, so this team will look to capitalize on the remaining opportunities to grab a win.
The battle between the Rock’s offense that is averaging 15.5 goals per game over the last two will have to be at its beast as they will have to beat an excellent goaltender in Dillon Ward who is allowing under 11 goals per game for the third season in a row.
It will be a match that shouldn’t be missed. The game will not only be featured on NLLTV.com on Friday, March 30th at 7:30 pm EST, but will also be shown live on Twitter for the Twitter Game of the Week.