fbpx

Get gameday ready with NLLShop.com and NLLStore.ca Shop Now

×
WK
1
Fri, Dec 2
6:00 pm ET
Wings
Thunderbirds
Sat, Dec 3
5:00 pm ET
Warriors
Rock
Sat, Dec 3
7:30 pm ET
FireWolves
Bandits
Sat, Dec 3
7:30 pm ET
Seals
Riptide
Sat, Dec 3
8:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Swarm
Sat, Dec 3
8:30 pm ET
Mammoth
Rush
WK
2
Fri, Dec 9
8:30 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Panther City
Fri, Dec 9
10:00 pm ET
Rush
Seals
Sat, Dec 10
7:00 pm ET
Rock
Knighthawks
Sat, Dec 10
9:30 pm ET
Warriors
Roughnecks
WK
3
Fri, Dec 16
10:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Warriors
Fri, Dec 16
10:30 pm ET
Panther City
Desert Dogs
Sat, Dec 17
7:00 pm ET
Bandits
Rock
Sat, Dec 17
7:00 pm ET
Wings
Swarm
Sat, Dec 17
7:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
FireWolves
Sat, Dec 17
7:30 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Riptide
Sat, Dec 17
8:00 pm ET
Mammoth
Panther City
WK
5
Fri, Dec 30
7:30 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Bandits
Fri, Dec 30
9:00 pm ET
Seals
Roughnecks
Sat, Dec 31
9:00 pm ET
Panther City
Rush
WK
6
Fri, Jan 6
10:30 pm ET
Wings
Desert Dogs
Sat, Jan 7
7:00 pm ET
Bandits
Swarm
Sat, Jan 7
7:00 pm ET
Panther City
Knighthawks
Sat, Jan 7
7:00 pm ET
Thunderbirds
FireWolves
Sat, Jan 7
7:30 pm ET
Rock
Riptide
Sat, Jan 7
10:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Mammoth
Sat, Jan 7
10:00 pm ET
Warriors
Seals
WK
7
Fri, Jan 13
6:30 pm ET
FireWolves
Thunderbirds
Fri, Jan 13
9:00 pm ET
Rush
Mammoth
Sat, Jan 14
7:00 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Rock
Sat, Jan 14
7:00 pm ET
Panther City
Wings
Sat, Jan 14
7:30 pm ET
Swarm
Bandits
Sat, Jan 14
9:00 pm ET
Seals
Roughnecks
Sat, Jan 14
10:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Warriors
Sun, Jan 15
3:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Riptide
WK
8
Fri, Jan 20
7:30 pm ET
Bandits
Knighthawks
Fri, Jan 20
10:30 pm ET
Warriors
Desert Dogs
Sat, Jan 21
7:00 pm ET
Rock
Wings
Sat, Jan 21
7:00 pm ET
Riptide
FireWolves
WK
9
Fri, Jan 27
6:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Thunderbirds
Fri, Jan 27
7:00 pm ET
Bandits
Wings
Sat, Jan 28
7:30 pm ET
Bandits
Riptide
Sat, Jan 28
8:30 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Rush
Sat, Jan 28
9:00 pm ET
Rock
Roughnecks
Sat, Jan 28
9:00 pm ET
Seals
Mammoth
Sat, Jan 28
10:00 pm ET
Panther City
Warriors
WK
10
Fri, Feb 3
9:00 pm ET
Swarm
Mammoth
Sat, Feb 4
6:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Thunderbirds
Sat, Feb 4
7:00 pm ET
Riptide
Rock
Sat, Feb 4
7:00 pm ET
FireWolves
Wings
Sat, Feb 4
7:30 pm ET
Knighthawks
Bandits
Sat, Feb 4
10:00 pm ET
Panther City
Seals
Sat, Feb 4
10:00 pm ET
Rush
Warriors
Sat, Feb 4
10:30 pm ET
Mammoth
Desert Dogs
WK
11
Fri, Feb 10
7:30 pm ET
Rock
Swarm
Fri, Feb 10
9:00 pm ET
Rush
Roughnecks
Sat, Feb 11
7:00 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Knighthawks
Sat, Feb 11
7:30 pm ET
FireWolves
Riptide
Sat, Feb 11
8:00 pm ET
Warriors
Panther City
Sat, Feb 11
9:00 pm ET
Mammoth
Roughnecks
WK
12
Fri, Feb 17
10:00 pm ET
Rush
Seals
Fri, Feb 17
10:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Warriors
Sat, Feb 18
7:00 pm ET
Swarm
Rock
Sat, Feb 18
7:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
FireWolves
Sat, Feb 18
7:30 pm ET
Wings
Bandits
Sat, Feb 18
8:00 pm ET
Mammoth
Panther City
Sun, Feb 19
1:00 pm ET
Riptide
Thunderbirds
WK
13
Fri, Feb 24
9:00 pm ET
Panther City
Mammoth
Fri, Feb 24
10:30 pm ET
Roughnecks
Desert Dogs
Sat, Feb 25
7:00 pm ET
FireWolves
Swarm
Sat, Feb 25
7:00 pm ET
Riptide
Knighthawks
Sat, Feb 25
8:00 pm ET
Warriors
Rush
WK
14
Fri, Mar 3
6:30 pm ET
Bandits
Thunderbirds
Sat, Mar 4
11:30 am ET
Riptide
Wings
Sat, Mar 4
4:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Seals
Sat, Mar 4
7:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Rock
Sat, Mar 4
7:00 pm ET
Swarm
FireWolves
Sat, Mar 4
8:00 pm ET
Rush
Panther City
Mon, Mar 6
7:00 pm ET
Rock
Wings
WK
15
Fri, Mar 10
7:30 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Bandits
Fri, Mar 10
9:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Mammoth
Sat, Mar 11
7:00 pm ET
FireWolves
Rock
Sat, Mar 11
7:30 pm ET
Wings
Riptide
Sat, Mar 11
8:30 pm ET
Seals
Rush
Sat, Mar 11
10:30 pm ET
Warriors
Desert Dogs
Sun, Mar 12
4:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Swarm
WK
16
Fri, Mar 17
9:00 pm ET
Rush
Roughnecks
Fri, Mar 17
10:00 pm ET
Seals
Warriors
Sat, Mar 18
11:00 am ET
Swarm
Wings
Sat, Mar 18
6:00 pm ET
Rock
Thunderbirds
Sat, Mar 18
7:30 pm ET
Mammoth
Bandits
Sat, Mar 18
7:30 pm ET
FireWolves
Riptide
Sat, Mar 18
8:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Panther City
Sun, Mar 19
3:00 pm ET
Wings
Knighthawks
WK
17
Fri, Mar 24
8:30 pm ET
Seals
Panther City
Sat, Mar 25
7:00 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Wings
Sat, Mar 25
7:00 pm ET
Rock
FireWolves
Sat, Mar 25
7:30 pm ET
Swarm
Riptide
Sat, Mar 25
9:30 pm ET
Roughnecks
Rush
Sat, Mar 25
10:00 pm ET
Bandits
Seals
Sat, Mar 25
10:00 pm ET
Mammoth
Warriors
Sat, Mar 25
10:30 pm ET
Knighthawks
Desert Dogs
WK
18
Fri, Mar 31
7:00 pm ET
Riptide
Swarm
Fri, Mar 31
9:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Mammoth
Fri, Mar 31
10:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Seals
Sat, Apr 1
7:00 pm ET
Bandits
Rock
Sat, Apr 1
8:00 pm ET
FireWolves
Panther City
Sat, Apr 1
9:30 pm ET
Warriors
Rush
Sun, Apr 2
1:00 pm ET
Swarm
Thunderbirds
Sun, Apr 2
6:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Wings
WK
19
Sat, Apr 8
7:00 pm ET
Rush
Swarm
Sat, Apr 8
7:00 pm ET
FireWolves
Knighthawks
Sat, Apr 8
9:00 pm ET
Panther City
Roughnecks
Sat, Apr 8
9:00 pm ET
Warriors
Mammoth
Sat, Apr 8
10:30 pm ET
Seals
Desert Dogs
WK
20
Fri, Apr 14
9:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Roughnecks
Fri, Apr 14
9:00 pm ET
Seals
Mammoth
Sat, Apr 15
7:00 pm ET
Wings
Rock
Sat, Apr 15
7:00 pm ET
Swarm
FireWolves
Sat, Apr 15
7:30 pm ET
Riptide
Bandits
Sat, Apr 15
9:30 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Rush
Sat, Apr 15
10:00 pm ET
Panther City
Warriors
WK
21
Fri, Apr 21
8:30 pm ET
Roughnecks
Panther City
Sat, Apr 22
6:00 pm ET
Riptide
Thunderbirds
Sat, Apr 22
7:00 pm ET
Swarm
Knighthawks
Sat, Apr 22
8:00 pm ET
Rock
Bandits
Sat, Apr 22
9:30 pm ET
Mammoth
Rush
Sat, Apr 22
10:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Seals
Sun, Apr 23
3:00 pm ET
Wings
FireWolves
WK
22
Sat, Apr 29
7:00 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Swarm
Sat, Apr 29
7:00 pm ET
Wings
Knighthawks
Sat, Apr 29
7:00 pm ET
Bandits
FireWolves
Sat, Apr 29
10:00 pm ET
Mammoth
Seals
Sat, Apr 29
10:00 pm ET
Riptide
Warriors
Sat, Apr 29
10:30 pm ET
Rush
Desert Dogs
Powered By
MGM Logo
Scores / Schedule
Game PreviewsStories/Op-Ed

Sports Interaction Game of the Week Preview: COL at SAS

It’s situation critical for the Saskatchewan Rush at the halfway point of their NLL season.

“It’s a cliche but we’re looking at this as a must-win,” says Rush captain Chris Corbeil, as 2-6 Saskatchewan (-1.5; O/U 21.5) prepares to host the 6-2 Colorado Mammoth at SaskTel Centre on Saturday night in the Sports Interaction Game of the Week on TSN (8:30 p.m. ET).

“We can’t afford to lose this,” says Corbeil. “It would be really, really difficult to pull out of that hole.”

The Rush dropped a close one 12-10 to the Mammoth last weekend at the Loud House, Ball Arena, in Denver. And now Saskatchewan is in unfamiliar territory, facing the prospect of slipping out of the playoff race with another loss.

The Rush, NLL champions in 2015, ’16 and ’18, have not missed the playoffs since 2009 when the franchise was in Edmonton, and have not finished out of first place in the West since 2013. Heading into Saturday’s crucial matchup with Colorado, Saskatchewan has lost two straight, and is 1-4 in its last five games. Three of the Rush’s six losses this season have been by one goal.

Saskatchewan is 1-2 against the spread in its past three games, all against Western Conference opponents. The Rush were the favourite in those three games, including last weekend at Colorado. The Mammoth, meanwhile, are 3-1 against the spread in their past four games, all against Western teams as well.

“It’s probably the biggest game of the season for us, says veteran Saskatchewan forward Mark Matthews, who leads his squad with 38 points (13 goals, 25 assists). “Right now we’re on the outside looking in. If we get the win [Saturday] and we get on a roll during the back-half of the season, we can roll right into a playoff spot.”

The Rush’s recent woes can in part be traced to their rising goals-against and declining goals-for. This season, Saskatchewan is scoring 10.00 goals per game but giving up 10.75. During the 2020 pandemic-shortened season, the Rush were 11.1 goals for and 9.3 goals against (in 10 games). And during Saskatchewan’s last championship season in 2018, they were 14.1 goals for and 10.9 goals against.

“I think offensively we just aren’t scoring,” says Matthews, the 2018 NLL MVP and four-time First Team All-Pro. “We’re getting better as a group. It comes down to a few breaks here and there. Bounces go your way. Right now we’re not on the right side of those. It’s tough but hopefully [Saturday] we’ll be on other side of those.”

Captain Corbeil’s take on his team’s troubles: “It comes down to execution. We haven’t been playing that well. It’s tough. It’s been really tight. Against Halifax [in the Rush’s season opener, a 12-11 overtime loss] it felt like we won. The home opener versus Calgary [an 11-10 setback], nobody’s hitting panic button then. But those early ones mean a little bit more now.”

At Colorado last weekend, Saskacthewan was stymied by Mammoth goaltender Dillon Ward, who made 47 saves and at 6-foot-5 literally looms large in net.

“I think we played a pretty decent game,” says Matthews. “A few too many penalties and they scored some powerplay goals. We got 60 shots on net. Wardo stole game for them. He’s a great goalie, one of the best for a reason.

“Offensively we need to shoot a little bit better, get a little bit luckier. We hit four or five posts [last weekend]. We’ll bounce back, we’ll have the same plan, a few will drop for us and we’ll find our stride, and we’ll get on a bit of run here.”

The Rush defence is also planning to step up its play.

“It’s no secret that [Colorado’s leading scorer] Ryan Lee has been conduit to that team’s success. We got to stop him,” says Corbeil. “That team likes to go low to high, coming across top and letting it rip.”

Lee sits third in league scoring with 54 points (21 goals, 33 assists) in eight games played.

“It’s about limiting Lee’s chances for sure,” says Cobeil. “There are big bodies there clearing room for him, [Tyler] Digby, Zed [Williams]. The biggest thing we can do is stay out of the penalty box. It really stifled momentum for us, things got away.

“We played well enough to win, we just didn’t get the result. You got to quickly get over it, buckle up and attack this weekend the same way we approached last weekend and hope for a better result.

Corbeil underlines the importance of this Saturday’s game against the Mammoth: “We’ve played a tonne of divisional games but we haven’t lost a [three-game] season series yet, we haven’t suffered two losses,” he says.

Earlier this week, Saskatchewan brought in NLL veteran Eric Penney from Philadelphia to shore up their goaltending situation. Penney, who spent the majority of his five-year career in Vancouver, started in one game this season for the Wings, making 50 saves on 61 shots.

The Rush’s starting goalie this season, Adam Shute, has a 9.78 goals-against average and .770 save percentage. Heading into this season, Penney’s career goals-against average was 13.02 with a .762 save percentage and no playoff appearances but saw great improvements in the 2019-20 season with a .789 save percentage and 11.73 goals against average while setting a career high in minutes played.

Penney has a lot of familiarity with this Mammoth offense given his time with the Warriors. In one game during the 2019-20 season, Penney held the Mammoth offense to just five goals, saving 48 of 53 shots. This Mammoth team has gone through a renovation of sorts out the front door since then however.

Colorado, which has won three in a row on the road, isn’t overlooking Saturday either.

“We know how important this game is to both teams, and we’ll need to execute our game plan to be successful,” says the Mammoth’s Ward, the 2017 NLL Goaltender of the Year who this season sports a 9.58 goals-against average and .820 save percentage.

“We also have a pretty veteran group and have played these teams and players for many years,” says Ward. “Playing Sask last week will definitely give us a better idea of what to expect out of them. But on the flip side, they have that same advantage.

“Our coaches do a very good job of making sure we’re prepared heading into games. There’s no grey area in our game plans. Everyone knows exactly what’s expected, and are executing, and that gives me a great opportunity to play my game and have success.”

For more information on Sports Interaction: click here

Must be at least 19 years old. Please play responsibly.

NLL