By TRT Staff with notes from NLL.com
BUFFALO — Colorado captured its first NLL championship in 16 years with a 10-8 victory in Game 3 over the Buffalo Bandits at KeyBank Center in Buffalo last Saturday night in front of nearly 20,000 fans.
Mammoth goaltender Dillon Ward was named NLL Finals MVP after setting a championship game record with 55 saves, including 22 in the fourth quarter. Ward made 40 saves each in both Colorado’s Game 2 win and Game 1 loss.
Zed Williams led the Mammoth on Saturday with four goals and two assists. The Mammoth finished the regular season with a 10-8 record and were the West’s third playoff seed. Colorado then went on a run during the postseason, defeating defending 2019 NLL champion Calgary in the one-game first round before beating San Diego two games to one in the best-of-three West Conference Finals.
The Bandits, dropped their third consecutive finals appearance, following championship losses in 2016 to Saskatchewan and 2019 to Calgary. Buffalo has not won the NLL title since 2008.
On Saturday, June 18, the NLL also announced it’s 2021-22 regular season award finalists for Most Valuable Player, Goaltender of the Year, and Rookie of the Year.
The top three vote recipients for each award were listed as the finalists: Most Valuable Player includes Joe Resetarits, a forward for the Albany FireWolves, Dhane Smith, a forward for the Buffalo Bandits, and Matt Vinc a goaltender for the Buffalo Bandits. Rookie of the Year includes: Reid Bowering, transition for the Vancouver Warriors, Patrick Dodds, a forward for the Panther City Lacrosse Club, Jeff Teat, a forward for the New York Riptide. Goaltender of the Year includes: Nick Rose of the Toronto Rock, Matt Vinc of the Buffalo Bandits and Dillon Ward of the Colorado Mammoth.
The remaining finalists will be announced on Wednesday, June 22. The winners will be announced over the course of the week of June 27. All awards were voted on prior to the start of the 2022 playoffs and were based on regular season statistics and performances. Other awards to be presented include: Transition Player of the Year; Defensive Player of the Year; Sportsmanship Award; Teammate of the Year; Les Bartley Award (Head Coach of the Year); General Manager of the Year; Executive of the Year; Tom Borrelli Award (Media Person of the Year); as well as the All-League and All-Rookie teams.