Mammoth push a winner takes all in NLL best-of-three

By TRT Staff with notes from NLL.com

BUFFALO — Saturday, June 19 will determine it all at the Key Bank Centre—the best of three series is tied in NLL final 1-1 after the Mammoth defeated the Bandits 11-8 last Saturday in Denver, Colorado.

The Mammoth scored five unanswered goals to take control in the second half and secure the 11-8 victory to force a deciding Game Three. Colorado was led by a game-high four goals from Zed Williams, in addition to another three from Connor Robinson. Mammoth rookie Brett McIntyre scored twice. Tyson Gibson and Dylan Kinnear both contributed one goal apiece with Kinnear’s goal being the go-ahead goal in the fourth quarter. Goaltender Dillon Ward was brilliant recording 40 saves of the 48 shots he faced in net and was named first star of the game.

Colorado is seeking their third title after winning in 1987 (when the franchise was located in Baltimore) and 2006, Buffalo their fifth (1992, 1993, 1996 and 2008). It is the third time since 2014 the Finals have gone to a deciding third game. Rochester took the title from Calgary two games to one in 2014, and Saskatchewan defeated Rochester two games to one in 2018. It is also the first time two U.S. based teams have met in the finals since 2013, when Rochester defeated Washington 11-10 in a one game final.

The Bandits, the first seed overall, finished 14-4 in the regular season, then eliminated Albany and swept Toronto in the Eastern Conference Finals. Colorado, 10-8 during the 2021-22 season to earn the third western seed, upended Calgary then edged San Diego in three games in the West Conference Finals to advance.

Transactions as of June 11 show some movement: The Buffalo Bandits placed Bryce Sweeting on the Active Roster from the Injured Reserve List. The Buffalo Bandits placed practice player Dalton Sulver on the Practice Player List from the Active Roster.

The Colorado Mammoth placed Nick Finlay on the Active Roster from the Practice Player List (maintain Practice Player tag). The Colorado Mammoth placed Eli McLaughlin on the Injured Reserve List from the Active Roster.

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