As lacrosse fans know, the Colorado Mammoth and the Philadelphia Wings are the two oldest franchises in the NLL. And when these teams match up its sure to be exciting to the very end. Last night was no different. After coming off a 20-11 defeat to the Swarm, the Wings came out with an attitude. Their usual slow start seemed to pick-up a bit as they scored three goals in the first quarter and the first fifteen minutes ended where we began knotted up (3-3). Then came the second quarter. The Wings were hoping to make adjustments from the night before as Minnesota outscored them 6-2. Well that didn’t happen, the Colorado Mammoth put up seven goals to take a 10-4 halftime lead. Once again the Wings found themselves down by four or more going into the second half. Goaltender Brandon Miller stood tall in the second half and did what he can do, as he shut down the Mammoth offense and held them scoreless for the entire second half. For the Wings, then clawed and scratched their way back in the third by putting three goals by Tye Belanger making the score 10-7. Kevin Buchanan’s goal at the eight minute mark brought the Wings to within two, and Drew Westervelts goal with :58 left made it 10-9. The Wings had a few chances in the last twenty five seconds, but they were unable to put it by Belanger as the Mammoth picked up a rebound with six seconds left and ran the clock out.
This was the Wings fourth consecutive loss, drops them to 5-7 tied with Minnesota and places them in seventh place overall in the nine team league (eight make playoffs). The two teams below them are the Buffalo Bandits and the Mammoth who are both 5-8. This game was very vital for the Wings to draw closer to a playoff spot. Instead they drew closer to the bottom. Kevin Crowley (4G/1A), and Kevin Ross (1G/4A) led the Wings, and only Drew Westervelt was the only other Wing with a multiple point night (1G/1A). The Mammoth were led by Jordan McBrides 4 goals, and two goals apiece for John Grant Jr, and Adam Jones.
The one bright side to this game for the Wings is they shut down the offense for the last thirty minutes as the head into next weekend. The Wings will have another back to back weekend as they travel to Rochester Saturday night and return home for a Sunday afternoon game against Minnesota (play Buffalo Saturday). The remaining two games will be home against Toronto and at Washington to end the regular season.
Is it time to worry? YES! The slow starts in the first quarter all season, coming from behind week after week takes a toll. Last two games they were outscored 13-3 in the second quarter alone. Wings hold a half game lead over the Mammoth and Bandits for a playoff spot and hold the tie-breakers against both. With the way the Mammoth have been playing they could be a team to look out for should they make the playoffs.
Time is now to stop the slow starts, and start racking up the goals. This is the time when champions get hot and carry it through the playoffs.