Mammoth Welcomes Wings to Pepsi Center on Saturday Night
DENVER - The Colorado Mammoth (1-1) returns to Pepsi Center on Saturday night to take on the Philadelphia Wings (0-2) in both teams' first inter-division match-up of the season.
Colorado is coming off a dramatic, 8-7 road victory over the Calgary Roughnecks last Saturday night that saw Mammoth forward Cliff Smith score the game-winner with 2.5 seconds remaining in regulation.
"Anything can happen in a six-on-five. [Cliff] made a great play, got his hands free and landed a great shot," said Mammoth Head Bob Hamley. "We were very happy to get the win on the road in Calgary, and we're excited to get back home and look forward to playing Philly."
Goaltender Chris Levis has been sensational so far this season. He boasts an .833 save percentage, second-best in the NLL.
The defense in front of Levis has had an impact offensively, with newcomers Mac Allen and Steve Toll sharing the lead league for assists (3) by defensemen with Wings' fourth-year-man Patrick Heim.
Both the Mammoth and Wings have struggled in winning face-offs and scooping up loose balls this season. Hamley has said that these categories are points of emphasis and need improvement.
Despite being 0-2, Wings' goaltender Brandon Miller is off to a strong start in net and has played a significant role in keeping his team in games to-date. His .816 save percentage is third in the league.
Philadelphia is led offensively by 2008 NLL MVP Athan Iannucci, who shattered the single-season goals record by scoring 71 times three seasons ago. Forward Drew Westervelt was the team's leading scorer with 72 points (32g, 40a) a year ago.
This year, the offense overall has yet to put up big numbers. With a meager .109 shooting percentage, the team has tallied just six goals in each of its first two games. Despite the numbers, Philadelphia Wings Head Coach John Tucker said he is satisfied with his team's early-season improvements.
"I am very happy with the progress from game one to game two. We generated a lot of shots and competed for the entire 60 minutes [against Buffalo]. This week, we are really going to focus on driving the center of the field and getting inside shots. One thing we do not want to be is a perimeter team. We are going to keep getting better."
This Saturday marks the 13th overall meeting between the two teams, with the Wings holding a 7-5 advantage. Colorado defeated Philadelphia, 12-11, in overtime a season ago at Wells Fargo Center in the City of Brotherly Love. It was the Mammoth's first-ever road win against the Wings. Saturday's game marks the Wings' first trip to Pepsi Center since the 2008 season.
Tickets to Saturday night's game are on-sale now at the Pepsi Center Box Office, TicketHorse.com, or by calling 303.53.HORSE and start at just $5 upstairs and $20 a seat in the lower level.
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National Lacrosse League Stories from January 21, 2011
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