10 or So Things To Know About the Colorado Mammoth vs. Buffalo Bandits National Lacrosse League Finals
via NLL press release, by Ryan Ireland
Live Coverage on ESPNU, ESPN+, TSN, TSN+ of Game 1 at KeyBank Center Saturday and ESPN2, ESPN+, TSN, TSN+ for Game 2 at Ball Arena Memorial Day
PHILADELPHIA, May 25, 2023 – Rematch, anyone? National Lacrosse League (@NLL) fans can revel in the renewed pairing of last year’s thrilling NLL Finals series between the Buffalo Bandits and the Colorado Mammoth, beginning Saturday at Buffalo’s KeyBank Center (7 p.m. ET, ESPNU, TSN, ESPN+, TSN+). The best-of-three moves to Denver’s Ball Arena on Monday (4 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. MT, ESPN2, TSN, ESPN+, TSN+), following the NCAA Division 1 men’s lacrosse championship game on ESPN.
NLL Finals Game 3, if necessary, is scheduled for Saturday, June 3, at 7:30 p.m. ET in Buffalo (TSN, TSN+, ESPN+)
Here are (at least) 10 Things to Know about the NLL Finals:
- The NLL is expected to pass its all-time single-season attendance record (playoffs included) either Saturday or Monday. The mark is 1,138,225 set in 2008, with 15,939 needed to surpass the total
- Buffalo-Colorado is a rematch of the 2022 and 2006 Finals
- In 2006, the Mammoth won 16-9 in Buffalo. Colorado head coach Pat Coyle and Buffalo mentor John Tavares were foes on the night for their respective teams, while Bandits GM/assistant coach Steve Dietrich was the goalie for Bandits during his 2006 MVP season
- The Mammoth would be the first team since 2015-2016 Rush to repeat as champions (the 2016 Rush title came against Buffalo in the Finals)
- In all, eight times teams have repeated in NLL history. Only Rochester (the franchise now located in Halifax) from 2012-2014 have “three-peated”
- It marks the first rematch of the same Finals opponents since 2010-2011 (Toronto and Washington, Washington won first year, followed by the Rock)
- It’s the fifth time having the same matchup as previous year. Only once has it happened three years in a row (1992-1994, Philadelphia v Buffalo)
- Teams looking to repeat who make it to the Finals are 8-7 in 15 appearances
- The teams met once during the regular season, with the Mammoth scoring a 13-8 road win at KeyBank Center on March 18. Eli McLaughlin (Surrey, B.C.) and Connor Robinson (New Westminster, B.C.) had three goals each, Ryan Lee (Newmarket, Ont.) posted six assists and Dillon Ward (Orangeville, Ont.) made 38 saves for Colorado.
- The last Buffalo championship was in 2008 over Portland, 14-13. For a broader thought on that calculation, it’s 5,466 days ago (from Thursday)
- If Colorado wins, they will tie Buffalo for the fourth most championships in franchise history with four. If Buffalo wins, the Bandits will tie Halifax for third most championships as a franchise at five.
- Matt Vinc (St. Catherines, Ont.) could play in his league record 12th and 13th Finals games, potentially up to 14 if the series goes to a third game.
- Dhane Smith (Kitchener, Ont.) is five assists away from passing Dane Dobbie for third all-time in playoff assists and 14 points away from passing Colin Doyle for fourth all-time in playoff points
- Vinc and Ward (Orangeville, Ont.) are #1 and #3 in all-time saves in the playoffs. With 10 saves, Ward would pass Pat O’Toole for second all-time
- Ward and Vinc are also top 10 all-time (regular season) in wins, minutes played, and saves
- Colorado team captain Robert Hope (Peterborough, Ont.) and his Buffalo counterpart Steve Priolo (St. Catharines, Ont.) are tied for fifth all-time with 26 caused turnovers in the playoffs
- Smith and Josh Byrne (New Westminster, B.C.) lead this year’s playoff scoring at 26 points each
- Including the postseason, the Bandits are 35-10 in the last two seasons, with four of those losses to the Mammoth
- Including the postseason, the Mammoth are 7-1 against the East Conference in the last two seasons. The lone loss was to Buffalo in the Finals last year in Game 1
- Buffalo is at a +30 goal differential in the playoffs through its three games, while Colorado is at +3 in four contests
- Buffalo outshot Colorado in all three Finals games last year
Broadcast information as follows:
Game 1: Saturday, May 27, 7 p.m. ET, KeyBank Center, Buffalo; ESPNU, TSN, ESPN+, TSN+ (Jon Abbott, Pat Gregoire, Ashley Docking)
Game 2: Monday, May 29, 4 p.m. ET, Ball Arena, Denver; ESPN2, TSN, ESPN+, TSN+ (Teddy Jenner, Pat Gregoire, Ashley Docking)
Game 3 (if necessary): Saturday, June 3, 7:30 p.m. ET, KeyBank Center, Buffalo; TSN, TSN+, ESPN+ (Jon Abbott, Pat Gregoire, Ashley Docking)
To view the 2023 NLL Playoffs bracket, visit https://www.nll.com/standings/.
About the National Lacrosse League
The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is North America’s premier professional lacrosse league. Founded in 1986, the NLL is comprised of 15 franchises across the United States and Canada: Albany FireWolves, Buffalo Bandits, Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Georgia Swarm, Halifax Thunderbirds, Las Vegas Desert Dogs, New York Riptide, Panther City Lacrosse Club (TX), Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks, San Diego Seals, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock, and Vancouver Warriors.
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Media inquiries contact: Ryan Ireland, email@example.com, 303-902-3373