The National Lacrosse League Finals will have a decisive winner-take-all Game Three, as the Colorado Mammoth came from behind to defeat the Buffalo Bandits at Ball Arena in Denver Saturday before a “Loud House” crowd of 10,082 and a national television audience in the U.S. and Canada on ESPNU, ESPN+ and TSN.
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.
The win by the Mammoth sends both teams back to Buffalo for next Saturday’s deciding game at 7:30 p.m. ET. It will be carried live by ESPN+ and TSN.
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 overall #1 seed, finished 14-4 in the regular season, then eliminated Albany and swept Toronto in the East Conference Finals. Colorado, 10-8 during the 2021-22 season to earn the #3 West seed, upended Calgary then edged San Diego in three games in the West Conference Finals to advance.
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