Colorado Drops Third Straight, Playoff Hopes Dim

The Colorado Mammoth traveled to MVP Arena in Albany to take on the FireWolves in Week 12 action. Both teams came in on two-game losing streaks. However, Albany sits near the top of the standings at 6-2, while Colorado is in a more dire situation at 3-6. Three FireWolves players registered hat tricks, led by Alex Simmons with four goals, as Albany won 13-11 to improve to 7-2 and end their losing skid. Colorado drops to 3-7, having now lost three straight games.

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Colorado trails after tight first half

Albany struck first with markers from Simmons and Tye Kurtz for a 2-0 lead. Zed Williams and Tyson Gibson equalized for Colorado, but Ethan Walker scored late in the first quarter to give the FireWolves a 3-2 lead. Kurtz, Simmons, and Walker (on a power play) all scored again for Albany in the second quarter. The Mammoth countered with a pair of power play goals from Eli McLaughlin and a goal from Connor Kelly. The FireWolves held a slim 6-5 lead at the half. Travis Longboat and Simmons found the back of the net for Albany in the third quarter. But Colorado got markers from Connor Robinson, McLaughlin, and Williams, and the game was knotted at 8-8 heading into the final frame.

Can Colorado find solace at home?

The teams would trade goals for the first nine minutes of the fourth quarter. Sam Firth, Simmons, and Kurtz for Albany; Kelly, Brett Craig and Tyson Gibson for Colorado. Marshall Powless put the FireWolves ahead for good with a highlight reel goal, and Walker added an insurance goal with just over four minutes remaining. The Mammoth had multiple chances to level the game but could not solve goaltender Doug Jamieson (50 saves) in the closing minutes.

The loss drops Colorado to 14th place, just a half-game ahead of Vancouver. The current #8 seed (Panther City) has just one more win than the Mammoth. Additionally, there are several teams that have as many wins as the Mammoth, with one or more games in hand. On the bright side for Colorado, five of their next six games are at home (New York, Saskatchewan, at Toronto, Rochester, Buffalo, Philadelphia). If they can manage to turn things around and go 5-1 or 4-2 in that stretch, they would have a chance to contend for a playoff spot with a 9-9 record, provided they can win one or both of their final two games on the road (at Las Vegas, at Halifax).

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“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk

“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk was formally introduced to box lacrosse when he attended a New England Black Wolves game on a whim in 2016. Instantly hooked, he has since become an avid follower of the National Lacrosse League. Following the postponement of the 2019-2020 NLL season, he was offered the chance to share his wealth of statistical knowledge and unique insights with the lacrosse community at large. He cheerfully accepted, and currently serves as Edge of Philly’s correspondent for both the Albany FireWolves and New York Riptide.