From the start of this season, it looked like the San Diego Seals would once again be the team to beat in the west division. With the off season acquisition of Dane Dobbie, mid-season acquisition of Brett Hickey, along with an already potent offense of Wes Berg, Casey Jackson, Tre Leclaire, and Jeremy Noble, the Seals seamed destined to win the division. The steady goaltending from Frank Scigliano, as well as strong spot performances from rookie Chris Origlieri in net had the Seals team looking set.
An Unexpected Turn:
The Seals were cruising along, with some very dominant performances, when between injuries, and Covid-19 protocols, things became unhinged in San Diego. As of the writing of this column, the Seals are in the midst of a four game losing streak at 9-6, moving them into second place in their division.
A New Leader:
The Colorado Mammoth have been a solid opponent all season long. With 175 goals scored in sixteen games, this team can put the ball in the net quickly and in abundance. The Mammoth boast a complete team, with deep scoring, speedy transition, strong defense, and a perennial All-Star goalie in net.
The Mammoth Offense:
With Ryan Lee (32g,73a) leading the way as both a scorer and play maker, Connor Robinson (40g,26a), Eli McLaughlin (31g,26), Chris Wardle (15g,27a), Zed Williams (16g,22a), and Tyson Gibson (12g,29a) have been able to terrorize opponents game in and game out. No opponent lead has been safe no matter what the differential this season.
- Known as one of the fastest men in the league.
- In 2019 moved into a tie for fourth in team history, and a tie for seventh in franchise history with 611 loose balls.
- In 2018 scored the most points among Mammoth defensemen and the second most points among NLL defensemen with a career high of 27 points.
Joining Cupido is Alex Woodall, and Erik Turner, who are both able to get good offensive opportunities in transition, unsettling their opponents throughout the game.
A veteran squad of all-stars control the Mammoth back end. Robert Hope, John Lintz, Scott Carnegie, Nick Finlay, and Jordan Gillies lead a bruising Colorado defense along with Warren Jeffrey, Josh Sullivan, and Anthony Joaquim.
Dillon Ward’s lacrosse achievements in net:
- Two-time Mammoth MVP (2017, 2018).
- Three-time NLL All-Pro selection (2016-2018).
- Two-time FIL All-World Team selection (2014, 2018), two-time FIL Outstanding Goalie (2014, 2018), FIL MVP in 2014.
- Won gold with Team Canada at the 2019 FIL World Indoor Championship
- Won silver with Team Canada at the 2018 FIL World Championship,
- Won gold with Team Canada at the 2014 FIL World Championship.
- 2017 NLL Goaltender of the Year.
- Named to the NLL All-Rookie Team in 2014
Heading To The Post Season:
The Mammoth are peaking at the right time of the season, and could be the team to beat coming out of the west this year. Already clinching a playoff spot, they look to clinch the division title as well.
One thing is for certain, the league has taken notice of the new leader’s of the west division, and will take their challenge for the cup very seriously throughout the playoffs.
Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.
An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game 10 years ago. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob had an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.
Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.
In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.
Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).
Mr. Groob also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.
Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.