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Colorado Mammoth returns to NLL Finals, set for title rematch with Buffalo Bandits

The defending champion Colorado Mammoth will play for a chance at the third league title in franchise history.
Roughnecks Mammoth Lacrosse
Posted at 1:19 PM, May 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-22 15:19:08-04

The defending champion Colorado Mammoth defeated the Calgary Roughnecks in a decisive Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals on Saturday to clinch a spot in the National Lacrosse League Finals.

The Mammoth will defend its NLL title in a rematch of last year’s final against the Buffalo Bandits, who swept their way through this year's Eastern Conference playoffs.

Game 1 of the NLL Finals is slated for Saturday at 5 p.m. MST in Buffalo.

Saturday’s Western Conference finale saw the Mammoth win in comeback fashion. Entering the fourth quarter trailing 7-6, Mammoth forward Zed Williams’s second goal of the game tied things up at seven goals apiece with just under nine minutes to play. Defenseman Warren Jeffrey scored what would be the game-winner a couple of minutes later, and Connor Robinson added an insurance goal in the final seconds of the contest.

The No. 4 seed Mammoth beat the Western Conference No. 1 seed San Diego Seals 13-12 in the single-elimination first round of the NLL playoffs on May 5.

Buffalo has dominated during its playoff run, outpacing opponents by a combined 51-21 score over their three wins.

Colorado, which finished the regular season with a 9-9 record, enters the NLL final as an underdog. Buffalo (14-4 in the regular season) is a goal-and-a-half favorite in Saturday’s Game 1 and the money-line favorite (-200) to win the series, according to DraftKings.

Last year, the No. 3-seed Mammoth beat the No. 1-seed Bandits in a three game final for its second NLL title (2006). Colorado goaltender Dillon Ward saved a finals record 55 shots in the deciding game and was named NLL Finals MVP.

Here's the 2023 NLL Finals schedule:

  • Game 1: Saturday, May 27, 5 p.m. MST | TV: ESPNU
  • Game 2: Monday, May 29, 2 p.m. MST | TV: ESPN2
  • Game 3 (if necessary): Saturday, June 3, 5:30 p.m. MST | TV: ESPN+