The Rochester Knighthawks (3-5) will take on the Colorado Mammoth (2-5) later tonight at the Pepsi Center in Colorado. Both Rochester and Colorado are in last place in their respective divisions so this game is very important to both teams.
Tonight's game will be just the third time the Knighthawks have faced John Grant Jr. since trading him away. Colorado won both games against Rochester last year in large part thanks to Grant's 18 points (6G + 12A). Grant set a new National Lacrosse League record for points last year with 116 and is once again having a very successful season tied for third in the NLL with 23 goals.
Colorado has struggled so far this year when it comes to goaltending. After getting off to a horrible start, the Mammoth cut long-time starting goalie Chris Levis at the end of January (Levis posted an 18.92 GAA and .591 save percentage in three games this season). Matt Roik took up the mantle as their starter but he wasn't playing very well either and Colorado ended up releasing him on Monday. Colorado moved Tye Belanger to the active roster but Dan Lewis will likely be the starter tonight.
A lack of offensive production has been Rochester's biggest weakness this season so perhaps facing an unproven goaltender starting for a team that released their last two starters will snap the Knighthawks out of their funk. Lewis has been pretty solid so far this season, though. In 70 minutes between the pipes, Lewis has a 10.26 GAA and .800 save percentage.
At least Matt Vinc has also been playing extremely well. Vinc has the lowest goals against average in the NLL (9.97), the best save percentage among starters (.813), and has made 40 or more saves in each of the last five games. If Vinc can keep up his current level of play, the Knighthawks should be able to outscore the Mammoth and come out of this one with a victory.
The game tonight starts at 9:00 EST and will be streamed live on YouTube via The Lacrosse Network. It will also be televised on Altitude 2 (DirecTV channel 682) and on broadcoast on Sportsradio 950 ESPN at www.sportsradio950espn.com.