Colorado Mammoth’s Dillon Ward prepared for duel with Buffalo’s Matt Vinc in Game 2 of NLL Finals

With 21 seconds left on the clock, Dillon Ward knew Team Canada could be victorious over Team USA within the 2014 World Lacrosse Championship.

When the ultimate seconds chipped away beneath the intense lights of Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Ward, goaltender for Team Canada and MVP of the event, was overwhelmed with emotion as he embraced his teammates with eyes stuffed with tears.

Ward, now 31, mirrored on that second because the Colorado Mammoth netminder regarded forward to Game 2 of the NLL Finals towards Buffalo on Saturday at Ball Arena. This is as a result of former Team Canada teammate and all-time nice goaltender Matt Vinc shall be standing on the alternative finish of the sector.

With the Mammoth down 1-0 after a 15-14 defeat in Game 1, the duel between Ward and the Bandits’ Vinc might very properly resolve if Colorado will get to ship the best-of-three collection again to Buffalo.

Despite the high-stakes issue of Saturday’s sport, Ward says stated he isn’t overthinking the second, one thing he’s labored on since beginning lacrosse as a youth in his hometown of Orangeville, Canada.

“There’s obviously more meaning to this game, but the reality is, the game is what it is — the same game I’ve played most of my life,” Ward stated.

After goaltending for the Bellarine Knights from 2010-13, Ward was drafted third total by the Mammoth in 2013 NLL draft.

Since then, he has made the Front Range his residence, whereas additionally inserting himself straight into the Denver lacrosse group. He served because the Denver East High School varsity coach for 3 seasons, and has helped his fiancée coach women youth lacrosse.

All the whereas, he’s been a rock for the Mammoth in objective.

“The organization is incredible,” Ward stated. “I’ve been able to build some very special relationships with players and staff and I wouldn’t trade my time playing for the Mammoth for anything.”

Over the course of his eight years in Colorado, Ward has developed into one of many NLL’s high netminders. In 2017, he was named the NLL Goaltender of The Year, and he received gold on the planet championships earlier than and after that season as part of Team Canada in 2014 and 2019.

Now he has the Mammoth within the NLL Finals for the primary time since 2006 — two wins away from their first title since that very same season.

Robert Hope, captain of the Colorado Mammoth, sees Ward’s calm demeanor and method to video games as key to the staff’s success.

“He is low-key but has confidence in his abilities and I know we have confidence in him,” Hope stated.

No doubt Buffalo has confidence in its goaltender, as properly.

At 40 years outdated, Vinc continues to be the most effective on the planet and will very properly be named league MVP. He is a seven-time NLL Goaltender of the Year, and his dominance within the objective figures to be one of many Mammoth’s greatest obstacles going into Game 2.

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