The Vancouver Warriors aim to make ‘The Guy’ with the former mammoth star’s return

“It’s going to be a little change to see that building from the other side of things,” Kyle Killen said of Saturday’s National Lacrosse League match at Ball Arena

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Games between the Vancouver Warriors and the Colorado Mammoth have proven productive for Kyle Killen’s production.


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The Warriors are certainly more keen on that now that he’s on their side of the National Lacrosse League procedure.

Vancouver (2-2) travels to the Ball Arena in Denver on Saturday to face Mammoth (3-1). It’s the first game for both teams since Colorado rallied to beat Vancouver 18-15 at Rogers Arena on January 7th.

The guy had four goals and three assists that night for Vancouver. That’s the most points Killen, who is yet another product of Peterborough, Ont., The lacrosse system, has amassed in a single game over the course of his three-year NLL career, and his second-best goal counts.

The right-handed striker had five markers and one assist for the Mammoth versus Warriors in the 14-4 Colorado victory at the Ball Arena on March 23, 2019.


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The Warriors acquired Killen from Mammoth for a 2021 NLL Draft selection in the second round on July 20, 2020. Since the league did not play last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Killen’s first match is back in Denver on Saturday. Five of his 27 regular fights to date have been between Colorado and Vancouver.

“It’s going to be a little change to see that building from the other side of things,” said Killen, 25. “I’m excited to go back and catch up with some people I haven’t talked to in a while.”

The guy scored 28 goals and 49 points in 15 games for Colorado in his freshman campaign with Mammoth in 2018-19, giving him a spot on the NLL all-rookie team.

However, Mammoth were modest 6-12 that season and they went on to change their list.


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The guy’s role with Mammoth diminished in 2019-20, and he finished with six goals and 21 points in nine games.

“You could see something was going to be done and they ended up making a lot of changes on their right side,” Killen said. “There is no bad blood. (General manager) Brad Self is a Peterborough guy. He let me know the situation all the way through and we have kept a good footing. It will be nice to come back again.”



Vancouver Giants at Colorado Mammoth

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Warriors coach Chris Gill points to Killen, who owns a heavy outside shot, as a player who can score in a bunch, one who “when his stick is hot, it boils.” The guy was on his way through training camp, and Gill said, “We could not believe what was going on for him.”


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The guy had two goals and an assist through his first two games with Vancouver this season, and then it was a healthy scratch for the home opener against Saskatchewan Rush.

He plays against his former team on Saturday. He also seeks to keep the momentum he seemed to build last time going.

The guy lives just outside Peterborough, where he works as a Red Bull salesman, and he has not taken trips west to train in Vancouver the last few weeks. He is one of two warriors who do not live in BC, along with defender Derek Lloyd, who attends chiropractic school in Minnesota.

Long periods between games are common place in NLL. Teams routinely share their arenas with National Hockey League clubs so they do not have priority for dates. Likewise, the majority of the league’s players have day jobs, so they could not play a more compressed program.


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The Warriors videos their practice, and the guy said he “takes things away from seeing them.”

Gill maintained that the Killen “is a Peterborough guy. They always seem to be able to lift the apartment.”

Vancouver gave up 7-0 and 10-2 leads in that game to Mammoth, and Gill said he was happy to play against Colorado, “because we did not like the way that game ended.”

“We’ve had good practice. We’re ready,” Gill said.

Vancouver was due to visit Calgary Roughnecks last Saturday, but the Roughnecks had that match pushed back to February 18 in the hope that COVID-19 crowd restrictions will be curtailed by then and they will be able to have full capacity at the Saddledome.

Calgary returns to it on Saturday too with a visit to the San Diego Seals. It will be Calgary’s first match in 43 days; they have not played since a 17-12 loss to the Seals at home on December 17th.

“This league is always tough. This year it’s even more unusual,” Gill said.

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