SAINT PAUL, Minn. –The Minnesota Swarm (1-1) defeated the Buffalo Bandits (2-2) 19-11 on Treasure Island Field in front of 8,232 fans during its home opener at Xcel Energy Center.
Scoring 19 times, the Swarm tied a franchise-high in goals that was set in 2007 in Chicago.
Prior to tonight’s win, the Swarm had never defeated the Bandits at home, having gone 0-6 in previous matchups. This marks only the third victory over Buffalo in the team’s history. Buffalo leads the all-time series 13-3.
Rookie goalie Tyler Carlson (5a) made his NLL debut for the Swarm and recorded 39 saves on 50 shots in a complete game of play.
"It’s so amazing to get the first game out of the way," Carlson said. "For it to be a ‘W’ the first time you’re out there is even better. I’ve got to give my credit to my defense."
"Tyler earned a shot," coach Mike Lines said in regards to Carlson's play. "Tyler played excellent in camp. We said the guys who try the hardest deserve a shot and Tyler earned a shot."
Forwards Callum Crawford (2g, 7a) and Ryan Benesch, (3g, 5a) led the Swarm in scoring for the second consecutive game. The game also saw hat tricks from three other Swarm players: T Andrew Suitor (3g), F Kevin Ross (3g, 2a) and rookie F Corbyn Tao (3g, 2a), who recorded his first hat trick in the NLL.
In the fourth quarter, Benesch and Ross tallied the final two Minnesota goals of the already-sealed Swarm victory.
Within minutes of each other, Benesch and Crawford quickly brought the score to 12-5 in the third quarter. In his NLL debut, rookie F Joel Henry (1g) then notched his first career goal to give the Swarm a 13-5 advantage. T Jordan MacIntosh (1g, 3a), Crawford and Tao each tallied a goal bringing the lead to 16-5. Picking up the seventh goal of the quarter, and his first of the season, T Andrew Watt (1g) netted a goal to bolster Minnesota’s lead to 17-5 to finish the third quarter.
Posting his second goal of the night, Tao started off the second quarter to bring the game to a 5-2 Minnesota advantage. Suitor, F Jay Card and Ross each posted a goal, giving the Swarm an 8-2 edge. Suitor soon followed, notching a shorthanded goal to bring the score to 9-2. Finishing off the quarter, Card posted his second goal of the night on a power play, putting the Swarm’s lead at 10-3. Minnesota led Buffalo 10-5 at halftime, leading to a bench-clearing brawl.
In the first quarter, Ross sunk the first home goal of the season to give the Swarm an early 1-0 lead. Benesch tallied his fourth goal of the season and first of three on the night. Tao also notched a goal to bring the score to 3-1 in favor of the Swarm. With no time remaining on the clock, Suitor sunk his first goal of the game from across the turf to bring the Swarm’s lead to 4-1 at the end of the quarter.
Forwards Tracey Kelusky (2g, 4a) and Chad Culp (3g, 3a) led Buffalo with six points a piece.
Tonight’s game can be viewed on KSTC-TV Channel 45 during a rebroadcast on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 4 p.m.
Minnesota will battle the Rochester Knighthawks on the road during its next contest on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m. The Swarm returns home for a double header weekend on Friday, Feb. 10 for “Bring Your Honey to the Hive” and Sunday, Feb. 12. for “Family/Dog Day at the Hive,” to which fans are encouraged to bring their dogs.
Tickets start as low as $20 and can be purchased by calling 1-888-MN-SWARM or visiting mnswarm.com. Swarm fans looking to lock up season tickets in 2012 can take advantage of a Buy 2 Get 2 at 50% offer. By purchasing two season tickets at full price, fans can add an additional two tickets for half the cost.