SAINT PAUL, Minn. – For the first time in league history, two goalies from the same team were recognized in the National Lacrosse League’s (NLL) Player of the Week awards. The NLL today announced that Minnesota Swarm rookie G Tyler Carlson has been named the Defensive Player of the Week and G Evan Kirk has earned Rookie of the Week honors. This is the first career Player of the Week award for both players.
Both were honored for their performances in the Swarm’s doubleheader last weekend; Carlson for his play in Minnesota’s 10-9 overtime win against the Edmonton Rush on Friday and Kirk for winning in his NLL debut in the Swarm’s 9-6 victory against the Rochester Knighthawks on Sunday.
“Hopefully that’s hats off to all of our prescreening of all of our players and really doing our due diligence in the offseason to find not only what we would say are the best two goalies, but also the best two people,” Swarm Associate General Manger & Assistant Coach Joe Sullivan said of the two goalies receiving awards. “I think that you are going to hear a lot from Carlson and from Kirk amongst our other rookies throughout the year.”
Carlson, 23, recorded a 7.46 GAA along with 32 saves on 41 shots (.780 SV%) in 72 minutes and 23 seconds of action on Friday. Minnesota’s 10-9 overtime win was the second longest game in league history. In three appearances this season, Carlson (2-1) has registered an 11.23 GAA and a .752 SV% for the Swarm.
“It’s really exciting for a rookie and a walk-on goalie to come into our league and have the impact that he has had,” said Sullivan. “It’s just the tip of the iceberg of what I think that he is able to do given the opportunity. Every practice he is always asking for things that he can work on, and we’re thrilled for him.”
Kirk, 24, held the Knighthawks to only six goals and collected 46 saves on 52 shots in a complete game in his NLL debut on Sunday. In his performance, Kirk set new Swarm records for lowest goals allowed (6) and save percentage (.885) by a goalie in his Minnesota debut. He also helped the Swarm pick up its first winning streak of the 2012 season.
“We knew what he was capable of doing, and we just wanted him to have the time to jell not only with the players, but with the environment,” Sullivan said. “In his first start under some pretty tough situations and tough circumstances, he played incredibly well, and he absolutely deserves the Rookie of the Week award.”
The Week #6 awards are given in recognition of performances during the weekend of Feb. 10-12. The NLL Weekly Player Awards are determined each week by a vote of the General Managers & Head Coaches of the league's nine member clubs.
Minnesota (3-2) returns home this Saturday, Feb. 18 to take on the undefeated Colorado Mammoth (5-0) at 7 p.m. CT on Treasure Island Field at Xcel Energy Center. The Swarm will participate in a doubleheader with the Minnesota RollerGirls for the second consecutive season. For one ticket price, fans can enjoy two back-to-back events. Tickets start as low as $22 for a combined ticket to both events. Early arriving fans will receive an Xcel Energy Center Windsource coupon book and Lions Tap seat stuffer, while early arriving women will receive a $20 gift certificate courtesy of Sanctuary SalonSpa. For more information, visit mnswarm.com/rollergirls.