SAINT PAUL, Minn. – After resting on a bye last week, the Minnesota Swarm (0-1) returns to action with two games on its schedule this weekend.
The Swarm will first travel to face the Toronto Rock (2-1) on the road this Friday at Air Canada Centre for a 6:30 p.m. CT faceoff. Minnesota and Toronto have not squared off against each other since 2009; the Swarm holds the all-time series lead 5-4. Friday night’s road contest will air on ESPN3.
“We’ve scrimmaged Toronto the last few years so we know a little bit about them,” Swarm assistant coach Aime Caines said. “We haven’t played them in a real game in three years and I think that helps. They don’t know that much about us as well so they have to prepare for us and we have to prepare for them. It will be interesting for sure.”
On Saturday, Minnesota will host its home opener on Treasure Island Field at Xcel Energy Center against division rival Washington (2-1) at 7 p.m. CT. The Swarm will be celebrating their annual Native American Heritage Night, which will feature a traditional Native dance and drum group from the Prairie Island Indian Community as well as a traditional exhibition at halftime from the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. The Swarm finished a franchise best 6-2 at home in 2012, and won the season series versus the Stealth last year, 2-1.
After sustaining a narrow 13-12 loss in its season opener to the Buffalo Bandits on Jan. 12, Minnesota will be looking to collect its first victory in 2013 this weekend. Minnesota held leads of 5-2, 8-4, and 10-7 against the Bandits, but could not close the door on its Eastern foe when it was all said and done.
“We’re all chomping at the bit to get back out there on the floor,” Swarm defenseman Jeff Gilbert said.
“Two tough road opponents right off the bat so we have to come prepared and be focused for Toronto,” Caines added. “We’ve had two weeks to prepare, watch film and get our guys ready so that’s our main focus is to be ready for Toronto.”
Forward Ryan Benesch currently leads the Swarm with seven points after notching four goals and three assists in the season opener. Rookie F Shayne Jackson is second on the team with three goals after notching a hat trick in his first career NLL game.
The Swarm will be hosting their official Fan Viewing Party for Friday night’s game at Sweetwater Grill & Bar at the Best Western Kelly Inn in St. Paul from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday’s game will also be shown at The Boulder Tap House in St. Cloud.
Saturday’s home opener will be rebroadcast on KSTC-TV, Channel 45 on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 4 p.m. Fans in the Brainerd Lakes Area can also tune into the game on SAM 101.5 FM for a live radio broadcast of the Swarm’s matchup against the Stealth. Early arriving fans to Saturday's home opener will receive a 2013 Swarm team poster.
Swarm fans looking to lock up 2013 Season Tickets 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. Single Game Tickets start as low as $21 for all eight home games in 2013. For purchasing information on both Season and Single Game Tickets, fans can call 1-888-MN-SWARM