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Swarm Vision: Swarm vs. Roughnecks 6 p.m.

02/16/2013, 1:00pm CST
By Jack Satzinger

Watch tonight's contest via Youtube at 6 p.m. Central

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – After a thrilling overtime victory last Friday night against the Toronto Rock, the Minnesota Swarm (2-3) look to close the gap in the West Division this Saturday night against the Calgary Roughnecks (4-2) on Treasure Island Field at Xcel Energy Center. The night will be highlighted by the Swarm’s annual “Seeing Double” event with the Minnesota RollerGirls. The game will begin at 6 p.m. CT and will be followed by the RollerGirls bout. It will be a unique occasion for fans to see both lacrosse and roller derby action in the same venue, back-to-back, for one convenient low price.

The Swarm is currently undefeated at home, having won one-goal contests versus Washington on January 26 and against Toronto last weekend. In fact, dating back to 2011, the Swarm is 11-2 in their last 13 regular season games and has won five straight.

“The coaching staff has done a great job to get the team prepared for anything the other team might throw at them and we’ve been able to weather the storm, winning each close game at home,” Swarm head coach Joe Sullivan said. “That’s all part of the learning curve and we’ve got a great fan base. Minnesota fans truly create a sixth man atmosphere and if they’re behind us, we’re going to win a lot more games at home this year.”

Another key to the Swarm’s success as of late that Sullivan cited has been the presence of captain Andrew Suitor on the floor. The Orangeville, Ontario native has scored an unassisted goal in all three games that he has played in this season and the Swarm has won two out of three contests since Suitor returned to the lineup after missing the first two games due to a game misconduct penalty.  

“Suitor brings toughness, experience, a winning attitude, and a team-first approach,” Sullivan said. “It seems like when we get ourselves in a bind, he’s able to throw the team on his shoulders and that’s an intangible that most teams don’t have.”

Coming into Treasure Island Field this weekend are the Calgary Roughnecks, who lead the NLL in scoring with 85 goals over six games this season. Forward Shawn Evans leads their attack and is second in the league in scoring with 39 points.

“We’re going to try and stall their offense a bit,” Sullivan said. “They’re on fire right now and have the best offense in the league. They have great work ethic coming down from their coach, but we’re going to play a hard-hitting brand of defense this week. Look for us to be physical early and often.”

Going into Saturday’s game, veteran F Ryan Benesch leads the Swarm in scoring with 26 points (10g, 16a). Rookie F Shayne Jackson is not far behind with 21 points (7g, 14a) over five games played. Transition player Jordan MacIntosh has 51 loose balls on the year for the highest total on the team, while goaltender Tyler Carlson leads the team in save percentage at .750.

Saturday’s matchup can be seen live on Swarm Vision at mnswarm.com as well as on SAM 101.5 F.M. in the Brainerd Lakes Area. Fans can also catch a replay of the game on Channel 45 this Sunday at 4 p.m.

Tickets to Saturday’s doubleheader can be purchased by visiting mnswarm.com/seeingdouble or calling 1-888-MN-SWARM.

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 remaining home games in 2013. For purchasing information on both Season and Single Game Tickets, fans can call 1-888-MN-SWARM or visit mnswarm.com

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