SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Swarm couldn’t complete the comeback Saturday night against the Calgary Roughnecks, trailing by five goals early and eventually taking the lead in the fourth quarter. A pair of shorthanded goals by Roughneck Curtis Dickson made the difference as Minnesota lost its first home game of the year at Treasure Island Field in front of a crowd of 8,254.
Both teams substituted goaltenders at different junctures of the game. Swarm goalies Evan Kirk and Tyler Carlson combined for 40 saves and a save percentage of .702. Roughnecks goaltenders Mike Poulin and Frankie Scigliano made 27 saves en route to a .628 save percentage in the Swarm’s highest-scoring game of the season.
“They have a very high-powered offense,” said Carlson. “Those goals (from Dickson) were real big since they won by just one.”
The Swarm did not back down from Calgary’s offense, however, which has scored more goals this year than any other NLL team.
Earlier this week, Swarm associate general manager and head coach Joe Sullivan previewed the team’s Saturday night matchup with Calgary. “We’re going to play a hard-hitting brand of defense this week,” said Sullivan “Look for us to be physical early and often.”
Sullivan stayed true to his word as Swarm Captain Andrew Suitor broke up a first quarter faceoff and challenged Roughneck T Geoff Snider to the pair’s second fight in two seasons. After a flurry of punches exchanged between the two transition players, Suitor knocked Snider into the boards to send him to the locker room. Snider returned and was later ejected for having two five-minute major penalties in the same game.
Later on in the second quarter, Swarm D Nik Bilic dropped his gloves to fight Roughneck Greg Harnett. Bilic was victorious in the fight as Harnett was taken to the locker room after the tussle.
Second year T David Earl scored a career-high two goals for the Swarm, finishing with four points (2g, 2a). Veteran Ryan Benesch recorded a hat trick and had three assists as well for six points on the night. Benesch scored with just two minutes remaining to narrow the gap to a one goal deficit. “We came back, took the lead, but the wheels fell off again,” said Benesch. “I guess it wasn’t meant to be tonight.”
Rookie Kiel Matisz was huge for the Swarm Saturday night, scoring six points (2g, 4a). The Stoney Creek, Ontario native’s goal five minutes into the fourth quarter gave Minnesota their first lead of the contest.
Minutes earlier, D Greg Downing scored his first goal of the season to tie the game up at 12 apiece. The Fairfield University product also recorded an assist on the night.
Swarm forward Corbyn Tao recently mentioned that scoring his first goals of the season last week against Toronto took the proverbial monkey off his back. In fact, he said the monkey on his back felt more like a gorilla. Tao finished the night with 5 points (1g, 4a) to continue his newfound confidence.
A week after scoring the game-winning overtime goal against the Rock and garnering NLL Transition Player of The Week honors, Tyler Hass once again showcased his high octane fast break ability with a goal and two assists.
T Jordan MacIntosh’s presence was felt all over the floor as he scored five points (1g, 4a) and led the team in loose balls with nine.
Rookie Shayne Jackson had another solid night, posting two goals and dishing out as many assists.
Calgary F Shawn Evans led the game in scoring with 11 points (2g, 9a).
A replay of Saturday’s game against Calgary can be seen Sunday at 4 p.m. CT on Channel 45.
Minnesota’s next game will be in Edmonton Friday February 22 to face the Rush. The two will meet for the second time in the same weekend two days later as the Swarm host Dog Day At The Hive. Tickets to the 2 p.m. CT Sunday game are only $12 with the special promo code: WOOF.
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