Photo Credit: Alex Carroll
SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Swarm (3-6) travel west this weekend for a Friday night tilt with the Calgary Roughnecks (5-5). Faceoff is set for 8 p.m. CT at ScotiaBank Saddledome and a live game stream can be found on Swarm Vision at mnswarm.com. The last time the Swarm played in Calgary they were victorious 15-11 on March 3, 2012. Most recently, the division rivals met Feb. 16 on Treasure Island Field at Xcel Energy Center in a game where the Swarm narrowly lost 17-16.
With a win Friday evening, Minnesota would pull within a half a game of Calgary, who currently is second in the West Division. The importance of this game cannot be downplayed as the Swarm look to chip away at the teams situated toward the top of the division.
“This is the biggest game of the year,” said Swarm associate general manager and head coach Joe Sullivan. “This weekend is incredibly important not just to show what we’re made of, but to make a run at those teams that are ahead of us in the division.”
In last month’s loss to Calgary, Minnesota recorded a season-high 16 goals behind a hat trick from forward Ryan Benesch. The Swarm’s leading scorer also tallied three assists on the night. After last weekend’s two-point performance in Washington, the Kitchener, Ontario native is now just three points away from recording 300 points in a Swarm uniform. Benesch is currently tied for fifth in the league in scoring with 47 points (18g, 29a).
Transition player Jordan MacIntosh also recorded six points (1g, 5a) in the Swarm’s home loss to Calgary, while F Shayne Jackson, T Kiel Matisz, and F Corbyn Tao each added five apiece. Transition player David Earl and F Joel Henry found the back of the net twice as well. It was a game in which the Swarm scored as a unit, which is something the team is looking to get back to doing.
“We need to start scoring by committee again,” Sullivan said. “We can’t put pressure on any one person. In practice this week, we’ll make sure everyone gets looks and is prepared to contribute.”
One of Minnesota’s consistent offensive threats is rookie Kiel Matisz. The 6-foot-5 transition player is currently riding an eight-game scoring streak and has amassed three hat-tricks on the season. Matisz currently leads all first-year players in Rookie of the Week awards, earning the honor three times.
“We knew he’d do well coming in, but his contributions to the team have been very significant,” said Sullivan of Matisz. “He’s been great and has also emerged as a leader despite being a rookie.”
Calgary is led by F Shawn Evans, who leads the league in scoring with 64 points (22g, 42a). Evans recorded 11 points (2g, 9a) in last month’s win against Minnesota.
Fans can watch Friday’s game on Swarm Vision by visiting mnswarm.com or at the Sweetwater Grill & Bar inside the Downtown St. Paul Kelly Inn during the team’s official viewing party
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