SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Swarm (3-7) host the West Division-leading Washington Stealth (7-4) this Saturday on Treasure Island Field at Xcel Energy Center at 7 p.m. CT. The game will feature the franchise’s fourth annual Hive Cares Night, which aims to raise funds for cancer research. Swarm players will be wearing green jerseys and shorts during the contest in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.
The game-worn uniforms are currently up for bidding at auctions.mnswarm.com. All proceeds from the jerseys will go to the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund. Over the past two seasons, the Swarm has raised over $36,000 for the non-profit organization and has set a goal of $30,000 for this year.
Heading into Saturday’s game against Washington, Minnesota is focused on winning the third and final regular season contest between the two franchises. Minnesota came out on top in the first matchup on Treasure Island Field in a thrilling 15-14 victory, but Washington countered with an 11-8 home win five weeks later to even the season series at one game apiece.
“Beating any team in the West Division twice in one year is a great feat to accomplish,” said Swarm associate general manager and head coach Joe Sullivan. “We want to keep our playoff hopes alive and not just sneak into the postseason, but come in with momentum. Beating a division rival multiple times would give us the confidence and know-how to do it again in the playoffs.”
Coach Sullivan also says that the team’s new goal is to finish the season at .500 and that they are going to take the rest of their games head on in order to do so.
“If we could finish the regular season at .500 that would be perfect,” Sullivan said. “We have some players flying in early this week for extra preparation and team bonding. We want to attack the rest of the season and that starts Saturday.”
Earlier this week the Swarm added F Josh Gillam and G Zach Higgins to their active roster to help with their late season push. Gillam was a rookie for Minnesota last year, scoring 13 points (4g, 9a) and grabbing 21 loose balls in just six games played. The left-handed forward recently finished playing professional hockey overseas and should be in tip-top shape for the Swarm’s remaining six regular season games. “This year he’s very healthy and should contribute immediately,” said Sullivan. “He’s got an incredible knack for picking up loose balls.”
In last week’s matchup at Calgary, F Ryan Benesch surpassed 300 career points in a Swarm uniform with a four-goal, three-assist effort. Forward Callum Crawford also had a record breaking night, finishing with a personal-best 10 points (3g, 7a). While Benesch has recently passed several career milestones, Crawford is poised to set some high marks of his own as well.
*Ryan Benesch has 304 points and 129 goals in his Swarm career: Benesch is two goals shy of breaking Sean Pollock’s team record of 131 goals and becoming the team’s all-time leading goal scorer. The Kitchener, Ontario native also needs seven points to pass Ryan Ward (310) on the all-time scoring list for second-most in team history. Pollock holds the team record of 331 points.
*Callum Crawford has 295 points, 97 goals and 198 assists in a Swarm uniform: Crawford needs five points to become the fourth player in team history to reach 300 points; three goals to become the fourth player to notch 100 career goals; and three assists to become the Swarm’s all-time assist leader, which would pass Ward’s mark of 200.
Saturday night’s game can be seen live on Swarm Vision at mnswarm.com as well as on SAM 101.5 in the Brainerd Lakes Area.
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 the Swarm’s remaining four 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