SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Swarm (4-7) meet the Philadelphia Wings (5-5) this Friday night at 7:30 p.m. CT on Treasure Island Field at Xcel Energy Center. The Swarm currently holds a spot in the playoffs, with a half game lead over division rival Colorado Mammoth (4-8) with five games left in the regular season. Both teams were on a bye last week and the Swarm is looking continue their winning ways after a week off.
“We haven’t asked anybody to do too much or change anything that they’ve been doing,” head coach Joe Sullivan said. “We had a good practice last Wednesday, have video prepared along with another practice again this week so we’re in good shape.”
This weekend marks the beginning of a three-game slate against the East Division, with two contests against Philadelphia and another versus Buffalo. Minnesota is 1-2 against the East Division this season, splitting their series with Toronto at 1-1 and falling to Buffalo 13-12 in the team’s season opener. The Swarm will be looking to get above .500 against the East Division this season in an effort to finish the season on a high note. In 2012, the Swarm won their final four regular season games, which included two wins over the Wings.
“Going up against Philadelphia, the key is executing our gameplan,” Sullivan said. “…We’re going to have to come out and play them tough and try to limit the opportunities of their offensive players.”
Assistant Coach Aime Caines added: “We want to sweep the Philadelphia series to create some breathing room between us and Colorado to solidify our postseason chances. Every game is a playoff game for us right now.”
Building on the team’s 12-5 victory over Washington on March 16 will certainly be an area of focus, where goaltender Tyler Carlson was seemingly impenetrable. The Brampton, Ontario native allowed only five goals on the night -- the lowest total of any team in 2013 -- and blocked 49 shots, while posting a sensational .907 save percentage.
“Tyler Carlson was seeing the ball, our defense was supporting him, and our offense scored timely,” Sullivan said.
Forward Callum Crawford has been red-hot as of late, scoring a combined 18 points (7g, 11a) in the Swarm’s last two games. Crawford has stepped in as the team’s captain in lieu of Andrew Suitor’s season-ending knee injury last month.
Philadelphia is led by forwards Kevin Crowley (19g, 29a) and Kevin Buchanan (10g, 30a). Minnesota swept the two-game series against Philadelphia last season, and leads the all-time series 9-7.
Friday 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. 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