Photo Credit: Alex Carroll
SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Riding a two-game winning streak, the Minnesota Swarm (5-7) has a chance to return to .500 this weekend with a doubleheader against two East Division foes. Minnesota will open the weekend on Treasure Island Field vs. the Buffalo Bandits (5-8) Saturday night at 7 p.m. CT and finish against the Philadelphia Wings (5-7) on the road for a 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon game.
Minnesota played at Buffalo in its season opener and narrowly lost 13-12. Going into Saturday night’s home game the Swarm is looking to split the season series. While Minnesota has been hot as of late, Buffalo is currently on a five-game losing streak.
“We weren’t playing our best ball at the beginning of the year,” head coach Joe Sullivan said. “There are a lot of things from that game that we have been able to clean up, so look for us to come out and be competitive. We’re going to try to dictate the flow of the game better than we did on the road. We know what they’re all about and they’re fighting for a playoff spot just like we are, so it’s going to be a heck of a match.”
At halftime of Saturday night’s contest, fans in attendance will have the opportunity to witness something very unique as Swarm employee Sarah O’Brien will be marrying Daelen Snow. The event will be the first on-field wedding in franchise history.
After the game against the Bandits, Minnesota will travel to Philadelphia to face the Wings for the second time in two weeks. The Swarm scored a franchise-record 20 goals against Philadelphia last weekend on Treasure Island Field at Xcel Energy Center.
“We need to be mentally prepared to travel and play twice,” Sullivan said. “We have to be ready for these kinds of busy weekends. It’s going to be so congested playing two games in this 24-hour timeframe.”
Callum Crawford has been on a hot streak lately, tallying 25 points over the last three games. The Ottawa, Ontario native ranks fifth in the NLL with 41 assists and is now the franchise leader in the category, snapping Sean Pollock’s mark of 200. Crawford has also been named the NLL’s Offensive Player of the Week twice in 2013.
“Callum is incredibly important to this team, he’s the guy on the right side of the floor that can pick up the ball and do it himself if he has to,” Sullivan said. “The biggest thing that he’s doing this year is making everyone around him better. He’s seeing the ball well, finding the open players and creating space for teammates around him. He’s really become the all-around offensive threat with the ball and without the ball, which is something he’s put a lot of commitment into doing.”
Buffalo is led by Shawn Williams (52 points) and Philadelphia’s scoring leader is Kevin Crowley (58 points).
A live stream of both games can be seen on Swarm Vision at mnswarm.com and Saturday night’s home tilt can be heard on SAM 101.5 FM in the Brainerd Lakes area. Be sure to tune in to the broadcast or head over to Treasure Island field to see Minnesota try to get back to .500 in person.
Tickets to Saturday’s 7 p.m. faceoff can be purchased by calling 1-888-MN-SWARM or visiting mnswarm.com.