SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The National Lacrosse League’s (NLL) Minnesota Swarm (7-9) lost 16-14 to the Colorado Mammoth (7-9) Saturday night on Treasure Island Field in front of a season-high crowd of 12,243 fans.
“We only lost a few games at home this season, but it looks like next week we’ll be facing Toronto on the road so we’re going to have to replicate what we’ve been doing at home and carry it over to the road,” head coach Joe Sullivan said. “Who we play doesn’t really matter, we’ll get through who we have to get through. We gave Toronto a good game on the road earlier this year and then beat them at home so we’re confident and we’ll see what we can do.”
Due to the NLL’s crossover rule, the West Division Swarm will play the East Division champion Toronto Rock (10-6) next Sunday at 2 p.m. CT in the first round of the 2013 playoffs. The crossover rule allows the fifth place West Division team to take the place of the fourth place team from the East Division if the fifth place team has a better record.
With a hat trick and two assists in the game, Ryan Benesch became the Swarm’s second-highest scorer in history with 334 points. The Kitchener, Ontario native played all 16 regular season games and scored 84 points (34g, 50a).
Shayne Jackson scored four points (2g, 2a) Saturday night to set the record for most points in a Swarm rookie season at 63. The mark was previously held by Craig Point, who finished his 2008 rookie season with 60 points. Kiel Matisz also broke Point’s record with 62 points (29g, 33a) on the season.
“All I really care about is wins to best honest,” said Jackson. “I don’t really care about points as long as the team is winning… if points come, they come.”
Jordan MacIntosh collected 24 loose balls in the game, a franchise record. The RIT product also set a single-season Swarm record with 197 ground balls in 2013. MacIntosh set the record in his rookie season last year with 153 and finished this season as Minnesota’s fifth-leading scorer with 55 points.
As a team, the Swarm scored 219 goals in the 2013 regular season – a franchise record.
Callum Crawford led Minnesota in scoring Saturday night with six points (2g, 4a). The Swarm captain finished the regular season with 95 points (32g, 63a) and is one of the top-five scoring leaders on the year despite missing two games to injury.
“We accomplished our first goal, which was to make the playoffs,” Crawford said. “We wanted to win this last game for the fans, but it’s on to the next one. It’s really important for us to win this first game of the playoffs and I think we match up really well with Toronto.”
Matt Gibson recorded a career-high five points (2g, 3a) in the game. The rookie forward scored 12 points on the season (6g, 6a).
With Buffalo’s 10-9 loss to Rochester, the Bandits will miss the playoffs and Minnesota will acquire the No. 1 overall pick of the 2013 NLL Entry Draft. The Swarm is the youngest franchise in the league and will have multiple first round picks in the draft for the third-straight season.