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Training Camp Underway

11/30/2013, 11:15am CST
By Alec Schimke

Preparation for the 2014 NLL season has begun for the Swarm in Oakville, Ontario

TORONTO – The quest for a Champion’s Cup is underway for the Minnesota Swarm. Minnesota is participating in its first training camp session this weekend at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville, Ontario, and will practice until Sunday, Dec. 1. The team is set to return to Oakville for two additional main camp sessions from Dec. 6-8 and Dec. 13-15.

The Swarm only brought 26 players to camp this weekend, which is considerably less than compared to past seasons. The intent is to raise the level of intensity during the first weekend of camp to help the team reach their ultimate goal: a Champion’s Cup.

“We have such a great crop of rookies and veterans now, and we need them to mesh quicker than in year’s past,” Swarm associate general manager and head coach Joe Sullivan said.  “The intensity of this camp will be within themselves. There will only be a few players that we will have to let go at the end of this weekend. I expect them all to challenge and push each other.”

Minnesota has reached the NLL Division Finals the past two seasons, and has collected a handful of individual accolades from the league in that time as well. Reaching that point has not satisfied this young squad or the coaching staff however.

“The players have all committed to me that a Champion’s Cup is what they want to get to,” Sullivan said. “In saying that, it’s going to take a lot.  The expectations of the veterans are to play like veterans; play smart and savvy, with poise. Our rookies have to bring it to the table early. This league does not allow us the luxury of letting players get their feet wet. We need each and every game.”

With the passing of the new CBA this fall, teams are now permitted to carry a 20-man roster, and up to four practice players. Sullivan said the Swarm will trim their roster down to 24 players by the end of this weekend, leaving the final two weekends of camp to decide which players will be on the active roster or practice squad.  All nine NLL teams will be required to submit their final 20-man rosters by Monday, Dec. 16.

Minnesota Swarm Training Camp Roster:

Forwards (8): Callum Crawford ‘A’, Josh Gillam, Shayne Jackson, Scott Jones, Zach Palmer*, Logan Schuss*, Corbyn Tao, and Michael Teeter*.

Transition (7): David Earl, Cameron Flint*, Tyler Hass, Jordan MacIntosh, Kiel Matisz, Brock Sorensen, and Andrew Suitor ‘C’.

Defensemen (8): Dominique Alexander*, Dan Ball, Alex Crepinsek, Greg Downing, Jeff Gilbert ‘A’, Jordan Houtby*, Nick Jonas*, and Jason Noble*.

Goalies (3): Tyler Carlson, Zach Higgins, and Ryan Masters*.

*Denotes Rookies

Since the franchise’s inaugural season back in 2005, the Swarm has averaged close to 10,000 fans per game at The Hive. Swarm fans have helped make The Hive one of the toughest arenas to play in for visiting NLL teams as Minnesota has posted a league-best 16-8 record at home since 2011.

In 2014, the Swarm will be celebrating their 10th season of professional box lacrosse in the NLL and will kickoff the regular season on the road against the defending NLL champion Rochester Knighthawks at 6:30 p.m. CT Saturday, Dec. 28.

Minnesota will make its home debut at The Hive Sunday, Jan. 19 during a 2 p.m. matchup against the Philadelphia Wings at Xcel Energy Center. 

Swarm fans looking to lock up 2014 Season Tickets can take advantage of a Buy 2, Get 2 at 25% offer. By purchasing two season tickets at full price, fans can add an additional two tickets for 25% off. Call 1-888-667-9276 for purchasing information.

Exhibition Schedule

Date Time Opponent Location
Friday, Dec. 6 6 p.m. CT Colorado Oakville, Ontario
Saturday, Dec. 7 7 p.m. CT Rochester Rochester, NY
Saturday, Dec. 14 12:30 p.m. CT Calgary Oakville, Ontario

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