ROCHESTER, NY - With 1.3 seconds left in the game, Swarm forward Scott Jones stole the show in front of a full house in Rochester, as the rookie sniped in the game-winning goal to give the Swarm a 16-15 preseason victory against the Knighthawks Saturday evening. Jones finished the game with a hat trick, while T Jordan MacIntosh and rookie F Logan Schuss both tallied four-goals to lead the team. Over 10,000 fans made the trip to The Blue Cross Arena to witness a rematch of last year’s East Division Finals.
After building a 9-6 lead in the 3rd Quarter, Minnesota saw all of its hard work go to waste, as the Knighthawks stormed back to score the game’s ensuing seven goals. Ahead 13-9, Rochester appeared to have sealed the deal with its 14th score of the night, however the goal was waved off. Wasting no time, the Swarm took advantage of the celebrating Knighthawks, and sprinted to the other side of the floor where T Kiel Matisz found the back of the net to cut the deficit to three.
Matisz’s goal was just what Minnesota needed at the time, as the Swarm got hot from then on. After F Josh Gillam notched his first of the night, Matisz added another score moments later to make it a 13-12 ballgame. The second-year pro finished the night with a hat trick. After the two teams traded goals to make it a 14-13 game with 3:12 in the fourth, another Minnesota goal scorer caught fire, this time it was Logan Schuss. The No. 1 overall pick scored two clutch goals with less than two minutes remaining in the game. Schuss’ tally at the 1:44 mark tied the game at 14, and his falling down goal with 47 seconds left put the Swarm ahead 15-14. Rochester’s crowd was stunned.
“We went into the fourth quarter down, and we just started chipping away,” Schuss said. “We knew it wasn’t over until the last whistle, and it worked out for us.”
With the ball in their hands and less than 30 seconds remaining, Rochester worked viciously on offense in an effort to tie the game. Their hard work paid off, as F Johnny Powless caught a rebound and rifled a shot top corner to tie the game with 10.4 seconds left.
The Swarm won the game’s final faceoff, and called a timeout with 6.6 seconds remaining. With the ball in his stick after the timeout, rookie forward Scott Jones took a few steps into the offensive zone before winding up from the center of the floor. Jones’ shot bounced five-hole to give the Swarm a 16-15 advantage with 1.3 seconds remaining. Rochester’s crowd went silent, and the young guns walked away with a gutsy preseason victory.
“It was drawn up where I was going to run and take a shot, while a couple of guys set screens,” Jones said, who was selected No. 7 overall in the 2013 NLL Entry Draft. “It worked well and it just went over the goalies’ stick five-hole. It feels good to get the first one under the belt.”
“There was only 6.6 seconds left, so it wasn’t anything fancy,” assistant coach Bobby Keast added. “Jonesy has an unbelievable outside shot, so really the play was to put some traffic in front and let Jonesy shoot the ball.”
Minnesota found itself in a hole early, trailing 4-0 midway through the 1st Quarter. The Swarm finally got on the board after D Alex Crepinsek stole a pass and found D Greg Downing on the other end of the floor, who converted five-hole for the team’s first goal. Less than 30 seconds later, Schuss snuck one past Vinc strong side, to pull the Swarm within two. Rochester entered halftime with a 5-4 lead.
Minnesota got off to a hot start in the 2nd Half when Schuss scored his second goal of the night 24 seconds into the quarter, tying the game at 5. After registering a hat trick Friday evening against the Colorado Mammoth, MacIntosh took matters into his own hands in the 3rd quarter, notching three goals in a three-minute span to help the Swarm build a 9-6 lead. Two of MacIntosh’s goals on the night were unassisted.
Forward Craig Point led Rochester with a game-high six goals. Goalie Zach Higgins picked up the win for Minnesota, and played all 60 minutes.
The Swarm will finish training camp next weekend at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre, and will scrimmage the Calgary Roughnecks on Saturday, Dec. 14.
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 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.