SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Despite staging a spirited comeback in the final quarter, the Minnesota Swarm (1-5) fell to the Calgary Roughnecks (3-3) 15-13 Saturday night in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Xcel Energy Center.
Trailing 14-10 in the middle of the fourth quarter, Swarm F Shayne Jackson found twine three times in a 2:18 span to bring his team to within a goal of the Roughnecks, and the announced crowd of 8,468 to a frenzy at The Hive. However, Calgary was able to withstand the rally and ice the game as F Curtis Dickson scored his fifth goal of the game in dramatic fashion, when he was awarded a penalty shot as Minnesota was called for too many men on the floor.
“There were just some mental mistakes that come with having such a young group of guys,” Swarm assistant coach Bobby Keast said. “We just need to get both ends of the bench hitting their stride at the same time...We got to do everything we can to prepare them and get them refocused.”
Transition player Jordan MacIntosh got the Swarm run started when he got he scored 4:52 in the final frame, ending a streak of five-straight Roughneck goals. Prior to MacIntosh’s tally, however, Minnesota struggled on both ends of the floor in a second half in which Calgary controlled for the most part. But Jackson’s heroics were able to energize his team and give them a chance to steal one.
“That’s the type of player he is and we expect that out of him. He showed it tonight,” said F Logan Schuss of his teammate. “He gave the team confidence. We had no doubt even down by four or five we could come back and play our game, come back and get a win.”
The Roughnecks countered D Alex Crepinsek’s goal 10 seconds into the second half with a 5-1 run to take over the game in the third quarter, including three goals in 1:20 which turned a 8-6 Swarm lead into a 9-8 deficit. Once again it was Dickson who led the charge with a pair of goals in the stretch, including a shorthanded marker that deflated a Swarm team energized by a T Kiel Matisz goal just 45 seconds prior.
The Swarm had no answer for the Roughnecks' transition play, which continually was able to turn Minnesota’s offensive miscues and turnovers into odd-man rushes and scoring opportunities. Forward Shawn Evans led the way for Calgary with a remarkable eight assists, while F Daryl Veltman (2g, 5a) and Dickson (5g, 2a) were both able to turn in seven-point performances.
For the second-straight game, Minnesota was able to eclipse their previous season-high mark in offense, but for the second-straight game they were left empty-handed. The Swarm were able to spread the ball around well, boasting 15 players earning at least a point and seven players scoring two or more. Aside from Jackson’s memorable performance (3g, 2a), MacIntosh (3g, 3a) and F Callum Crawford (1g, 3a) made noise within the Minnesota offense.
Making his first appearance at The Hive, rookie T Cameron Flint tallied his first career NLL goal and assist. The No. 4 selection in 2013 notched Minnesota’s first goal of the game on a great individual effort, and later set up a beautiful goal by T Andrew Suitor, when he corralled a loose ball behind the Swarm cage and sprung the captain loose in transition. Defenseman Mike Hobbins also recorded his first goal in Swarm uniform, along with nabbing four loose balls.
Calgary netminder Mike Poulin was solid when he needed to be, turning aside 33 shots for the victory in a game where Minnesota held a 46-43 edge on shots-on-goal. Across the floor, Swarm G Tyler Carlson takes the loss despite making 28 saves, many of which were of the difficult variety.
Despite their current three-game skid, the Swarm have a chance to send a message next week when the undefeated Edmonton Rush (6-0) visit The Hive next Saturday at 6 p.m. CT to cap off the two-game homestand. The game is part of a “Seeing Double-Header” as the Minnesota RollerGirls take center stage at Xcel Energy Center following the Swarm-Rush game.
Swarm fans still 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.