SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Swarm (1-6) could not find a way to overtake the league’s top team, the undefeated Edmonton Rush (7-0), falling 14-9 Saturday night at Xcel Energy Center.
Trailing 12-4 to start the fourth quarter, Minnesota finally found its groove and outscored the Rush 5-2 in the final quarter to re-energize The Hive on a doubleheader night with the Minnesota RollerGirls. Forward Callum Crawford tallied a game-high eight points (2G, 6A), which included a goal and two assists in the final quarter of play. Crawford leads the Swarm with 31 points (12G, 19A) on the season, and tallied his 175th career goal in the third quarter on a power play opportunity.
Minnesota managed to finish the night 4-for-6 on the power play, while holding the Rush scoreless on their five power play chances, including a 5-on-3 penalty kill. Despite the strong performance on special teams, the game stayed in Edmonton’s favor throughout, as the Rush improved to a perfect 7-0 record on the season.
Afterward, Swarm players and coaches reflected on the loss, stating that the team needs to come together as a group, and play a complete game on both ends of the floor. The group remained positive however, noting that there is a still a lot of lacrosse left to play this season.
“It takes 60 minutes to win anything in any sport,” Crawford said. “… The coaches said afterward that the only solution is within our dressing room right now, and we have to find that solution.”
Assistant Coach Bobby Keast added, “On special teams, our power play was solid going four-for-six and our short man didn’t allow a goal against. Those are positives that we told our guys about, and we are going to build on.”
The Rush jumped out to an early 3-0 lead to start the game, and led 4-2 after the first. Minnesota’s offense went cold in the second quarter, and could not find the back of the net on the NLL’s top ranked goalie, Aaron Bold. Bold finished the night with 37 saves, while both Carlson and Higgins split time for the Swarm. Edmonton entered halftime with a 6-2 advantage. In the third quarter, Edmonton’s offense exploded for six goals, including two from F Jeremy Thompson (3G, 1A).
Transition player Jordan MacIntosh led the Swarm in goals with his second consecutive hat trick, and added a team-high 15 loose balls. Rookie forward Logan Schuss notched three points (2G, 1A), and the 2013 No. 1 overall pick now has 18 points (10G, 8A) on the season.
3 Stars of the Game:
1) G Aaron Bold, Edmonton
2) F Callum Crawford, Minnesota
3) T Jeremy Thompson, Edmonton
Minnesota returns to action next weekend with a doubleheader on its plate, first playing in Toronto (3-4) on Saturday for a 6 p.m. CT showdown at Air Canada Centre, and then flying to Philadelphia (3-6) on Sunday for the regular season series finale with the Wings at 3 p.m. at Wells Fargo Center.