Photo Credit: Brad Watson
CALGARY, ALBERTA – The Minnesota Swarm (3-10) could not withstand a late push from the Calgary Roughnecks (8-5) en route to a 15-11 defeat Saturday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
While keeping them in check early, the Swarm had no answer for Calgary’s potent offense in the fourth quarter as the Roughnecks outscored Minnesota 6-2 in the final 15 minutes, which begun in a 9-9 tie. Two goals in under a minute by Calgary F Daryl Veltman (3g, 1a) stretched an 11-10 lead to a commanding 13-10 lead early in the frame, which was largest cushion of the game at the time.
A pair of goals in the opening 1:09 by F Matthew Dinsdale and T Karson Leung spotted the Calgary a two-goal edge to start the fourth quarter. Soon after F Shayne Jackson’s (3g, 1a) hat-trick goal brought the Swarm within a pair at 6:19, D Dan MacRae (1g) and F Curtis Dickson (1g, 3a) added two more tallies to ice the game in favor of the hometown Roughnecks.
Despite the defeat, it was a milestone night for Minnesota F Callum Crawford, whose six-point night (1g, 5a) catapulted him over the 500-point mark in his NLL career. The eight-year pro reached 500 when he burned a shot past Calgary G Mike Poulin (37 saves) just under two minutes into the fourth quarter.
The Swarm were aided offensively by solid nights by Jackson, T Jordan MacIntosh (2g, 2a) and F Logan Schuss (3a), but in the end could not keep up with the Roughnecks’ high-octane attack, who held a slight 52-48 edge in shots-on-goal.
Even though the game ended as a high-scoring affair, defense was the rule in the opening frame. Both Poulin and Swarm starting G Tyler Carlson (31 saves) made a handful of big stops early, as Minnesota was 1:40 away from posting a first-quarter shutout for the second consecutive game when Calgary F Jeff Shattler (2g, 4a) got his team on the board on the power play. Prior to the late goal Minnesota had built a 2-0 lead with goals from forwards Scott Jones (1g, 1a) and Josh Gillam (2g) at 4:59 and 10:14 respectively.
The second quarter began with a flurry of offense, as the two teams combined for three goals in the opening 50 seconds. Shattler tied the game at two with his second of the game, a goal that was answered by MacIntosh 10 seconds later. It was then Calgary’s Shawn Evans (2g, 2a) who responded 10 seconds later, knotting things up at three.
Calgary took the lead for the first time when T Tor Reinholdt scored at 2:24 of the second, but two straight goals by Jackson gave the edge back to Minnesota.
The Swarm failed to capitalize on a five-minute match penalty to Reinholdt late in the first half, while giving up a shorthanded goal to F Dane Dobbie (2g, 2a) in the process to head into the break at a 5-5 stalemate. The Minnesota power play, typically one of the team’s bright spots, came out empty handed on Saturday, going 0-for-2. Calgary went 1-for-2 with the extra man.
The back-and-forth game continued in a third quarter that saw each team net four goals. After two early goals by Veltman and Evans spotted the Roughnecks a 7-5 advantage, the Swarm strung together a 3-0 run in a 3:22 span to regain the lead. After MacIntosh intercepted a pass and beat Poulin on a breakaway at 6:56 of the frame, Gillam and T David Earl (1g, 1a) combined for goals six seconds apart.
Minnesota will play a pair with the defending-champion Rochester Knighthawks next weekend in a home-and-home series. Game one will take place Friday night at Xcel Energy Center at 7:30 CT, with the two teams meeting again the following day at 6:30 CT in Rochester.
A Minnesota Swarm game is something that has to be experienced live to be fully understood. Fans can get that experience in The Hive for as low as $22 for a lower-level seat. Fans looking to lock up pro-rated season packages can still take advantage of a special Buy 2, Get 2 25%-Off promotion for the remainder of the 2014 Season. Visit mnswarm.com or call 888-667-9276 for more information.