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OT Thriller

04/24/2010, 12:41pm CDT
By MN Swarm

The Titans have ended Minnesota’s season in each of the last two years...

  SAINT PAUL, MN – The National Lacrosse League’s (NLL) Minnesota Swarm (5-11) suffered their fifth one-goal defeat of the season, this time to the Eastern Division champion Orlando Titans (11-5) in overtime by a score of 12-11 in front of 10,768 fans at Xcel Energy Center.

 

The Titans have ended Minnesota’s season in each of the last two years, beating the Swarm in the first round of the 2008 NLL Playoffs and again on the final game of the 2009 regular season. Saturday night’s overtime goal by Orlando’s Chad Thompson (1g, 1a) only ended the Swarm’s regular season, as Minnesota will begin the first round of playoff action next weekend against the Washington Stealth.

 

It didn’t take long for the Swarm to make a statement early in this one. Team MVP Callum Crawford (3g, 4a) motored his way to the net only 14 seconds into the game for his 30th goal of the year. Crawford’s opening goal ties the franchise record for the fastest goal to open a game. He also finished the season second overall in the NLL points race, setting a franchise record with 96 points (32g, 64a).

 

After Crawford’s opener, Orlando answered with three straight to quickly turn the tide. FKevin Ross (1g, 2a) and Ryan Benesch (2g, 2a) stopped the bleeding with a pair of goals to tie the game. F Tim Campeau (0g, 6a) feathered a pass to F Andrew Watt (1g, 0a) who buried his seventh goal of the year late in the season finale’s first quarter.

 

Crawford continued Minnesota’s first-half momentum, setting up Minnesota’s all-time leading goal scorer, Sean Pollock (2g, 1a), giving the Swarm a 6-3 lead in the second quarter. Minutes later, Crawford decided to pull the trigger himself, scoring a power-play goal from the slot.

 

Minnesota went into the half with a two-goal lead. After losing four one-goal games already this season, Head Coach Mike Lines stressed the importance for Minnesota to find a better second half if they are going to make a run in the playoffs. It wasn’t the fourth quarter they were looking for, but the Swarm held their own against arguably the best team in the league.

 

Orlando F Casey Powell (4g, 5a) and Jordan Hall (1g, 8a) each posted nine points, providing a powerful offensive punch all night long.

 

Aaron Wilson (2g, 2a) reached the 40-goal plateau in the third quarter, adding to his franchise record for goals in a single season and further increasing his career high in points with 89. Wilson ranked fifth overall in the NLL points race late Saturday night.

 

Nick Patterson stopped 39 shots. F Tim Campeau tallied six helpers. Benesch’s four points increased his career-high totals to 83 points (28g, 55a), third best on the team and top 10 in the NLL.

 

The Swarm open first-round playoff action on the road next weekend against the Washington Stealth, beginning Minnesota’s quest for its first Champion’s Cup. Minnesota’s all-time record against the Stealth is 5-2 and this weekend will mark their first-ever playoff meeting.

 

Visit mnswarm.com for official game dates and times. Fans can watch the game LIVE on mnswarm.com with Swarm Vision and can also join the Swarm’s gameday blog powered by CoveritLive for additional insights on the action. Fans not near a computer during the game can text “SWARM TURF” to 91944 to receive halftime and final score updates.

 

-- SWARM --

Tag(s): News Center