SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Swarm (0-1) plays its first road game of the season this Friday, Jan. 14 at 10:00 p.m. CST in Everett, Wash. against the Washington Stealth (1-1).
Minnesota returns to the Comcast Arena at Everett for the first time since losing in the first round of the playoffs last May. Washington defeated the Swarm 14-10 in the opening round and eventually went on to win the 2010 NLL Championship.
“We have to take care of ourselves this week and get into Washington and hopefully pull out a win,” T Andrew Watt said. “It’s a tough place to play in and they are a good lacrosse team. It would be nice to knock off the defending champs.”
The Swarm split the regular season series with Washington last season, with each team winning its home contest. The Stealth won the first matchup 12-9 on Feb. 5 and Minnesota responded with a 16-12 win the following week at Xcel Energy Center on Feb. 13.
Minnesota kicked off its seventh season of play last Saturday against Rochester on Treasure Island Field at Xcel Energy Center and lost in overtime, 11-10. F Ryan Benesch (2g, 3a) led the Swarm with five points and Watt recorded a career-high three goals in the loss.
“We have a lot to build off,” Watt said. “There’s a lot more positives coming out of the Rochester game than negatives. We had a five second lapse where they scored two quick goals in the fourth quarter and that was the deciding factor.”
The Swarm received immediate production from offseason acquisitions, D Rory Smith, T Andrew Suitor, and F Mat Giles. Smith and Suitor both made their presence felt on defense with aggressive play and Giles added two power play goals in the fourth quarter to give Minnesota a 10-8 lead at the time.
“I really liked the fire in Andrew Suitor, and not for fighting, but because of his effort on loose balls and his overall work ethic,” General Manager Marty O’Neill said. “Rory Smith had some really solid defensive shifts and opposing players really don’t like to handle the ball too much around him. That was apparent last Saturday. On offense, Mat Giles was steady and was in the right place at the right time late in the game for us.”
Minnesota returns to Treasure Island Field at Xcel Energy Center to take on the Edmonton Rush on Saturday, Jan. 22 at 7:30 p.m. CST. Companies and individuals can donate tickets to send local heroes (military members, fireman, policemen, teachers) to Heroes Night at the Hive. Early arriving fans will receive cowbells courtesy of 4imprint.
Fans not near a computer during the game can text “SWARM TURF” to 91944 to receive halftime and final score updates. 2011 Swarm games are also streamed LIVE on mnswarm.com and nll.com at no cost.
Lower level single game tickets can be purchased for as low as $24 for 2011 home games. Tickets are available online at mnswarm.com or by calling 888-MN-SWARM.