SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Swarm (1-1) defeated the Washington Stealth (1-2) 16-8 on Friday night at the Comcast Arena at Everett.
F Ryan Benesch led Minnesota with ten points (7g, 3a) and set a personal and franchise record for most goals scored in a regular season game with seven. Benesch now holds the Swarm’s single game records for goals, assists and points. The four-year veteran broke Minnesota’s assist (9) and point (11) marks in 2010.
G Nick Patterson made his second start of the season and bounced back from a Week 1 loss to Rochester. Patterson made 50 saves on 58 shots in a complete game.
Benesch wasn’t the only forward that gave Washington problems. F Callum Crawford added seven points (2g, 5a) and assisted on Minnesota’s first three goals in the first quarter. Forwards Zack Greer (2g, 1a), Mat Giles (2g, 3a) and Aaron Wilson (2g, 2a) all tallied two goals as well in the win.
Minnesota jumped out to an early 4-3 lead at the end of the first quarter and never looked back. After Washington F Rhys Duch (2g, 2a) scored the game’s opening goal, Greer tied the game at 1-1 with 12:12 left in the first quarter. Greer closed out the quarter with another goal, his third of the season.
In the second quarter, Benesch took over. The lefty forward scored four goals and Minnesota outscored the Stealth 6-1 to build a 10-4 lead at halftime.
Benesch continued to stay hot in the third quarter, adding two more goals. His sixth goal of the night with 8:08 remaining in the third broke the Swarm’s record for most goals scored in a regular season game, which previously stood at five.
Benesch’s final score of the game came on a rare back-to-back penalty shot opportunity at the 3:38 mark in the third, and gave Minnesota a 13-5 lead. Greer failed to convert on the Swarm’s second penalty shot attempt.
In the fourth quarter, Minnesota recorded three more goals. Crawford and Wilson notched goals in the first minute of the quarter and Giles rounded out the scoring on the night for the Swarm to give Minnesota a 16-7 lead.
F Lewis Ratcliff led Washington with four points (3g, 1a) and G Matt Roik made 36 saves on 52 shots in the loss.
With the win, Minnesota picked up its first victory in 2011 and its first ever win on the road in Washington. Both teams split the regular season series (1-1) in 2010 with each team winning at home. The Stealth defeated the Swarm 14-10 in the first round of the NLL Playoffs last May and went on to win the 2010 Championship.
The Swarm 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.
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.