SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The National Lacrosse League’s (NLL) Minnesota Swarm today announced that F Ryan Benesch was named the Week #2 Overall and Offensive Player of the Week and G Nick Patterson was named the Week #2 Defensive Player of the Week. Both players were honored for their performances in the Swarm’s 16-8 road victory against Washington on Friday, Jan. 14.
Benesch, 25, recorded a game-high 11 points (7g, 4a) and his seven goals set a personal and franchise record for the most goals scored in a regular season game. Benesch scored four goals in the second quarter, which also set a team mark for the most individual goals scored in a quarter.
The four-year veteran leads the NLL in both points (16) and goals (9) in two games in 2011.
“Anytime a guy can perform like that, you have to take a step back and say thanks,” General Manager Marty O’Neill said. “Scoring seven goals is a rare feat that puts Ryan in an elite group of players in league history.”
Benesch along with the rest of Minnesota’s offense combined for 16 goals in the win, the most of any team this season in the NLL.
“Friday’s game against Washington was the most complete offensive game the Swarm has played in its seven year history. A lot of hard work culminated with Ryan getting his goals and we were happy to see him make the most of his chances.”
Benesch’s sixth goal against Washington with 8:08 remaining in the third quarter broke the Swarm’s record for most goals scored in a regular season game, which previously stood at five. His final score and seventh goal 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.
Seven Swarm players shared the previous record (5) for most goals scored in a regular season game. F Callum Crawford (5g, 5a) accomplished the feat most recently against Edmonton (4/3/10).
Benesch’s 11 points Friday night also tied the Swarm’s record for most points scored in a regular season game. Benesch set the record last season after recording 11 points (2g, 9a) in a 17-13 win at Calgary (3/26/10). He now holds the Swarm’s individual game records in all three major scoring categories: goals (7), assists (9) and points (11).
Patterson, 28, made 50 saves on 58 shots, while allowing a season low eight goals in a complete game against the Stealth. It was the fifth time in Patterson’s career that he had recorded 50+ saves in a regular season game.
Patterson’s performance was even more special in that Washington entered the game with the league’s top two scorers in F Rhys Duch and F Lewis Ratcliff.
“Nick gave up three early goals, but then settled in nicely the rest of the game and made countless second and third saves that were of spectacular variety,” O’Neill said. “We will need Nick to provide those kind of performances if we are going to have a successful season.”
Patterson has now been named the NLL Defensive Player of the Week six times, which is the most of any Swarm player. In 2011, the eight-year veteran has a posted a 1-1 record with a 9.27 GAA and a .802 SV%.
The Week #2 awards are for the games played on the weekend of January 14th-15th. The NLL Weekly Player Awards are determined each week by a vote of the General Managers & Head Coaches of the league's ten member clubs.