SAINT PAUL, Minn. –The Minnesota Swarm (3-4) lost to the Boston Blazers (6-3) 14-11 on Treasure Island Field at Xcel Energy Center.
"We put a good battle in there," coach Mike Lines said. "We hit six posts in the second half, which didn’t help. A couple of those go our way and it's a new game. I think we played a lot better tonight than we did the last couple of games."
In the fourth quarter, F Callum Crawford narrowed Boston’s lead to 13-11 with Minnesota’s only goal of the quarter. He led the Swarm with six points (2g, 4a).
Newly acquired F Jamie Shewchuk (2g, 1a) recorded the lone goal of the third quarter on a power play. It was his first goal at Xcel Energy Center as a member of the Swarm. The Swarm trailed the Blazers 12-10 at the end of the quarter.
"The first half we had nine goals, and a lot of guys were chipping in," Shewchuk said. "On this team, we don't have to rely on one or two guys. That’s one thing I really like about this team, it doesn’t matter who is on the floor. We are going to get our chances."
After Boston quickly tallied four goals early in the second quarter, F Sean Pollock (1g) responded with his first goal of the season at Xcel Energy Center. Forwards Kevin Ross (1g, 2a) and Shewchuk, along with T Andrew Watt (2g, 1a) each notched goals to trim Boston’s lead to 8-7. After a quick behind the back pass by Crawford, F Aaron Wilson (2g) posted his first goal of the game. Wilson then recorded an additional goal, bringing the game to a 9-9 tie going into halftime.
In the first quarter, Crawford started off the scoring for the Swarm and F Mat Giles (1g, 1a), an ex-Blazer who was acquired this past off-season in exchange for F Kevin Buchanan, capitalized on the power play and posted his eighth goal of the season. With 2.7 seconds remaining on the clock, Watt tied the game 3-3.
Forward Casey Powell led Boston with seven points (1g, 6a). G Anthony Cosmo played a complete game for the Blazers and made 27 saves on 38 shots.
With the loss, Boston now leads the all-time series against Minnesota 3-0.
Despite tallying nine goals in the first half, Minnesota posted a season-low two goals in the second half on Saturday night,
"We got to come out of the second half better and utilize our opportunities," Watt said. "We didn’t do that tonight."
Minnesota will get an opportunity to bounce back on the road on Sunday night, when it travels to take on Colorado (1-6). Shewchuk, who was acquired from the Mammoth in a trade two weeks ago, spoke about playing his former team afterwards.
"I spent the last four years of my career there," Shewchuk said. "It’s a very energetic building, one of the loudest in the league. I’ve never been on the other side of it, but I’m looking forward to it. We know we definitely have to pick up our game when we come into their house"
The Swarm will fly out to Colorado early tomorrow morning and will look to snap its three-game losing steak when it arrives in Denver.
"We got to get out there and battle and play a full 60 minutes," Watt said. "With a quick turnaround we need to rest up the bodies as much as possible."
Make sure to visit mnswarm.com tomorrow as the Swarm hit the road to take on the Colorado Mammoth for the first time this season on Sunday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. CST. Fans not near a computer during the game can text “SWARM TURF” to 91944 to receive halftime and final score updates.
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.
Q: First goal at home tonight, how do you feel about the new guys and the team?
Shewchuk: Good, I’m trying to fit in, and talk to the guys, and not step on any toes. The first half we had nine goals, and a lot of guys were chipping in, it’s not just one or two guys we have to rely on. That’s one thing I really like about this team, it doesn’t matter who is on the floor we are going to get our chances. We swing the ball well and cut off the ball and can be a pretty dangerous team if we stick to that.
Q: What will your role be with the team throughout the rest of the season?
Shewchuk: I think I was brought in to be a good off-ball guy, cut off ball and set hard picks and get guys like Benesch open. Really whatever they ask me to do. If they want me to fight, I’ll fight. Hopefully they don’t call my number, but I’ll take it as it comes. I’m just glad I get to be here and glad I get to play lacrosse.
Q: What is your impression so far of the fans and the organization in Minnesota?
Shewchuk: It’s good - a decent crowd tonight. I’ve been spoiled on Colorado with 14,000 fans on a bad night. I was in the team store today and saw lots of people buying stuff. It feels like a good group, and I think they do it right here.