Nick Patterson and Rory Smith
EDMONTON, AB – The Minnesota Swarm (5-5) lost a nailbiter to the Edmonton Rush (3-9) by the score of 14-13 on Friday night in front of 7,035 fans at Rexall Place.
With the game tied at 13 late in the fourth quarter, Rush F Zack Greer (5g, 2a) scored the go-ahead goal with 3.5 seconds to play in regulation. Minnesota then had one final opportunity to tie things up, but was unable to get a shot off after losing the ensuing faceoff.
Forward Ryan Benesch led the Swarm with eight points (4g, 4a) and notched a goal with 1:14 remaining in the fourth to tie the game at 13. Benesch tallied all three of Minnesota’s fourth quarter goals. After Friday night’s performance, the five-year veteran now ranks first in the NLL in goals with 31 and sits just two goals shy of tying his career-high of 33.
Forwards Callum Crawford (3g, 2a) and Mat Giles (3g, 3a) both tallied hat tricks respectively in the loss and F Aaron Wilson (2g, 1a) chipped in two goals.
Minnesota battled back from several three-goal deficits Friday night, which included trailing 6-3 in the second and 10-7 in the third. Fueled by two goals from Giles, the Swarm managed to outscore the Rush 4-1 in the second to send the game tied at seven at halftime. Both teams then added three goals a piece in the third, as the game remained even at 10.
Minnesota jumped ahead 12-11 midway through the final quarter when Benesch tallied his third on the night and gave the Swarm its first lead since holding a 2-1 advantage early in the first quarter.
Edmonton would finish the game on a 3-1 run to pull out the victory, which included two goals from Greer and one from rookie D John LaFontaine (1g). Rush G Matt Disher (28 saves) picked up the win and F Ryan Ward (2g, 3a) also added five points.
Minnesota plays its next game on national television on VERSUS this Sunday at 1 p.m. when it hosts the Buffalo Bandits (7-3) on Treasure Island Field at Xcel Energy Center. The Swarm will look to avenge a 15-12 road loss to the Bandits earlier this season on Feb. 4.
Sunday’s nationally televised game will celebrate “Family Day at the Hive” where the first 5,000 fans will receive a free blinking "Go Swarm" pin. For one low ticket price of $6, fans can also watch the game with their dogs from the upper bowl. Radio Disney will host a pre-game party and a local mascot game will take place at halftime. For more information on Sunday’s game, visit mnswarm.com or call 888-MN-SWARM.
We plan to announce a new location for our franchise in the near future. (2 of 2)
We’re excited about the future of our franchise and we’re dedicated to continuing the Swarm and growing the sport and the NLL. (1 of 2)