SAINT PAUL, Minn. –The Minnesota Swarm (5-6) fell to the Buffalo Bandits (8-3) 12-9 in front of 9,294 fans on Treasure Island Field at Xcel Energy Center during the Swarm’s first LIVE, nationally televised game on VERSUS.
"Our fans in Minnesota did a great job of coming out and supporting us this afternoon," coach Mike Lines said. "To be on national television was great for our city and the local lacrosse community."
After Minnesota pulled its goalie during the fourth quarter, F Ryan Benesch (2g, 3a) tallied his second goal of the game with 49 seconds remaining to cut the Bandits lead to 11-9. It also increased his league leading goal total to 33.
"We had a couple of bad bounces and mental lapses to close out the fourth," Benesch said. "We knew they were a strong transition team and I think that's what killed us tonight. Credit to Buffalo, they stuck to their game plan and won the game."
Defenseman Eric Pacey added, "They got about five transition goals on us. It’s hard to win when a team gets that many. We also missed our own transition chances, and that killed us in the end."
Forward Callum Crawford (2g, 3a) also recorded his second goal of the game and T Tyler Hass (1g) notched his fourth of the season. On the power play, F Mat Giles (1g, 1a) registered his 14th goal of the season for the Swarm bringing Buffalo’s lead down to 8-6.
Forward Jamie Shewchuk (2g, 2a) recorded the lone goal of the third quarter for Minnesota, trimming the Buffalo lead to 7-5. At the end of the quarter, Minnesota trailed 8-5.
During the second quarter, Shewchuk posted the first goal for the Swarm, at which point Minnesota trailed the Bandits 5-3. With 3.7 seconds remaining, Crawford tallied his 17th goal of the season bringing Buffalo’s lead to 6-4 at halftime.
In the first quarter, F Sean Pollock (1g, 1a) started off the scoring for the Swarm, tying the game up at 1-1. Benesch notched his first goal of the game, giving Minnesota its first and only lead. Minnesota led Buffalo 2-1 at the end of the quarter.
Transition Mark Steenhuis led Buffalo with five points (2g, 3a). G Mike Thompson played a complete game for the Bandits and made 39 saves on 48 shots.
With the loss, Minnesota is now 0-2 against Buffalo this season. The Bandits defeated the Swarm 15-12 on Friday, Feb. 4 at home. Buffalo now leads the all-time series against Minnesota 13-2.
Up next for Minnesota is back-to-back games against Calgary next weekend. The Swarm will play the Roughnecks on the road next Friday at 7 p.m. CDT and then returns home to battle Calgary on Saturday, April 2 at 6 p.m. during the Swarm’s doubleheader with the Minnesota Wild on “Hockey Night at the Hive.”
"We're still in the playoff hunt and we still got a shot at second place," Benesch said. "Next weekend is going to be huge, with Calgary being in first place in our division."
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.
Post-game Q & A with Assistant Coach Aime Caines
Q: Can you give us your thoughts on the game today?
A: It was one of those games where, we battled hard, and got to the fourth quarter and put ourselves in a position to win. Then we gave up a transition goal, and the game kind of got away from us. The guys fought hard and we had our chances. We had 48 shots on goal, and I give credit to goalie Mike Thompson for making some big saves, but we can’t make him look better than he is. We need to finish and take advantage of our chances.
Q: What was your strategy coming into a big nationally televised game, facing a tough Eastern Division opponent?
A: We know the style Buffalo plays, we wanted to match their energy. We tried to come out and not be intimidated, and intimidate them instead. I thought our defense laid some big hits. We took a couple dumb penalties, and that wasn’t in our game plan, but we did want to play aggressive, go to the net hard, and try to stay away from their double. I give head coach Darris Kilgour credit; they were able to dictate some of our shots. We needed better shot selection, and really we just needed to be better than we were tonight.
Q: Any positives you can take away from today’s game?
A: We scored some 6-on-5 goals, we executed the powerplay well. Nick Patterson again played great. Some of the guys had some nice goals, and we battled hard for loose balls. We will take those positives with us to Calgary. We can’t hang our heads on this loss. We have two games against our own division coming up next week, so we need to get right back on the horse.
12:55 p.m. - Hello Swarm fans, this is mnswarm.com writer Joe Sibley and welcome to the Minnesota Swarm in-game commentary. The Xcel Energy Center is BUZZING as the Swarm are set to face a stout Eastern Division opponent in the Buffalo Bandits. For those of you that can’t make it to the Xcel Energy Center, you can catch the broadcast LIVE on VERSUS.
With a win today, the Swarm will clinch a playoff berth, but they have a tough task ahead of them, facing a 7-3 Buffalo team which beat them 15-12 on February 4th.
Inactives for the Swarm today include T Andrew Suitor, T Travis Hill, and D Matt Kelly.
Head Coach Mike Lines has also named D Joe Cinosky, T Tyler Hass, T Shayne Bennett, T Andrew Watt, D Rory Smith, and G Nick Patterson as starters.
Be sure to check the in-game commentary today for updates and analysis as the Swarm face off against the Buffalo Bandits.
13:18 - The Bandits start off the scoring with a breakaway goal by T Jon Harasym
8:26 - The Swarm have decided they will not be bullied today. Playing a very physical style game. D Rory Smith can be seen jawing with the Bandi'ts bench on his way to the team huddle. Score remains 1-0 in favor of the Bandits.
3:08 - The Swarm have had several great shots, but have been unable to convert. Both Goalies are playing outstanding so far today. The Bandit's Mike Thompson has 11 saves, while the Swarm's Nick Patterson has eight. Score remains 1-0 Bandits.
2:39 - F Sean Pollock puts the Swarm on the board. Ties the game at 1-1.
1:53 - F Ryan Benesch, the Swarm's leading scorer, puts one through, 2-1 Swarm.
0:00 - The Swarm lead the Bandits 2-1 after one quarter. This season the Swarm are 3-0 when leading after the 1st. The Bandits will start the 2nd quarter on the powerplay, as Swarm D Rory Smith was called for cross-checking.
13:03 - The Swarm successfully kill the powerplay and still lead 2-1.
12:07 - Another powerplay coming up for the Bandits. 2 Minutes for illegal substitution.
11:51 - The Bandits tie it back up after a powerplay goal by T Mark Steenhuis.
10:51 -Another shot by the Bandits sneaks by G Nick Patterson. 3-2 Buffalo. Buffalo's Tom Montour scores his 5th goal of the season.
8:41 - A nifty move by F Tracey Kelusky puts the Bandits up 4-2.
5:50 - F Tracey Kelusky scores again. 5-2 Bandits. The Swarm are challenging the goal.
5:50 - The challenge was disallowed. Swarm D Rory Smith is also sent to the pentaly box for two minutes for a late hit.
4:54 - Excellent shorthanded goal by Swarm F Jamie Shewchuk. 5-3 Bandit's lead.
3:33 - Another goal by the Bandits makes it 6-3, but a penatly has been assesed to T Mark Steenhuis. The Swarm will spend the next two minutes on the powerplay.
1:26 - The Swarm are unable to take advantage of the powerplay, 6-3 Bandits.
0:16 - Timeout is called, the Swarm look to set up a play for the final seconds of the half.
0:03 - The crowd at the Xcel Energy Center is electrified as F Callum Crawford puts it in the net with just three seconds left. 6-4 Buffalo.
0:00 - The Swarm trail by two goals, but they are still very much in this game. Their defense isn't allowing very many clean shots for the Bandits. However, Buffalo's goalie Mike Thompson has been very tough, tallying 21 saves in the first half.
12:00 - F Chad Culp starts off the scoring in the second half. Bandits are up 7-4.
10:30 - A fight breaks out, Swarm F Kevin Ross and Bandits D Chris White are both sent to the penalty box for slashing.
9:42 - Swarm are on a two minute power play after Bandits F John Tavares is called for cross-checking.
7:10 - F Jamie Shewchuk scores to bring the deficit back to two. Assist from F Sean Pollock. It is Shewchuk's 14th goal of the season. 7-5 Bandits lead.
0:52 - F Chad Culp cuts through the middle and scores again for the Bandits.
0:00 - The Swarm are down by three after the 3rd quarter. Head Coach Mike Lines is rallying his troops heading into 4th quarter. The Swarm trail the Bandits, 8-5.
14:03 - T Tom Montour of the Bandits gets two minutes for checking from behind. The Swarm take the powerplay desperately needing a score.
12:03 - The Bandits are able to kill the plenalty. The Swarm still trail 8-5.
10:32 - Bandit's D Chris White gets two minutes for cross-checking.
10:19 - F Mat Giles scores the powerplay goal. It's his 14th goal of the season, and 7th powerplay goal. The Swarm trail by two.
8:33 - After a great save by G Nick Patterson, T Tyler Hass takes the ball the length of the field to put the Swarm down by one.
6:34 - Breakaway goal by Bandit's D Chris Corbeil makes the score 9-7 in favor of Buffalo
6:24 - Another goal by the Bandits has the Swarm trailing by three.
6:11 - F Callum Crawford answers back. The score is now 8-10 in favor of the Bandits.
5:17 - The Swarm will be shorthanded after D Joe Cinosky is called for slashing.
4:46 - With 1 minute 30 seconds left on the penalty kill, a time out is called.
4:46 - It was just announced that our attendence today is 9,294, and I can hear every one of them up here in the press box. They are really starting to get loud here at the Xcel Energy Center.
3:35 - T Mark Steenhuis puts another one in the net, as the lead grows to three for the Bandits. Swarm Head Coach Mike Lines is challenging the goal.
3:35 - They are looking to see if Steenhuis' foot was on the crease line when he shot the ball.
3:35 - Goal is confirmed. The Bandits lead 11-8.
2:26 - The Swarm will not give up, as they hustle to get very loose ball. The fans here won't give up on them either!
0:49 - The Swarm pull their goalie, and F Ryan Benesch scores to put the Swarm within two. The Bandit's Head Coach Terry Pegula challenges the goal but the goal stands.
0:26 - Bandits F Tracey Kelusky scores and quiets the crowd. Bandits now lead 12-9.
0:00 - The Swarm are unable to score again as time expires. A tough loss in a very physical game. The Swarm outshoot their opponent for just the second time this season, but Bandit's G Mike Thompson made an amazing 39 saves today.
The Swarm drop to 5-6 on the season and are still looking to clinch a playoff berth. The Swarm will face the Calgary Roughnecks on April 1st at 8:30 PM in Calgary. The game will be broadcast live on MNSWARM.COM and NLL.COM.