7:28 PM - Hello again Swarm fans and welcome to the Swarm in-game commentary. Tonight looks to be an exciting matchup between the 6-8 Minnesota Swarm and the 5-10 Philadelphia Wings.
The Swarm have already locked up a playoff birth and at least third place in the Western Division, but are looking to get hot in time for the post season. If the Swarm are able to win their next two games, and the Washington Stealth lose their game tonight, the Swarm will be able to have a home playoff game in the first round.
This will be the first time the Swarm face the Wings this season, and the all-time series is tied 7-7.
Last week, Minnesota Swarm F Ryan Benesch tied the Swarm all-time single season record for goals. He looks to break that record tonight against a physical Eastern Division team.
The Swarm will wear pink jerseys and helmets tongiht as part of the NLL's initiative to black out cancer. The Minnesota Swarm has partnered with the Randy Shaver Cancer Research & Community Fund, an organization that supports the cancer community in Minnesota by funding research, prevention, treatment and other programs relating to the cancer community.
Be sure to check back often for updates and analysis of tonights game Go Swarm!
15:00 - Something to pay attention to tonight. With every Ryan Benesch goal, $210 will be donated to the Randy Shaver Cancer Research & Community Fund, with every assist $50 will be donated. Thank you to some very special Swarm fans and supporters of cancer research.
9:36 - We are scoreless through the first five minutes of play, with some great saves from G Nick Patterson.
7:10 - F Kevin Ross starts off the scoring, with a shot through the legs of Wings G Brandon Miller. It is Ross' 10th goal of the year.
6:29 - Wings go on the powerplay, the Swarm were called for too many men on the field. The Wings quickly capitalize, with a goal by F Ryan Boyle, game is tied 1-1.
4:40 - T David Brock picks up a loose ball infront of the net and scores for the Wings, they now lead 2-1.
0:36 - A breakaway shot from T Andrew Watt is denied, but Wings D Joe Smith is called for holding, and the Swarm will go on the powerplay.
0:00 - The quarter ends with the Wings leading 2-1.
10:29 - Another goal by F Ryan Boyle, he has two on the night, and the Wings now lead 3-1.
9:21 - The Swarm are outshooting their opponent 21-13, unfortunately they have not been able to turn those shots into many points. Minnesota has outshot their opponent only twice this year.
9:01 - Spectacular goal by F Callum Crawford. After grabbing the rebound he uses his lanky body to wrap around the back of the net and sneak it over the left shoulder of G Brandon Miller. Philadelphia is challenging the call to see if his foot was on the crease.
9:01 - Goal is confirmed. Score is now 2-3 in favor of the Wings.
7:38 - The Swarm are starting to lay the wood, making it very diffucult for the Wings to come off picks or come through the middle.
5:51 - After seeing one of his teammates being hit from behind, T Andrew Suitor drags one of the Wings players to the ground. He is assesed a two minute minor for roughing. Wings will go on the powerplay.
3:26 - Another goal sneaks by Swarm G Nick Patterson, this one is scored by F Brandon Mundorf (1g, 2a). The Wings lead 4-2.
0:18 - F Brandon Mundorf scores again, he now has four points on the night.
0:00 - Philadelphia leads a low scoring affair 5-2 after one half of play.
12:27 - F Callum Crawford puts another one in the net, this time from long distance. Swarm now trail by two. F Ryan Benesch gets an assist, that means $50 will be donated to the Randy Shaver Cancer Research & Community Fund.
9:12 - T Max Seibald rifles one in for the Wings. They now lead the Swarm 6-3.
8:00 - A 3 on 2 fast break leads to another goal for the Wings.
7:43 - F Ryan Benesch makes history with his first goal of the night. He is now in sole posession of the Swarm single season record for goals. Way to go Benny!!
7:43 - Benesch's goal means another $210 will be donated to cancer research.
6:25 - F Sean Pollock follows up with goal of his own. The Swarm are now only down by two, score is 7-5.
5:12 - The offense is coming in bunches! F Kevin Ross scores his second goal of the night, and 11th goal of the year. F Ryan Benesch (1g, 2a) assisted on the goal. That's another $50 for cancer research. That brings Benesch's total to $310 for the night.
1:53 - Swarm F Kevin Ross and Wings D Joe Smith will both go to teh penalty box for two minutes for roughing. Smith clocked Ross as he was heading back to his bench, and the fight ended with Ross on top of Smith and Swarm D Rory Smith coming from about 30 feet away to offer backup.
0:00 - The Swarm go into the 4th quarter trailing only by 1.
12:50 - F Ryan Benesch scores his second goal of the night. That's another $210 for cancer research, and it ties the game at 7.
11:05 - The Wings re-gain the lead as a goal by F Ryan Boyle trickles in under the arm of Swarm G Nick Patterson. That gives Boyle a hat trick and the Wings now lead 8-7.
10:21 - T Andrew Watt makes a great move and scores his first goal of the night and his 15th goal of the year. Score is now tied 8-8.
9:29 - F Ryan Benesch (3g, 2a) comes alive in the fourth quarter. He give the Swarm the lead and now has five points on the night. That's another $210 for cancer reasearch. Benesch's play has accounted for $730 donated to the Randy Shaver Cancer Research & Community Fund so far tonight.
7:44 - A goal by the Wings was disallowed, and then challenged by the Wings head coach John Tucker. The call stands and the Wings are charged a timeout. Swarm still lead 9-8.
6:30 - The Swarm have outshot their opponnent 55-33. That is the most shots on goal for the Swarm in a single game this season.
4:26 - Tonight's attendance is 9,635. Thanks to everyone for coming out to the game tonight and showing your support!
3:55 - F Mat Giles gets in on the action. A diving shot results into another goal for the Swarm, they now lead 10-8.
2:20 - T Max Seibald scores a breakaway goal to put the Wings within one.
1:30 - A goal by F Ryan Benesch is taken away after further review. The Swarm still lead by one with just under 90 seconds to play.
1:04 - T Andrew Watt scores on an open net to put the Swarm up by 2.
0:00 - The Swarm are able to hold off the Philadelphia Wings for an 11-9 victory. This is the Swarm's first win against an Eastern Division opponent since 2009. Minnesota will faceoff against Colorado for their regular season finale next Saturday, April 23rd at Xcel Energy Center. The game will be at 7:30 PM and could determine if the Swarm are able to get a home playoff game the next week. Thanks for tuning into the in-game commentary. Be sure to check MNSWARM.COM for all the latest Swarm news and updates.
Coach Mike Lines
SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Swarm (6-8) faces the Philadelphia Wings (5-10) this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on Treasure Island Field at Xcel Energy Center. Swarm players will wear pink jerseys and helmets for Hive Cares Night this week in part of an NLL initiative to help “Black Out Cancer.” With two home games remaining on the year, the Swarm hopes to finish the 2011 regular season on a positive note after falling to the Washington Stealth (8-7) last week in heartbreaking fashion, losing 16-15 in overtime.
“I thought we put a pretty gutsy performance in,” coach Mike Lines said. “We were missing some key guys in the back end and then we had some injuries as the game went on. We lost Travis Hill halfway through the second quarter, so we were shorthanded from there on. I thought the guys played well and we never gave up.”
Forwards Aaron Wilson (4g, 2a) and Kevin Ross (2g, 3a) posted their best performances of the season in the loss. Ross tallied both of his goals in the fourth quarter and Wilson’s fourth goal of the evening gave Minnesota a 15-14 lead late in the game.
“Aaron is a veteran in this league and realizes that it’s crunch time,” Lines said. “He stood up and had a really good game. He’s a guy that is going to have to play like that throughout the playoffs for us to advance.
“Kevin has stuck it out this year. He’s had a lot of goals called back, yet he’s still working hard. He’s doing all the grunt work that is expected of him on that side of the floor. Every so often his hard work pays off and he gets a couple of goals, which obviously gives him the confidence to continue to do what he is doing.”
Forward Ryan Benesch (3g, 4a) managed to record his league-leading 40th goal of the season last weekend and in the process tied the Swarm single season goal mark set by Wilson in 2010.
“Ryan has really dedicated himself to being a better player all around,” Lines said. “He’s doing other things really well, and then obviously he’s putting the ball in the net. He contributes his success to the players around him. Ross is doing a great job on that side of the floor freeing him up and Jamie Shewchuk had an excellent game last week. Ryan has been steady and deserves everything that he has got this year with all the hard work he has put in.”
Saturday’s matchup against the Wings marks the first meeting between the two teams this season. The all-time series between the two teams sits tied at 7-7, and Philadelphia prevailed at Xcel Energy Center last year on April 17, winning 13-12 in overtime. Minnesota’s last victory against the Wings came on the road in 2009 and also marks the last time the Swarm has beaten an Eastern opponent. The Swarm is winless in five attempts against the East this year and is 0-3 at home.
Philadelphia enters Saturday’s game with the East’s worst record and was eliminated from the playoffs last week after falling to the Boston Blazers at home. The Wings are 1-7 in its last eight games after starting the season 4-3.
“They’re a young, and athletic team that never gives up,” Lines said. “They’re very good defensively and that has a lot to do with their athleticism. I don’t expect them to roll over and die because they aren’t in the playoffs.”
Minnesota holds the third seed in the West Division and is projected to face Washington on the road in the first round of the playoffs. The Swarm has to win this Saturday to have any chance of hosting a home playoff game. It will take two Swarm victories and a Washington loss this weekend for Minnesota to move into second place.
“We’d like to finish this season on a positive note,” Lines said. “We’ve lost a lot of close games this year and we definitely want to win our last two games heading into the playoffs. It would be nice to get some wins for the fans that have stuck through the thick and thin times with us.”
A portion of the proceeds raised from this week’s Hive Cares Night will benefit the Randy Shaver Cancer Research & Community Fund. As part of the fundraising efforts, head coach Mike Lines has pledged to donate $10 for every Swarm goal scored on Saturday. Individuals and companies are encouraged to match the Coaches Challenge by pledging to donate an additional $10 per Swarm Goal. For information on how to get involved, email Alissa Thielman AThielman@mnswarm.com.
Lower level single game tickets can be purchased for as low as $24 for the Swarm’s remaining two home games in April. Tickets are available online at mnswarm.com or by calling 888-MN-SWARM.