Hello Swarm fans, and welcome to another EXCITING in-game commentary. Tonight's game will have a direct effect on the playoffs which start next week. If the Swarm win tonight, they will be hosting a home playoff game for the first time since 2008.
The Swarm are currently a half game behind the second place Washington Stealth. Minnesota holds the tiebreaker after winning the season series 2-1. A win tonight would mean the Stealth would have to travel to St. Paul for round one of the playoffs, but a loss would force the Swarm to play on the road versus the Stealth.
Tonight the Swarm will face the Colorado Mammoth who are also in the playoffs. Minnesota is looking for a season sweep after beating the Mammoth twice in Colorado earlier this season.
Also be sure to keep an eye out for Swarm F Ryan Benesch (43g, 44a). The Kitchener, Ontario native has already broken the team single season record for goals, and is currently trying to become the first player in team history to lead the league in goals.
The players are on the field and ready to go! Check back often for updates and analysis of tonight's game!
13:40 - Colorado F Jed Prossner starts off the scoring with a bouncing shot through the legs of Swarm G Nick Patterson. 1-0 Mammoth.
11:59 - A goal from F Aaron Wilson was disallowed because F Mat Giles was called for cross-checking right as the shot was taking place. The Mammoth will have a two minute powerplay.
10:14 - Another shot sneaks by Swarm G Nick Patterson. Colorado's F John Grant gives his team the 2-0 lead.
9:05 - Just after the Swarm successfully kill their own penalty, they will go on the powerplay as F Jamie Floris is called for checking from behind.
8:30 - It takes the Swarm little time to take advantage of the powerplay. F Sean Pollock puts one in the net. It's his 8th goal of the season.
7:51 - F Ryan Benesch ties it up for the Swarm, making his total for the year 44. It's always a good sign when Benesch scores early, I'm sure this won't be the last we hear from him tonight.
1:55 - T Nick Carlson is called for holding, the Swarm go on a two minute powerplay but are unable to convert.
1:24 - D Joe Cinosky gets his helmet knocked off, but continues to defend his man, he was then called for a two minute penalty because it is illegal to play without your helmet in the NLL.
0:00 - After one quarter the score is still tied 2-2.
13:00 - A two minute penalty is called on the Swarm. D Matt Kelly is caught checking from behind. Soon after a shot from Colorado F Joel Dalgarno trickles in past Swarm G Nick Patterson. Colorado leads 3-2.
9:55 - A diving shot from F Kevin Ross gets past Colorado G Chris Levis, but it is disallowed because his foot was on the crease before the shot. Swarm Head Coach Mike Lines challenges the call but is unsuccessful and the Swarm loose a timeout.
9:30 - Colorado scores again, this time from T Ilija Gajic. The Swarm now trail by two goals.
3:21 - F Kevin Ross gets one that counts! He rifles one in from long distance. It's his 12th goal of the season.
2:56 - F Jamie Shewchuk gets in on the action as well, his goal ties it up for the Swarm 4-4.
2:33 - Two penalties are called. One on Colorado D Ian Hawksbee for holding, and one on Swarm D Matt Kelly for goalie interference. Both penalties will be for two minutes.
1:34 - F Ryan Benesch accepts a pass from F Callum Crawford and he quickly puts it in net for his league leading 45th goal
1:04 - The goals keep coming. F Callum Crawford nets his 26th goal of the seaon.
0:00 - Swarm G Nick Patterson makes a nice save as time expires. Minnesota will head into the locker room with a 6-4 lead.
The Swarm came back with a vengence late in the 1st half. They have outshot their opponent 23-18 so far today. F Ryan Benesch who already leads the NLL in goals, is one point away from leading the NLL in points as well.
Correction: F Ryan Benesch has already taken the lead for most points in the NLL with 93. All of those goals and assists were coming so fast I didn't have enough time to add them all up!
14:00 - F Jamie Shewchuk gets his second goal of the game. The Swarm now lead 7-4. Assist from F Mat Giles and G Nick Patterson.
10:49 - F Aaron Wilson makes it look easy. He bounces one through the legs of Colorado G Chris Levis. The Swarm are now leading 8-4.
10:49 - Colorado Changes their goalie. Chris Levis has been removed in favor of Matt King.
6:36 - F Callum Crawford uses his length to his advantage as he leaps across the entire net only to bounce the ball in right before he lands. That is now seven goals in a row for the Minnesota Swarm!
5:46 - HAT TRICK for F Jamie Shewchuk. He nets this one on a breakaway. It's his 18th goal on the season.
4:29 - F Ryan Benesch shows the fans in St. Paul why he's the NLL's best. A spectacular shot from long range gives Benesch a hat trick of his own and puts his season total at 46.
1:50 - Another goal for the Swarm as F Sean Pollock gets his second goal of the game.
0:17 - F Mat Giles gets two minutes in the penalty box for holding.
0:00 - The Swarm were able to shut out the Mammoth that quarter. What started as a physical game with Colorado being very aggressive. However Swarm G Nick Patterson has been great in net with 25 saves. The score is 12-4 going into the las quarter of the regular season.
14:33 - After scoring ten in a row, the Swarm finally allow a goal to make the score 12-5.
12:35 - G Nick Patterson gets a little over extended going after a loose ball, and F Brian Langtry tries to sneak one in from behind the net. The play is called a no goal, but Colorado Head Coach Bob Hamley is challening the call. The refs are looking to see if his foot was on the crease before leaping towards the net.
12:35 - The closest camera angle does not offer a view of where his foot was before the shot. So there is not enough conclusive evidence to overturn the call. Swarm still lead 12-5.
9:50 - F Jamie Floris scores his first goal of the night for Colorado and cuts the Swarm lead to 6.
9:50 - Officials are currently looking at T Andrew Suitor's stick, and have determined that it is illegal. Suitor will get a two minute penalty for an illegal stick and Colorado is now on the powerplay.
9:18 - Making save after save is Swarm G Nick Patterson. He even makes a save while sitting on the ground! Patterson appears to be a little shaken up after blocking that last shot, but he will stay in the game. Patterson has 31 saves on the night.
7:10 - Tonight's attendance is 9,623. Another strong showing from the Minnesota failthful.
6:23 - After another Swarm penalty, the Mammoth are able to take advantage and score a powerplay goal. The score is now 12-7 in favor of the Swarm.
4:58 - Colorado scores again, and are putting together a bit of a comeback. They have the fans uneasy as they only trail by four.
3:35 - With D Rory Smith being called for roughing, Colorado was on the powerplay, but F Jed Prossner was called for holding, so they will play 4 on 4 for 30 more seconds, and then Minnesota will go on the powerplay looking to quell the late surge by the Mammoth.
0:00 - As time runs out the fans give the their team a standing ovation because they know that the Swarm wil be back here next week hosting a playoff game! With a final score of 12-8, tonight was truly a team effort. Lead by F Ryan Benesch (3g, 5a), the Swarm also saw superb play from G Nick Patterson (37 saves),
Congrats to the entire team for what has been a memorable season so far. Thank you to everyone that came out tonight, and I hope to see many more of you here next week.
The Swarm will take on the Washington Stealth at Xcel Energy Center on Treasure Island field for round one of the NLL playoffs next Saturday, April 30th with a game time of 7:30pm. Tickets are available at the box office or by calling 1-888-MN-SWARM.
SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The 2011 National Lacrosse League (NLL) regular season comes to a close this weekend as the Minnesota Swarm (7-8) hosts the Colorado Mammoth (5-10) on Treasure Island Field at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m.
With a win against Colorado, the Swarm will secure a home playoff game for the first time since 2008. If the Swarm loses, it will head to Comcast Arena at Everett during the weekend of April 29- May 1 to face Washington (8-8) on the road for the second consecutive season in the first round of the playoffs.
What to Watch For This Week…
-Swarm F Ryan Benesch, who leads the league with 43 goals, is on pace to become the first player in team history to lead the league in goals. Among players who still have games to play, Mammoth F John Grant sits the closest behind Benesch with 35 goals.
-Minnesota holds the best divisional record in the West at 6-3 and has beaten each team at least once. Colorado is 4-7 in the West.
-The Mammoth and Swarm both have excelled in penalty kills this season. Colorado ranks third in the NLL at 62.9%, while Minnesota sits in fourth at 62.2%.
Saturday’s game on Treasure Island Field at Xcel Energy Center will celebrate Rock the Hive Night. Fans can enjoy the annual Swarm season ticket holder post-game autograph session on the field with players, coaches, SPT members, Buzz and public address announcers. Early arriving fans will receive the 2011 Swarm team poster.