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Minnesota Swarm clinches home playoff game

04/25/2011, 9:50am CDT
By mnswarm.com

Minnesota defeats Colorado 12-8, Benesch clinches league scoring title

Strong Second and Third Quarter Performance Secures Win

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Swarm (8-8) clinched a home playoff game after defeating the Colorado Mammoth (5-11) 12-8 on Treasure Island Field at Xcel Energy Center in front of 9,623 fans during its final regular season game on Saturday night.

After sweeping the regular season series against the Mammoth, Minnesota will now host its first home playoff game since 2008 when it takes on the defending champion Washington Stealth (8-8) in a Divisional Semifinal match up on Saturday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m. CDT on Treasure Island Field at Xcel Energy Center.

The Swarm sits at 2-1 against the Steath in regular season play. Minnesota defeated Washington 16-8 on Friday, Jan. 14 in Everett and 11-10 in an overtime victory at home on Saturday, Jan. 29 The Swarm fell to the Stealth in a 16-15 overtime loss at Comcast Arena at Everett on Saturday, April 9 when the two teams last met.

During the Swarm’s last trip to the playoffs in 2010, Minnesota fell 14-10 in the first round of playoffs to the Stealth.

Leading the Swarm, F Ryan Benesch (3g, 5a) finished the 2011 regular season as the NLL overall points leader with 95 points. He also led the league with 46 goals. He was the only player in the league to record more than 45 goals and assists. Benesch earned the first scoring crown in team history and tallied a career-high in both points and goals.

After trailing the Mammoth 4-2 in the second quarter, Minnesota scored a season-high 10 unanswered goals to secure the win in spite of a scoreless fourth quarter.

Goalie Nick Patterson recorded 37 saves on 45 shots in the win.

Tallying his ninth goal of the season, F Sean Pollock (2g) posted the Swarm’s final goal of the regular season with 1:50 remaining in the third quarter to put the Swarm up 12-4. Forwards Jamie Shewchuk (3g, 1a) and Ryan Benesch each recorded a hat trick, and Aaron Wilson (1g, 2a) and Callum Crawford (2g, 4a) both notched a goal for Minnesota during the third quarter. At the end of the quarter, the Swarm led the Mammoth 12-4.

During the second quarter, F Kevin Ross (1g, 1a) brought Colorado’s lead down to 4-3 after notching his ninth goal of the season. Shewchuck responded 25 seconds later to tie the game up at 4-4, after which Benesch netted his 45th goal of the season to give Minnesota its first lead of the game at 5-4. With 1:04 remaining, Crawford tallied the final goal of the period to give the Swarm a 6-4 halftime lead.

In the first quarter, Pollock scored the first Swarm goal of the game at the 8:41 mark to bring Colorado’s lead down to 2-1. Benesch posted the final goal of the quarter with 7:51 remaining to tie the game up at 2-2.

Forward John Grant (1g, 4a) led Colorado with five points. Goalies Chris Levis and Matt King made a combined 33 saves on 45 shots.

Lower level tickets for the Swarm’s home playoff game can be purchased for as low as $24. Ticket packages are available online at mnswarm.com or by calling 888-MN-SWARM. Ticket packages will also be available for the playoffs on ticketmaster.com at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 24.


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Watch live streaming video from coloradomammoth at livestream.com

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