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.