Swarm Earn First Win of Season in Matinee vs. Wings
from Press Release
The Minnesota Swarm (1-2) earned their first 'W' of the year by defeating the Philadelphia Wings (1-3) with an 11-10 road win at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday afternoon while doubling their goal count for the season.
"We knew this [performance] would come it was just a matter of time," Sullivan explained. "The guys persevered and showed the kind of character we knew they had. Where they fell short in games past they didn't tonight."
The first period belonged to the Wings as they came out fast and strong, scoring three goals in first three minutes of the game. Forwards Kyle Buchanan, Jordan Hall and Garrett Thul contributed a goal each while Kevin Crowley assisted two of the three goals, forcing the Swarm to make a goalie change putting in Zach Higgins for Tyler Carlson, as Higgins made his debut in the National Lacrosse League.
"It's pretty exciting, the nerves are still going, the adrenaline is still pumping but it feels good to get the win for my team," Higgins said after the game. "I'm going to give the credit to the defense, they helped me out. Once I made the first save the nerves settled down but my defense made things easy for me."
Wings goalie Evan Kirk, acquired from Minnesota via offseason trade, made save after save in the first, falling only to Swarm's forward Shayne Jackson who put his team on the board to end the quarter 3-1 in favor of the Wings.
However the second period marked a loss in momentum for the Wings early in the second as they let Minnesota take the early lead with Josh Gillam scoring a power play goal and Jordan MacIntosh putting up another quickly after to make it 5-3.
Wings forward Jordan Hall fought back minutes later with a breakaway goal, sniping the ball into the top right corner of the Swarm's net, cutting the lead by one.
The Swarm came right back out though, scoring during a Wing's power play and sneaking another past Kirk to end the second with a three goal lead after outshooting the Wings 31-25.
The Wings seemed to find their game in the third, playing with more heart and determination, earning them a goal by forward Tracey Kelusky who reached the top left pocket after a perfect set-up from Buchanan.
Hall found his third goal of the night a minute later with a powerful shot into the Swarm's net.
Wing's defensemen assistant captain Brett Manney sported several interceptions, yielding excellent fore-checking opportunities for the Wings to capitalize on.
However, the Wings had a lapse in defense on the penalty kill, letting Gillam put another point on the board for the Swarm. However, Kelusky responded shortly after, coming out on fire during a Wing's power play, giving his team another goal, assisted by Hall to end the quarter down a goal.
With 58 seconds into the fourth quarter, Minnesota caught Kirk with their ninth goal of the game. As the Wings trailed by two, it was Forward Ryan Ward with the breakaway, sniping one in the bottom right corner of the Swarm's net, giving Captain Brodie Merrill his third assist of the night.
With 7:18, Thull ran one behind the net for an impressive wrap- around goal to tie up the game 9-9 but two minutes Minnesota caught Kirk off-guard for goal number 10.
As the Wings looked ready to respond, it was Minnesota's Kiel Matisz who followed up, making it 11-9.
With a minute left in game time, the Wings came back to cut the lead by one with another goal from Hall, giving an exciting end to the game as the Swarm held of the Wings to take the win.
Three Stars of the Game as selected by the media:
1) Zach Higgins
2) Jordan MacIntosh
3) Jordan Hall
The two teams will finish their home-and-home series by heading to Minnesota for the Swarm's home opener at Xcel Energy Center on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.
"We've been waiting for our home opener and it couldn't have come at a better time. It's going to give us the opportunity to get back to .500 and get closer to our goal," Sullivan said. "Look for an outstanding team. We're young, we're exciting, and we're productive. Once the ball begins to fall for our offense they are going to gel real quick. It's going to be an exciting team to watch."