The Swarm and Stealth both knew the stakes coming into this game. Second place in the West guarantees a home field playoff game, and both teams wanted that for their fans. From the onset, neither side wanted to let this game go, but neither side looked to be willing to lock down the defense, either.
Trading goals the entire game, the Swarm finally fell 30 seconds into over time 16-15 to end a thriller of a match-up. The Swarm had previously won both meeting with the Stealth this season.
The Stealth’s Lewis Ratcliff potted the “sock trick” with six goals, and added five assists, and teammate Rhys Duch added five goals and five assists of his own as the Swarm just could not find an answer for the pair. Between the two, they directed 26 of the Stealth’s 60 shots on goal.
Even Nick Patterson replacing Kevin Croswell wasn’t enough, although, Patterson made some huge saves to keep his team alive during a Stealth onslaught late. However, the Stealth would tie the game with just over 20 seconds left in the fourth, driving the game to overtime.
The Swarm won the faceoff in OT, but a strong forecheck by the Stealth led to a loose ball, and the first offensive chance of the extra frame would be all they would need. Duch put it past Patterson just 30 seconds, and the flip flop game was over.
The Swarm fall to 6-8, and the Stealth climb to 8-7, with just two games left for the Swarm. The Swarm are not eliminated from the second spot just yet, but the Stealth would need to lose against the Rochester Knighthawks, and the Swarm would have to win out.
Far from impossible.
Be there on Saturday as the Swarm present “The Hive Cares” night at the X. Tickets still available at mnswarm.com. See post below for details on the evening.