First off, let me just say: Wow. This game is fast, it is more physical than any game I have witnessed live, and the sheer intensity of the game is unrivaled. If you were following along here tonight, or on Twitter, you may have noticed that it was difficult to even keep up with the action. If you are in the Twin Cities area, and haven’t checked out a Swarm game, quit stalling and do it. I was a bit skeptical as well, but it won me over, and I don’t like anything that isn’t hockey.
Seriously. Do yourself a favor and check this team out. Class act organization with an amazing product.
On to the game.
The scoring was fast and furious in the first half, as the Swarm and Blazers traded goals, getting scoring from eight different players each. The Swarm had two power play goals from Mat Giles and Anthony Wilson, and added two shorthanded markers as well.
The shorthanded effort by Andrew Watt alone was the stuff of legends. Drive down the length of the field, get the breakaway, and drill it home. The fans loved it, and the Swarm needed it. Down 7-5 at the time, it capped a 3 unanswered goal run by the Swarm, and pulled them within one.
The teams would trade a goal, then Boston pulled ahead 9-6. Undaunted, the Swarm came back with two goals from Anthony Wilson to tie the game at the half. The 9 to 9 score set the bar for highest scoring first half this season.
The second half showed that lacrosse is not only a game of run and gun, shoot ’em up reckless abandon. Some solid defense by both sides, and some amazing goaltending from Nick Patterson of the Swarm, whom Swarm Coach Mike Lines said “played well.” Lines went on to say Patterson has “kept us in games all year,” noting that the goaltender faced a few screen shots, and the goals he let in were not as soft as they may have looked.
Boston’s Anthony Cosmo also played a phenomenal game, shutting down the Swarm power play at point blank range in big situations, and saving 27 of 38 shots on the night.
That is not to say there wasn’t scoring in the second half. There most certainly was. However, it took five minutes into the third and seven minutes into the fourth before the scoring was opened in those frames. The total scoring from the second half was 5-2, a major drop from the crazy first half.
The Swarm were cursed by the lacrosse gods tonight, as they rang at least six shots off of the post or the cross bar. Lines noted, “Some bad luck with posts and cross bars, but it’s part of the game.” He added “Couple of those go in, it’s a different game.”
He did take a few moral victories with him, saying “I think we did a few things a lot better than we did the past couple of games. Faceoffs, power play was back over .500, which was nice.”
The Swarm were set to fly out to Colorado in the morning, but with snow expected in Minnesota, when they get out of the airport, if at all, is anyone’s guess. The Swarm next play at home on March 27th.
I expect you all to be there.