It didn’t look like it was meant to be. Down 5-2 at the half, the Minnesota Swarm were shooting against a brick wall in the Wings’ Brandon Miller, and the Swarm just could not solve him. With money riding on every Swarm goal, the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund had to be wondering if they were going to walk out of the X with $20 and coupon for a cheeseburger at McDonalds.
The second half, however, would be a different game. The Swarm blew up for nine goals, using the momentum built off of a record setting performance by Ryan Benesch to secure an 11-9 victory, and move them closer to hosting a first round play off game.
The eleven goals earned a whopping $2110 for the RSCRF, with jersey, helmet, performance team t-shirts, Professor’s jacket, and Buzz jersey auctions still left to conclude. Asked about the figure, Coach Mike Lines, who issued the challenge, said “it all goes to a great cause. I was glad to see others jump on board for it. Everybody, somewhere along the line knows somebody that’s been effected by [cancer]. It’s a terrible thing, and hopefully we can get a cure for it.”
Benesch, the league’s leading scorer, had another stellar night, adding three goals and two assists to his total, making him the Swarm’s new single season record holder. He was humble about the accomplishment saying “I don’t take credit for that, I give it all to my teammates. They’re the ones I’m working with, and the reason I’m getting the goals.”
While Benesch will be the headliner, with the record, and his boost to the coach’s challenge, there were several easily overlooked performances tonight that helped the Swarm secure the win. One player that had a superb game that will not show up on the score sheet was Rich Morgan.
The 6’8" transition player was strong on the ball the whole game, won some key battles, and had some good looks at the net. Asked about Morgan, Coach Lines said “he’s been a rock for us. He’s accepted any role that’s given, he’s working his tail off game in, game out. He plays his heart out every shift.”
The win tonight keeps the Swarm in contention for the second place spot, with the Washington Stealth playing tonight as well. At the time of this post, the Stealth were losing 6-5, but it was still very early in the game.
With a loud and boisterous 9635 on hand tonight at the X, the Swarm were thankful for the support. Benesch said he was “glad to send them home with a win,” and Lines said the fans “deserved what they got tonight.”
Those fans sure would love a home playoff game to scream about.