The Swarm, coming off two home wins last weekend, face their toughest challenge of the season tonight as they face the undefeated Colorado Mammoth. The Mammoth put a pounding on the Swarm back in January, trouncing the Swarm 20-14. That game highlighted the Swarm defense as the weakness of the team, and gave the defensive corps a hard lesson is what is means to be the focus of weakness.
After last weekend, the defense has proven itself to be a strength. In a league in which 15+ goals per game is the norm, the Swarm gave up just 9 against the Edmonton Rush, and followed theft up with another stellar performance giving up just six (yes, six) against the Rochester K-Hawks.
Swarm captain Andrew Suitor made it clear he had no doubts the D would come along. Saying that the team is starting to gel, the defensive unit is starting to play as a team and now know where the others would be, giving each man more faith. Add to that a rookie goaltending tandem, Tyler Carlson and Evan Kirk, which saw both players receive accolades from the league for their performances last weekend, and a weakness has clearly become a force.
If defenese isn't what floats your boat, the Swarm also boast two of the top scorers in the league in Ryan Benesch and Calllum Crawford. Crawford currently sits third in the league in points (33) and assists (25), while Benesch is in fifth in goals with 15. The team also has a strong transition game with Suitor and rookie Jordan MacIntosh each with seven goals. The speed and youth that were cued in on by detractors in the offseason have become a rallying point for a Swarm team still feeling the need to prove itself every night.
On the Mammoth side of the field, fans will get to see one of the best in the game in John Grant, Jr. Who currently has 19 goals and 26 assists. He brings with him Gavin Prout with 7G, 19A and rookie Adam Jones with 15 goals, 11 assists.
If you think that the two top scoring offenses will be the way this game plays out, keep in mind the Swarm goalie tandem at one end and Chris Levis, the West's starter in the all star game at the other. The 20-14 final from January doesn't look like a likely scenario.
Finally, if all of this isn't enough to get you to the X tonight, the extra bonus is that the Minnesota Roller Girls bring their bout to the floor of the X immediately following the Swarm game. Two events for a price as low as $22. If you need plans for a Saturday night, it would be difficult to find a better offer than this.