Having locked up their playoff spot, the Minnesota Swarm now turn toward two lofty goals. First, they want to finish strong, and head into the playoffs with an above .500 record. Second, they want to eradicate cancer.
The Swarm will once again host "The Hive Cares" night at the X. There are multiple fundraisers involved, and all donations go toward the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund. There is a jersey auction, in which you can bid on game worn player jerseys, an auction for an exclusive night with Swarm players in which they will cook for you - in their home, availability for corporations to get involved, and other events that evening, including the Coach's Challenge, which your friendly neighborhood Swarm writer has signed on for. All of this added up to $13,500 last year, and this year should be no different.
If you have a cold, dead heart, and don't wish to help, that's fine. There is still a lacrosse game to play, and a good one at that.
The Philadelphia Wings come in sporting the same 7-7 record as the Swarm, yet sit atop the East Division. Historically, the Swarm have struggled against the East, going just 1-11 over the past two seasons, but are 3-2 against the big, bad East this season. Finishing off the East with a 4-2 record would be a huge confidence boost for the Swarm, something they have promised themselves they will do.
Coach Joe Sullivan told Swarm.com:
"We're not looking to do anybody any favors, so we're going to work as hard as we can to make sure that we spoil them a little bit," Sullivan said. "Between the four walls of that locker room we have committed to finishing 9-7."
With the return of Ryan Benesch last weekend, the Swarm have a pretty good chance at doing just that. If Callum Crawford can keep his hot streak going, and Benech can regain form, the Swarm will have a 1-2 combo to match any in the league. Add in Transition Player of the Week Jordan MacIntosh, some supporting goals from guys like Captain Andrew Suitor and Corbyn Tao, and the Swarm are not an easy team to shut down.
Even if the Wings manage to find a way to stop the goals from raining down, they still need to worry about putting goals in against Evan Kirk or Tyler Carlson. The combo has combined for a Goals Against Average of 10.95, a number that should win more games than not. To put that into perspective, Anthony Cosmo (billed as the best goalie in the game) was traded to the Buffalo Bandits where he has posted a GAA of 12.85.
But hey, the Swarm were nuts to draft Cosmo in the first place in the Boston Blazers dispersal draft, and even crazier to trade him away for two first round picks, right? Right.
That is not to say that the Swarm have an easy task ahead of them. The Wings boast four guys that need to be watched at all times. Dan Dawson has 94 points (18G, 76A), Kevin Crowley with 35 goals, Brendan Mundorf with 58 points, and Drew Westervelt with 34 goals. Yes... that Drew Westervelt.
Should be another great game on Treasure Island Field, and there are still tickets available. Do your part, and come watch one of the only Minnesota pro sports team that will be participating in post-season play. Oh, and help eradicate cancer. That's a combo you just can't beat.