The Swarm played two games this weekend, an early afternoon game in Philadelphia on Saturday and a 2:00 pm game in St. Paul on Sunday. They won in Philly; they lost in St. Paul. Both games were against the Philadelphia Wings.
Let's start with Sunday at the Wells Fargo Center. The final score was 11-10 Swarm, mostly thanks to a tremendous second quarter by the Swarm. Swarm goaltender Tyler Carlson did not start off having a good night. He was pulled in favor of Zach Higgins after 3:03 of game time in which he allowed 3 goals on 4 shots. Higgins, in his NLL debut, played the remaining 56:57 stopping 31 of 38 shots for a GAA of 7.37 and a SV% of .816, as well as earning the win. Former Swarm goalie, Evan Kirk played the full 60 minutes for the Wings stopping 43 of 54 shots.
The Swarm once again had over 50 shots on net (54). Jordan MacIntosh and Callum Crawford led the way for the Swarm on the scoresheet. MacIntosh had 2 goals and 3 assists while Crawford had 1 goal and 4 assists. Logan Schuss, Kiel Matisz and Josh Gillam each had a pair of goals, and Andrew Suitor and Shayne Jackson had a goal apiece. Logan Schuss again was the leader in shots on net. MacIntosh went 63% in faceoffs.
Kyle Buchanan on the Wings side was held to 3 points, however Jordan Hall managed 6. Ryan Ward had a 7 point night with 1 goal and 6 assists. Kelusky and Crowley were held to 2 points apiece. The Wings outscored the Swarm in the first and third quarters, and really only lost the second. However, they really got behind in the second and just couldn't get caught back up.
Sunday was a different story. First, there was penalty trouble, starting near the end of the first. The Swarm took 22 minutes of penalties on Sunday, at one point being down 2 runners for 2 minutes. This also marks the first game where they were outshot and had less than 50 shots on net. The final score was 15-8 Wings.
Evan Kirk was once again in net for the Swarm, and post game, Wings coach Blane Harrison talked about how they had hoped that Kirk would come in challenge for the number one position. Kirk recorded his 700th career regular season save during this game. Tyler Carlson once again started for the Swarm, and was pulled again after 23:04 and allowing 7 goals on 17 shots. Zach Higgins once again came in to play the remainder of the game, making 27 saves on 35 shots, but this time, was unable to secure the win. Higgins said that they'll be looking at tape, correcting mistakes, and moving on to Colorado.
Andrew Suitor, in addition to scoring two goals, had a tilt with Brodie Merrill following a crosscheck from Merrill. Both received fighting penalties, and Merrill got an extra two for the crosscheck. Logan Schuss and Callum Crawford each had 2 goals and an assist to lead the scoring, with Shayne Jackson having 3 assists as well. Jordan MacIntosh had a goal and 2 assists. Kiel Matisz had a goal. Jackson had the lead in shots on net yesterday, and MacIntosh went 46% on faceoffs.
For Philly, Ryan Ward once again had a goal and 6 assists. Jordan Hall could not be stopped and had 4 goals and 4 assists. Tracey Kelusky had a hat trick along with 2 assists.
Offense struggled, and that was the topic postgame. Assistant Coach Bobby Keast talked about how they've been making offensive adjustments at each practice, but still haven't found the perfect adjustment yet. Veteran Callum Crawford had plenty to say as well. He talked about taking a reality check and having everyone figure out how they can contribute best to the team, including himself. "Being successful is a priority more than anything." He talked about how they needed to be much better than they have been. He stated that the offense has to be better, and it needs to happen now.
Hockey Wilderness One To Watch #9 Tyler Hass:
Well, not the best weekend for Hass. Most notable stat: 9 penalty minutes. He had 1 shot on goal and 9 loose balls. We'll have to come back and try him again.