The Minnesota Swarm fell to the Toronto Rock tonight 13-12 after a scoreless fourth period for the Swarm. Ryan Benesch served as captain as captain Andrew Suitor was serving his final game of a 2 game suspension dating back to last season. Jeff Gilbert and Callum Crawford served as assistant captains this evening.
The Swarm opened scoring with rookie Kiel Matisz notching the first goal of the game, assists to Shayne Jackson and Corbyn Tao . This was countered by the Rock's Stephen LeBlanc two minutes later. Then a minute and a half later, it was Ryan "Benny" Benesch, assisted by Callum Crawford to pull the Swarm back ahead. The Rock would then go on a 3 goal run over the next 6 minutes to pull themselves ahead of the Swarm to end the first quarter.
The second quarter would again begin similar to the first, with Kiel Matisz scoring unassisted 3 minutes in. This goal would be followed 20 seconds later by Ryan Benesch, assists going to Jay Card and Callum Crawford. A minute later, Alex Crepinsek would score his first rookie goal, assisted by Kiel Matisz. Completing the Swarm's 4 goal run and giving them a 1 goal lead was Callum Crawford, assisted by Shayne Jackson and Ryan Benesch. The Rock would then strike back with goals by Kasey Biernes and Josh Sanderson to tie it up. However, that tie, would not last long as Callum Crawford, assisted by Kiel Matisz would pull the Swarm ahead to end the first half at 7-6 Swarm.
The Swarm opened the third with scoring by Jordan MacIntosh, with assists to Shayne Jackson and Greg Downing. This was followed 45 seconds later by an unassisted goal by Joel Henry. Then Josh Sanderson scored for the Rock. This was answered back by the Swarm with goals by Brock Sorenson in his first NLL goal, assisted by Ryan Benesch and Andrew Watt, unassisted. Josh Sanderson countered this with another goal which was followed by Kiel Matisz scoring his hat trick for the night, his first I believe in the NLL. The Rock would close out the period with goals by Stephen LeBlanc and Garrett Billings.
The final period was all goals by the Rock. Stephan LeBlanc and Josh Sanderson would get their hat tricks and Garrett Billings would get his second of the night. A 14th goal was scored but, this was challenged by Coach Sullivan and dismissed. The final score was 13-12 Rock. Swarm goaltender Tyler Carlson had 46 saves.
1. Can the Swarm find their legs quickly, and maintain to a strong finish?
The Swarm found their legs quickly but were unable to maintain a strong finish.
2. Will the absence of Andrew Suitor be noticeable?
Both games without Suits have been close, but not wins. It'll be interesting to see what happens tomorrow night with him back in the lineup.
3. Can the rookies step up tonight?
Shayne Jackson, Kiel Matisz, Alex Crepinsek, and Brock Sorenson....all had pretty good nights...all rookies.
4. Are the Swarm as good as they were last season?
They're starting off strong like last season, but lack the finish.
5. Is tonight the night for a Ryan Benesch "sock trick?"
I don't know what Bryan is talking about, but Benny had 2 goals and 2 assists tonight.
#1. Kiel Matisz 3 G, 2 A
2. Tyler Carlson 46 Saves
3. Stephen LeBlanc 3 G, 2 A
See you all tomorrow night