Wings, Bandits, Mammoth, Swarm Finalize Rosters

"I've said it a ton of times, we're looking at the Champions Cup and we're looking hard at the opportunity to get there and removing any obstacles that are in front of us," Swarm associate general manager and head coach Joe Sullivan said.

Sullivan is entering his first full season as the Swarm's head coach in 2013 after taking over the team six games into last season. The Peterborough, Ontario native was named the 2012 NLL Head Coach of the Year after helping Minnesota finish the regular season on a four-game winning streak. Minnesota's front office also featured the NLL's General Manager of the Year (John Arlotta) and Executive of the Year (Andy Arlotta) in 2012.

On the floor, Minnesota is led by team captain and reigning NLL Transition Player of the Year Andrew Suitor, who enters his third season in the NLL, and second as the Swarm's captain. On offense, veteran All-Star forwards Ryan Benesch and Callum Crawford return to the lineup for their fourth season together, and will be asked to lead one of the league's youngest offensive units. Transition player Jordan MacIntosh became the first rookie in team history to be named an All-Star in 2012, and is expected to continue to take a majority of the team's draws, as well as see an increased role on offense.

Minnesota was the only team in the NLL that featured two rookie goalies in 2012, and both Evan Kirk and Tyler Carlson will be looking to build off their strong rookie campaigns as second-year pros. Transition player Jeff Gilbert, who was named to the 2012 All-Pro Second Team, headlines the Swarm's defensive unit after ranking second in the NLL with 26 forced turnovers last season. In transition, the Swarm will utilize the talents of Suitor and MacIntosh along with veterans Andrew Watt, Tyler Hass and David Earl to form one of the league's most athletic lineups.

A group of rookies are also expected to make immediate impacts for the Swarm in 2013. This past October, the Swarm held a league-high four first-round picks in the 2012 NLL Entry Draft and selected T Brock Sorensen (No. 2, Ohio State), T Kiel Matisz (No. 3, Robert Morris), F Shayne Jackson (No. 4, Limestone) and D Alex Crepinsek (No. 10, RIT).

"The one thing we wanted to do was get bigger and we definitely did that with our draft picks," Sullivan said. "Speed has always been something that we've looked for in any player and I think we've found that as well. When you can find speed and size in five or six new players, that's really exciting. Our fans are going to be thrilled with the tempo of our play."

Sorensen, the team's No. 2 overall selection, will start the season on the physically unable to perform list. The 6-foot-6 transition player is still rehabbing from a knee injury that he sustained this past spring while playing with Ohio State University.

2013 Swarm 23-man Roster

Forwards (8): Ryan Benesch, Jay Card, Callum Crawford, Matt Gibson, Joel Henry, Shayne Jackson, Pat Smith, Corbyn Tao

Defensemen (7): Dan Ball, Mitch Belisle, Nik Bilic, Alex Crepinsek, Greg Downing, Jeff Gilbert, Michael O'Brien

Transition (6): David Earl, Tyler Hass, Jordan MacIntosh, Kiel Matisz, Andrew Suitor 'C', Andrew Watt

Goalies (2): Evan Kirk, Tyler Carlson

Practice Roster (3): G Zach Higgins, G Ryan Masters, T Tyler Tanguay

Minnesota opens its home season on Treasure Island Field at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday, Jan. 26 against the Washington Stealth. Faceoff is set for 7:00 p.m. CT.

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2012-12-22



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