Rock, Swarm, Mammoth, Rush Victorious on Saturday

Zack Greer opened the scoring 4:54 into the game as the Rush jumped out to a 2-0 lead midway through the first quarter before the Knighthawks got on the board on the power play. Edmonton responded just 20 seconds later and scored twice more in the final 1:12 of the quarter for a 5-1 lead after 15 minutes of play.

Rochester scored twice on the power play in the first 3:43 of the second quarter to cut the deficit to 5-3, but Edmonton made it 7-3 before halftime after Greer scored with three seconds left in the first half. The Knighthawks finished with just 14 first-half shots.

The Rush lead was narrowed to 8-7 after the Knighthawks scored four of the five goals in the third quarter, including a nifty "Air Gait" dunk goal by Cody Jamieson from behind the net.

A little over five minutes into the fourth quarter, Greer scored twice in a 1:02 span before Rush rookie Mark Matthews scored his third of the night less than a minute later to make it 11-7. The Knighthawks scored the next two goals, the second of which with 1:04 left, but the deficit was too much to overcome.

Rush goaltender Aaron Bold finished with 23 saves on just 32 shots while Knighthawks goalie made 36 stops on 47 shots in the losing effort.

Edmonton's Ryan Ward finished with a team-high six points (2+4) while Greer (4+1) and Matthews (3+2) both added five points. Rochester's Cody Jamieson had a game-high seven points (2+5), Dan Dawson had five points (2+3), Mike Accursi had four points (1+3) and Cory Vitarelli had a game-high 13 loose balls.

Both teams were perfect on the power play with Edmonton going 2 for 2 while Rochester went 3 for 3.

The road trip continues for the Rush with two games next weekend, Saturday, March 23 against the Buffalo Bandits and Sunday afternoon, March 24 against the Toronto Rock.

* * * *

Saint Paul, Minn. The National Lacrosse League's (NLL) Minnesota Swarm (4-7) beat the West Division-leading Washington Stealth (7-5) 12-5 Saturday night in a game that was ripe with record breaking.

Minnesota sported green uniforms on the night in honor of St. Patrick's Day, which could have been the good luck charm the team needed to halt their three game losing streak. The commemorative jerseys were a part of the franchise's fourth annual "Hive Cares Night" to raise funds for the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund. The uniforms can be bid on by fans at auctions.mnswarm.com; all proceeds will benefit cancer research. Over the past two seasons, the Minnesota Swarm has helped raise more than $36,000 for the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund and the organization set a personal goal of $30,000 alone for tonight.

Forward Ryan Benesch recorded a hat trick and one assist in the game to reach 132 goals in just his fourth season in Minnesota, becoming the Swarm's all-time leading goal scorer. The record was previously held by Sean Pollock with 131. Entering the game, the Kitchener, Ontario native said that the key to winning the contest was 60 minutes of a balanced effort.

"There are games where our offense has played outstanding, but our defense and back end hasn't been there for us," said Benesch. "We've also had nights where our 'D' was great and offense wasn't able to get it done. We just have to learn to pull this together as a group and play a full 60 minutes."

Minnesota did just that Saturday night, allowing only five goals (the fewest scored in an NLL game this season), while also providing ample firepower in front of a home crowd of 7,830.

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2013-03-17



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