Swarm Sting Wings; Rock Crush Bandits

SAINT PAUL, Minn. The NLL's Minnesota Swarm (5-7) bested the Philadelphia Wings (5-6) Friday night 20-11 on Treasure Island Field at Xcel Energy Center in front of a crowd of 8,079 for their highest scoring total in franchise history. Coming off of a bye week, the Swarm looked fresh and attacked the Wings from the get-go.

"In the past two games we've had each goalie play and make the stops for us," head coach Joe Sullivan said. "They've been seeing the ball well and our defense has dictated the flow of the game while our offense has been effective ... we've played two great games in a row."

Jordan MacIntosh found the back of the net to kick off the contest and then scored his second of four goals shorthanded to give Minnesota a 3-1 advantage. The RIT product finished with a career-high four goals to go along with a game-high 17 loose balls.

Despite the Swarm's hot start, it was a second half scoring barrage that was the difference Friday night. Minnesota tallied a team-record 15 goals in the second half of action en route to the team's highest-scoring game ever. A nine-goal 4th quarter tied a franchise record as well. The Swarm is clicking on all cylinders heading into the home stretch of the season having allowed only five goals in their last game against Washington, a league record for this season.

"We talked about what we needed to do what was not happening in the first half and I think we just started believing," forward Callum Crawford said. "The ball was moving a lot better in the second half. The transition kicked in. When the transition is getting goals, that really feeds the offense."

Crawford continued his March hot streak to the tune of seven points (4g, 3a). The Ottawa, Ontario native was recently named the NLL's Week #11 Offensive Player of the Week after recording four goals and four assists in the Minnesota's March 16 victory over the Washington Stealth. Crawford has now scored at least seven points in three straight games.

Forward Ryan Benesch keeps racking up records, recording six points (2g, 4a) to become the franchise's second-highest scorer all-time with 314. Benesch passed former Swarm forward Ryan Ward, who recorded 310 points in Minnesota.

In just his second game of the season, forward Josh Gillam is already a steady contributor for the Swarm. The Dartmouth product scored a career-high seven points (1g, 6a).

Forwards Kiel Matisz and Shayne Jackson continued their strong rookie campaigns to combine for 11 points. Matisz scored a career-high seven points, to reach 42 on the season. Jackson's four points pushed the Limestone College graduate to a total of 45 in 2013.

The Swarm defensemen also got in on the scoring affair, with Jeff Gilbert (1g, 1a), Alex Crepinsek (one goal), Greg Downing (one assist), and Mitch Belisle (two assists) all recording at least one point. Downing led the game in forced turnovers with three.

Goaltender Evan Kirk was solid in front of the net for Minnesota, making 43 saves and recording a save percentage of .796.

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The Philadelphia Wings dropped their third game in a row, losing to the Minnesota Swarm 20-11 at the Xcel Energy Center in Minneapolis on Friday night.

After trailing 4-1 early in the game, the Wings were able to even things up with a four goal second quarter to tie the Swarm 5-5 at the half. Philadelphia even took the lead early in the second half on a Kevin Ross goal but were unable to do much more after that, falling behind 11-7 in the third quarter and giving up nine goals in the fourth.

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2013-03-30



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