February 13, 2010

NLL: Minnesota Swarm Puts 'L' in Stealth

from press release

SAINT PAUL, MN -- There was no love lost between the National Lacrosse League's (NLL) Minnesota Swarm (2-4) and Washington Stealth (6-1) Saturday night as the Swarm came out with a huge 16-12 victory in front of 8,952 fans at Xcel Energy Center.

It was a badly-needed victory that puts the Swarm into a tie for the fourth and final playoff spot in the West. For the second week in a row, the West Division-rivals flaunted their muscle, this time with a bench-clearing brawl in the first half. After losing a tough one last week to Washington, Minnesota put together a complete game.

"Obviously a big win for us - a lot of team bonding tonight with all of that stuff going on," Head Coach Mike Lines said. "We sucked it up as a team and played very well defensively."

F Aaron Wilson tallied eight points (2g, 6a); F Ryan Benesch notched six points (3g, 3a); F Tim Campeau scored four goals and G Kevin Croswell stopped 28 shots.

The NLL-leading Stealth got on the board first, but F Kevin Ross (1g, 1a) and Campeau answered with a couple nice tallies to send the Stealth a message. A tic-tac-toe power-play goal by Wilson really set the tone. With momentum clearly in Minnesota's favor, Campeau and T Jay Thorimbert (3g, 0a) kept things rolling against the Stealth with two goals in a seven-second spurt.

A bench-clearing brawl ensued at the conclusion of the first quarter. Stealth G Tyler Richards and Swarm D Eric Pacey got into a scrum before other Stealth players jumped in and tempers flared. Game misconducts were handed out to Minnesota's Pacey and F Sean Pollock, also to Washington D Mike Grimes.

Thorimbert scored his second of the game before the Swarm took a five-minute penalty. The Stealth mounted a mini rally of their own before Wilson and Benesch (3g, 3a) extended the lead. A late-break goal from the Stealth sent the two teams into half time with Minnesota up 8-6.

The Swarm came out in the second half looking to finish what they started, something Head Coach Mike Lines stressed this week in practice. Benesch buried a nice pass from D Andrew Watt (0g, 1a) and F Callum Crawford (2g, 3a) followed suit to start the second-half scoring in Minnesota's favor. Campeau completed the hat trick and the Swarm found themselves beating the league's best team 11-7.

Washington came out firing in the fourth quarter, but officials disallowed a goal after Lines threw the challenge flag during a fourth-quarter play. Crawford lengthened the lead with a spin move through the slot before Watt and Washington D Eric Martin dropped the gloves, keeping up with the night's ongoing theme. Thorimbert added to his solid night, leveling Washington's goalie and picking up the loose ball for a breakaway goal. Minnesota never looked back.


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