April 1, 2011

Calgary Clinches West Division Title

from press release

CALGARY, Alberta – The National Lacrosse League's Minnesota Swarm (NLL) (5-7) lost to the division leading Calgary Roughnecks (10-3) 15-12 on Friday night in front of 10,486 fans at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Minnesota led 7-4 at halftime, but an 8-1 run by the Roughnecks in the third quarter closed the door on the Swarm's opportunity to clinch a playoff spot. With the win, Calgary clinched the top spot in the West Division and will now hold home field advantage during the first two rounds of the playoffs.

In the loss, the Swarm remained in third place in the West Division and trail Washington (6-7) by a half game behind for second place. The Stealth lost in overtime on Friday to the Toronto Rock, 13-12.

While Minnesota's offense went cold in the second half, three players still managed to finish with hat tricks. Forward Ryan Benesch (3g, 4a) added three goals to his league leading total, which now stands at 36, and forwards Callum Crawford (3g) and Aaron Wilson (3g, 2a) also found the back of the net three times against the Roughnecks.

Benesch's 36 goals on the season set new a career-high and his 72 points (36g, 36a) on the year stands one point shy of the league lead shared by F Lewis Ratcliff (30g, 43a) and F Dan Dawson (22g, 51a).

Goalie Kevin Croswell replaced starter Nick Patterson late in the third quarter after Calgary scored six unanswered goals to build a 12-8 lead. Patterson finished with 22 saves on 33 shots, while Croswell stopped 18 of 22 shots. Croswell's appearance was only his second on the season, and his first since facing Buffalo on Feb. 4.

Forwards Jeff Shattler (3g, 2a) and Dane Dobbie (3g, 3a) led the Roughnecks in scoring and combined for four of Calgary's eight goals in the third quarter. Minnesota dropped to 2-8 all-time against the Roughnecks in the loss.

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