April 11, 2009 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Minnesota Swarm
St paul, mn - The Minnesota Swarm (6-9) took a step back in its quest for the 2009 NLL Playoffs with a disappointing 19-14 loss to the Portland LumberJax (9-6) Saturday night in front of 12,574 at the Xcel Energy Center. Rookie F Kevin Buchanan led Minnesota with seven points (3-4=7), F Sean Pollock added six points (2-4=6) and G Nick Patterson made 17 saves in the loss after replacing starting goaltender Kevin Croswell. F Ryan Powell (1-6=7) and F Brodie Merrill (1-6=7) each had seven points for Portland and G Matt Disher made 23 saves in the win.
"The whole year is just disappointing," said Head Coach Duane Jacobs. "It\'s frustrating that we can\'t execute a game-plan for 60 minutes. Guys seem to want to be on their own and do their own thing and it doesn\'t work."
The LumberJax, looking to clinch the second seed and home-field in the first round of the NLL playoffs, jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. F Aaron Wilson put Minnesota on the board at 9:06, but Portland again regained a two goal lead at 9:56 with F Pete Jacobs\' second goal of the game. The Swarm fought back to end the period with goals from Pollock and F Dan Marohl, but other missed opportunities in the first quarter was a big setback in the eyes of Jacobs. "The first quarter I thought offensively we had a lot of really good looks, but the same story, we can\'t finish," Jacobs said. "Guys seem to want to be on their own and do their own thing and it doesn\'t work."
Portland took control in the second quarter, out-scoring the Swarm 8-3 and building a lead Minnesota could never recover from. F Peter Morgan led the LumberJax with a two goals and an assist, while F Scott Stewart added two goals in the quarter. D Josh Funk tried to keep Minnesota close early in the quarter, scoring his second of the year to cut the deficit to 5-4 at 4:30. After Portland responded with back-to-back goals, Wilson scored his second of the game at 9:54 to keep the Swarm within two. The LumberJax continued to take advantage of mistakes though and rattled off four goals in the final five minutes to build a commanding 11-6 halftime lead. "Unfortunately we didn\'t get any goaltending and what can you do," Jacobs said. "It\'s a big game. I wasn\'t particularly happy with the guys in front of [Croswell] and how we didn\'t battle every second of every shift and that\'s what you\'re supposed to do in these kinds of situations and we made a bunch of their guys look like they are all stars."
The LumberJax began the second half strong, building a 16-9 lead before Minnesota fought back. Goals from Pollock, F Chad Culp, Pollock and F Dan Marohl cut the deficit to just 16-13. Portland quickly quieted the crowd though with goals from F Derek Malawsky and Morgan to put the seal the win. "I thought maybe at 16-13, but then they turned around with two goals, story of the season," Jacobs said. "Breakdown, but we still can\'t get the saves." Minnesota was unable to mount any charge in the closing minutes as Portland finished the 19-14 victory and clinched the number two seed in the West Division. The teams combined for 109 shots as Minnesota out-shot Portland 55-54. Minnesota went 1-for-2 on the power-play while the LumberJax did not have a power-play opportunity for the game.
The Swarm plays its final game of the regular season next Saturday against the New York Titans, 7:00 PM at the Xcel Energy Center. "We have to try and get a win, just like you\'re supposed to try and get a win every week," Jacobs said. "Just playing for pride, and we\'ll see what kind of pride we\'ve got."
Swarm single game tickets are on sale now at the Xcel Energy Center Box Office and all Ticketmaster locations, by calling 888-MN-SWARM or by visiting www.mnswarm.com. Swarm Single game tickets are available in all price categories and range from $13.00 to $65.00.