Minnesota Swarm Get Back in the Win Column
Uncasville, CT - The Minnesota Swarm (4-8) got back in the win column Sunday afternoon with a 13-9 victory against the New England Black Wolves (3-7). With the win, the Swarm snapped a six-game losing streak and picked up their first road 'W' since defeating the Black Wolves 19-13 back on Jan. 24.
"You can feel the mood in the locker room, it was definitely something we needed," said rookie forward Miles Thompson (3g) in regards to the win.
Minnesota faces New England again on Friday night at The Hive to wrap up the regular season series between the two teams; faceoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT. The Swarm currently leads the series, 2-1. In total, the Swarm plays five of their remaining six games on Ho-Chunk Nation Field at Xcel Energy Center to close out the 2015 regular season.
"Nobody wants to finish last, and everyone still has an eye on the playoffs if everything goes well," coach Joe Sullivan said. "That's what we're focusing our team on... There's no quit in that team (New England), and no quit on ours. It should be a really good game on Friday night."
After a back-and-forth battle to begin the game, the Swarm began to pull away in the second quarter and built a 6-4 lead at halftime. Thompson scored the Swarm's first two goals of the game, and finished the afternoon with his third hat trick of the season. Thompson and F Shayne Jackson (2g, 4a) are tied for the team-lead with 21 goals on the season. Transition player Jordan MacIntosh (3g, 2a) also notched a hat trick - his second of the season - and collected seven loose balls.
"Our offense moved the ball really well, no one cared who was scoring out there," Thompson said.
Despite being outshot 59-43, goalie Zach Higgins and the Swarm's defensive unit were able to close the door on the Black Wolves' offensive attack during key moments in the game. Higgins made a season-high 50 saves and collected his fourth win on the season. The third-year goaltender has posted an 11.87 GAA and .773 SV% in 2015.
"He made some stops that he really had no right making, but that's just what you'd expect out of Zach Higgins," Sullivan said. "He's a clutch guy, who has kept us in a lot of games, even when we've been on the other end of it. Tonight was his night and it was great to see it pay off for him."
Ahead 8-6 early in the third quarter, Minnesota took control of the game during a 3-0 run as F Logan Schuss (1g, 2a), D Greg Downing (1g, 1a) and Macintosh all converted on scoring chances. The Swarm led 11-7 at the end of the third quarter, and extended their lead to 13-8 before New England scored the game's final goal.
The Swarm returns to Ho-Chunk Nation Field at Xcel Energy Center on Friday, April 3 to close out the regular season series against New England during Family Night at The Hive. Faceoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT. The first 1,000 fans will receive Swarm bracelets courtesy of Swannys. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-888-MN-SWARM or by visiting www.mnswarm.com. The Swarm also faces the Rochester Knighthawks (7-4) for their final road game next Saturday evening at Blue Cross Arena at 6:30 p.m. CT.
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Minnesota Swarm vs. New England Black Wolves
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