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Minnesota Swarm Return to Action against Vancouver this Saturday

February 26, 2015 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Minnesota Swarm News Release

SAINT PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Swarm (3-4) will have a chance to get back into the win column when it visits the Vancouver Stealth (3-4) Saturday night at Langley Events Centre. Faceoff is set for 9 p.m. CT. Fans can watch a live stream of the game on NLL Live by visiting live.nll.com (U.S.) and TSNGo (Canada).

The Swarm is coming off a bye weekend, which gave the team a chance to refocus and prepare for a tough game against Vancouver who is 2-1 in its last three games. Saturday night has big implications for both teams as the winner will improve to .500 on the season, while the loser drops to 3-5.

"We're coming off a back-to-back with a bye weekend," Swarm assistant coach Aime Caines said. "We had some guys banged up and it gives us time to heal and prepare and have guys watch film so we've been really focused on Vancouver the last couple of weeks."

Minnesota dropped its last two games to the East Division-leading Toronto Rock in a home-and-home series. Currently, the Swarm sits tied for third place in the division with Buffalo (4-5) and is 2-2 on the road this season.

So far in 2015, Minnesota's offense has not come from forwards alone, transition players Jordan MacIntosh (7g, 10a), team captain Andrew Suitor (5g, 5a) and defenseman Kiel Matisz (3g, 12a) have all put up respectable numbers and their talents will be needed as the team faces the Stealth. Matisz in particular is embracing more of a defensive role this year compared to past seasons.

"I'm enjoying the role and taking it game-by-game and learning from assistant coach Bobby Keast a little bit more on the defensive specifics of the game and just happy to contribute to the team any way I can," Matisz said.

"To find consistency out the backdoor ... we just have to be aggressive every shift, we really can't take a shift off," Caines said. "We have to trust our teammates and the system and once our guys start to do that then we'll get back those games where we had success."

Rookie forward Miles Thompson (12g, 13a) continues to rank second in the NLL amongst rookies with 25 points, and his 12 goals are tied for second on the Swarm. On the left-side, forward Logan Schuss (10g, 10a) will be playing in front of friends and family this weekend as he will be playing close to hometown of Ladner, B.C.; Schuss has tallied hat tricks in two of the team's last three games.

Minnesota leads the all-time series against the Stealth, 11-6. Vancouver won the only meeting between the two teams last season at Langley Events Centre, 8-5.

Forwards Rhys Duch (20g, 26a), Tyler Digby (14g, 18a) and Corey Small (9g, 14a) have powered Vancouver's offense this season and G Tyler Richards has been in net during all three of the team's wins and has totaled 267 saves.

The Swarm returns to Ho-Chunk Nation Field at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday, March 14 for a contest against New England. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m. CT. The first 3,000 fans at the gate will receive Hawaiian Leis (Yellow or Blue) to celebrate Hawaiian night. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-888-MN-SWARM or by visiting www.mnswarm.com. nto as they took the early lead once again.

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