Wings rally in the fourth; Aaron Wilson and Kevin Ross tally hat tricks
SAINT PAUL, MN - The National Lacrosse League's (NLL) playoff-bound Minnesota Swarm (5-10) couldn't seal the deal Saturday night, losing in overtime to the Philadelphia Wings (5-10) by a score of 13-12 in front of 9,229 fans at Xcel Energy Center.
"We battled until the end," Head Coach Mike Lines said. "We need to score more goals in the second half if we want to go deep in the playoffs this year."
With less than three minutes left in the 11-11 tie game, the Swarm put on a clinic in its offensive zone with tic-tac-toe passing and a quick finish from F Sean Pollock to take the lead. Philadelphia answered with less than one minute left, sending the game into sudden-death overtime before F Geoff Snider (4g, 3a) scored the game winner three minutes into the extra frame.
Minnesota held a lead throughout most of the game. After falling behind by a three-goal deficit early in the first quarter, the Swarm looked like a playoff team to be reckoned with.
F Sean Pollock (2g, 3a), the Swarm's all-time leading goal scorer, sparked a first-quarter rally that brought life to Xcel Energy Center. Pollock, who set the franchise record last Friday, got the Swarm on the scoreboard with an upper-corner snipe. F Ryan Benesch (3g, 2a) and F Callum Crawford (1g, 3a) followed with some timely goals to help the Swarm build momentum and eventually a lead they held until the very end.
Forwards Callum Crawford, Aaron Wilson and Ryan Benesch have consistently ranked among the NLL's top 10 leading scorers. On Saturday night, they continued setting career highs.
F Aaron Wilson (3g, 3a) added to his franchise record 38 goals in a single season, posting six points (3g, 3a). With one game to play in the regular season, Wilson hangs close behind Crawford for the team's scoring lead with 85 points (38g, 47a) on the year.
F Kevin Ross (3g, 1a) tallied three big goals on the night. In the second quarter, Ross drove hard to the net winning a one-on-one battle with a Philadelphia defender before sneaking it past the Wings goaltender.
Benesch had a five-point night, increasing his career-high totals in his first season with the Swarm. Benesch converted a beautifully executed two-on-one rush late in the fourth quarter to give the Swarm a two-goal lead. Benesch ranks third on the team with 79 points (26g, 53a).
Crawford, Minnesota's leading point getter and franchise record holder for points in a single season, posted four points (1g, 3a) on the night. Crawford's 89 points (29g, 60a) rank second in the NLL.
Philadelphia G Brandon Miller made 44 saves for the winning effort, including some key stops to keep the game within reach. Swarm G Nick Patterson stopped 34 shots. Minnesota will close out the regular season next Saturday before entering first-round playoff action.
Celebrate "Graduation Night" at the final game of the regular season next Saturday, April 24 at 7:35 p.m. CST at Xcel Energy Center. Fans in attendance will receive 2010 Swarm Team posters and students will be recognized for their academic accomplishments. Singer-songwriter Jeremy Smith will perform live on the turf immediately following the game and a special post-game autograph session will be held for season-ticket holders.
Lower-level tickets can be purchased for as low as $24 to the Swarm's regular-season finale next Saturday night. Tickets are available online at mnswarm.com or by calling 888-MN-SWARM.
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National Lacrosse League Stories from April 17, 2010
- Wings Overcome Late Deficit to Win in Overtime 13-12 - Philadelphia Wings
- Wings rally in the fourth; Aaron Wilson and Kevin Ross tally hat tricks - Minnesota Swarm
- Stealth Battle Edmonton for West Division Crown April 17 - Washington Stealth
- Mammoth fall short - Colorado Mammoth
- Swarm clinch final playoff spot in west - Minnesota Swarm
- Roughnecks defeat Rush - Calgary Roughnecks
- Boston Rocks the Colorado Mammoth, 9-7 - Boston Blazers
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