The Minnesota Swarm will be taking on the Edmonton Rush in a home and home this weekend. This tilt will be a rematch of last year’s Western Finals. The Swarm come into the game at 2-4 with their last game being a heartbreaker against Calgary. The Rush are at 3-4 after getting a big win over the Colorado Mammoth. With both these teams trying to get back on track after last season’s success this will be one weekend where a season can go from in the dump to in the hunt.
Edmonton has come on strong as of late, with high scoring from Rookie Mark Mathews. Mathews has 28 goals and 15 assists this season and helped in a big way last weekend to get a two game sweep against the Mammoth and Washington Stealth. Edmonton is also getting some offensive punch from former Swarm player Ryan Ward who has 13 goals and 20 assists. Both of these players will be instrumental to the Rush’s game this weekend. Goaltender Aaron Bold will need to stand tall in the net this weekend against the Swarm’s youthful offense.
The Swarm is coming off a heartbreaker against the Calgary Roughnecks, where they lost by a goal. After that lost the Swarm need to start stringing some wins together to get in the hunt for the playoffs. The Swarm will need to continue how they played in the latter half of the game against the Roughnecks if they want to get to the playoffs this year. The Swarm will need to get their offensive weapons into the game early. Players like Ryan Benesch who leads the team in goals and assists with 13 goals and 19 assists, and players like Rookies Shayne Jackson (9g, 17a) and Kiel Matisz (11g, 11a). The Swarm will also need their goaltending to be much improved compared to what they have been getting so far this year. After last week’s game where Tyler Carlson came on in relief of Evan Kirk, look for Carlson to get the nod for Friday’s game in Edmonton.
With so much on the line for both teams this weekend I see a split where each team wins on the road. Both games will be close and hard fought, one of those games that’s won in the trenches. The Friday night game will be in Edmonton at 9pm EST. While the Sunday afternoon game will be in St. Paul at 3pm EST.