Tomorrow night the Minnesota Swarm will travel to Toronto for the first of back to back games. The Swarm have only play one game this season compared to the Rocks three games. The Rock come into Friday night’s contest at 2-1, with wins over Calgary and Edmonton. While the Swarm come in at 0-1, losing in their season opener to the Buffalo Bandits.
The only real recent news for the Swarm is more or less they don’t have any after getting a full week off since the heartbreaker in Buffalo.
The Rock are kind of in the same boat right now. Although they have played two more games than Swarm, the y haven’t had any big things happen since the lose to Philly. The only note of interest was that Nick Rose was named Defensive player of the week after last weekend’s performance.
Now for a little history for you guys who love looking at the past. The Swarm and Rock have played each other 5 times in Toronto. Out of those 5 games the Swarm have come away winners in 3 of the games. Now the Rock last season had a losing record at home and have already dropped one game there this season. The Swarm were last in Toronto in the middle of the 2009 season, that’s 4 years ago for those of you counting. Now as the old cliché goes ‘the past don’t mean squat,’ so we can essentially throw all of this out of the window when it comes to the NLL.
Something we can look at that has a real impact on the game are the players. The players that everyone is going to have to pay attention to are:
- Nick Rose: An honorable Defensive player of the week last week and leads all goalies in saves and is in the top 3 in save percentage
- Colin Doyle: League leader in Assists and tied for a team lead of points with Garret Billings
- Kasey Biernes: Leading the Rock with 6 Goals right now. He will need to continue that on Friday to help the Rock out of their hometown funk.
- Ryan Benesch: The Swarm’s leading scorer and the biggest threat on offense, and while Suitor is serving his suspension the leading force on the team
- Callum Crawford: 2nd in points on the Swarm and the only one other than Benesch on offense with a proven track record of scoring for the Swarm
- Jordan MacIntosh: The face-off specialist for the Swarm was in top form in the season opener at 53.6% and will have to have a big game with Suitor out of the transition game
With all this said the prediction I am going to go with is that the Swarm get their first win of the season. I believe that Rose will continue his fantastic play but that Benesch and Crawford will take the game over and score at least two each with a couple of helpers thrown in. The final score I have is 14- 12. This will be a game that people will not want to miss.