On Sunday afternoon the last team into the playoffs, the Swarm, travelled to Air Canada Center to take on the top seeded Rock. The Swarm came into Sunday’s game as desperate as desperate gets. They were the lowest seed going up against the Toronto Rock, who had the high seed and who had the best record in the NLL this season. The Swarm and Rock had split the regular season matchups, with both home teams winning games.
The Swarm came out and dominated the game from the first face-off. After 1 quarter the Swarm were up by 1, and never trailed in the game. The Rock looked unsteady against the fast and stingy Swarm. After 2 quarters the Swarm had doubled up on the Rock 10- 5. The Swarm never let off the gas pedal for the rest of the game and finished the game 20-11. The Swarm scored at least 4 goals in every quarter in what had be the best performance for the Swarm this season. The Swarm handed the Rock their worst lost of the season.
Minnesota was lead by the teams usual names Ryan Benesch (3g, 6a), Shayne Jackson (4g,3a), Jordan MacIntosh (4g, 2a) and Callum Crawford (6a). Five different players for the Swarm had at least 3 goals in the win. Minnesota also had tremendous play in net from Tyler Carlson, who got the start due to an Evan Kirk illness. Carlson had 54 saves and a save% of 83% and an assist, he also was awarded the game MVP for his play.
Toronto had a harder time garnering points on Sunday. They had 2 players with 5 points, Colin Doyle (3g, 2a), and Garrett Billings (5a). Nick Rose played 53 minutes and allowed 18 on 51 shots for a save% of 64.7 %. Rose was relieved by Zack Boychuk with about 6 minutes left in the game. Boychuck didn’t fare any better than Rose. He allowed the final 2 goals on only 4 shots.
Minnesota will be heading to their 2nd straight Divisional Final next week when they travel to Rochester, NY to take on the defending League Champions in the Knighthawks. Game time is 4pm EST on Saturday May 4th. The Knighthawks and the Swarm have not met this year. The other Divisional Final is Washington at Calgary at 6:30pm EST on the 4th.