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1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q OT F
Minnesota Swarm Minnesota Swarm
(8-4 H 5-0 A 3-4)
2 3 1 6 12
New York Titans New York Titans
(6-6 H 2-1 A 4-5)
2 1 4 2 9

The Swarm are Fashionably Victorious

Saturday, April 5, 2008
St. Paul, Minnesota
Attendance: 10,854

The new look Minnesota Swarm not only showed off their fantastic eye for fashion, they also regained their will to win with a 12-9 victory over the New York Titans last night at the Xcel Energy Center. The victory has vaulted the Swarm back into first place pending today's Toronto-Philadelphia game.

Chad Culp (18g 23a) struck first for the Swarm on the power play just after a minute into the game. The Titans soon after found themselves a man short and the Swarm made the pay again as Ryan Ward (25g 32a) crept in from the restraining line and unloaded on Titan goaltender Matt Vinc to make the score 2-0 for the Swarm after three minutes. The Titans regrouped the rest of the quarter as the Swarm had to kill three minors the rest of way. The Swarm killed the first two, but Mike McLellan notched his league leading 14th power play goal to finally put the Titans on the board. That goal was about two quarters earlier than the last game the Titans played here when they were shutout til nearly the halfway point of the third quarter. McLellan added another late in the quarter when he was just able to keep his foot out of the crease to tie it at 2. The Swarm nearly scored at the end of the quarter but Craig Point's (23g 28a) goal was a split second too late to count.

Justin Norbraten (0g 5a) got the chance to be the fourth righty on offense in this game. He may have made the play of the game when he was fighting for a loose ball behind the Titans net. Four Titans including the goaltender joined him to make their unfriendly acquaintance. Norbraten was unfazed and was able to spot through the orange maze an wide open Rory McDade (3g 6a) in front on the net for a go ahead goal. Andy Secore (21g 38a) continued the scoring for the Swarm as he faked out his opponent on the way to the net. Ward added to the Swarm lead going right to left before he released his shot on Vinc. The Titans narrowed the lead before half with a Ryan Boyle goal to make the score 5-3 in the Swarm's favor.

The third quarter for the Swarm in their history has been horrific at best and it was not looking like that was going to change. By that time of the game, the Swarm were getting hacked up pretty good and illegal by the Titans without the referees raising an eyebrow. That probably helped the Titans not only stay in the game but it got them the lead as Pat Maddalena led the charge with two goals to put the Titans up 7-5 at 10:27 of the third. The Swarm cut the lead to one as Point sent a laser to Culp's stick to the left of Vinc which Culp quickly deposited in Vinc's five hole. Momentum was halted somewhat but a terrible high sticking call by the referee at the end of the quarter on Noah Talbot (0g 4a) put the Titans on a five minute power play to start the fourth. Talbot clearly could not have done what the referee accused him of doing as he was falling backwards onto the ground after Casey Powell ran into him. I think that call may have generated the loudest booing from the Swarm crowd in their history because of complete imcompentency of the call by the referee and the timing of the call.

Lately, a call like that and there have been many of those lately going against the Swarm has been the Swarm's undoing in second halves but not Saturday night. The Swarm dug deeper than they may have ever done before and began to look like the team we all loved for the first six games of the year. The Titans had a chance to close the Swarm but were completely incapable of doing so as Ward once again weaved right to left for a shorthanded goal to tie at seven at 0:52 of the fourth.

The Swarm were not finished yet in the quest to frustrate the man up Titans. If you look back in history at the Swarm, there is one player in my mind who you can view as a barometer as to how up or down emotionally the team is. Just like last year in Portland when he got hot and c crushed the funk of a 1-3 start, Sean Pollock (19g 27a) got hot in the fourth just when the Swarm needed him the most. After the defense once again denied the Titans on the man up offense, Ryan Sharp (8g 8a) got the ball up to McDade. McDade zeroed in onto the baby-faced red-headed assasin as he flew of the bench uncontested to the net. Pollock reached up high for the pass from McDade and drew quickly on Vinc for the Swarm's second shorthanded goal on the five minute major to regain the lead for the Swarm at 8-7. The Titans scored just before the five minute major was up but the Swarm turned a refereeing catastrophy that had sunk them in previous games into a rallying cry of "our will is greater than yours and we will not be be deterred". Basically the Titans were finished and Pollock was the guy polishing them off.

Before Pollock polished them off, Point got the lead back for the Swarm at 9-8 as Secore found him on the crease for the quick stick goal. At 10:14 of the quarter, the Titans were called for a roughing penalty that would give the Swarm a power play. Not so fast as once again, it seemed as if the refereeing was trying to beat the Swarm along with the Titans as McDade was called for a mystifing delay of game penalty after the referee called him for playing without a helmet while McDade was sprawled out on the green carpet as play continued around and above him. The Titans got the lucky break of not going a man down when they clearly should have but remember, Pollock is hot and now is when he polished them Titans off. His second goal of his polishing act in the fourth quarter occured as he got open in front of the net, received a timely pass for Secore and wrapped his shot around Titan defender Mitch Belisle for the goal. The third and most crushing goal came 28 seconds later as he ripped a rocket from up high to put the Swarm up 11-8 with 3:17 to go. The Titans got a goal back to cut the lead to 11-9 but were unable to mount a serious comeback as Sharp finished the scoring with an empty netter.

Ward led the Swarm with three goals and four assists. Pollock got his hat trick all in the crucial fourth quarter and pocketed an earlier assist and Secore assisted on six goals while scoring one of his own. Culp also had a big night with two goals and three assists. Nick Patterson (8-3 11.90 GAA .770 Save %) won his league leading eighth game and stopped 33 of the Titans 42 shots on goal. The defense was first class as they were able to keep up with the constant Titan pick and rolls and how they were able to limit the Titans to only seven shots in the fourth. Maddalena led the Titans with three goals and an assist as the Titans are now 0-4 against the Swarm in their history. The Swarm victory continues the perfect home season at 5-0 and ensures the first ever winning record at home during a season in their history.

As I mentioned up top, the Swarm are now in first place. If Philadelphia wins tonight, they will be tied for first after this weekend. Philly has the advantage temporarily in tiebreakers as they beat the Swarm earlier this season but this upcoming Saturday, the Swarm will get the chance for redemption as the host the Wings at 7:00 pm at the X. I have not delved deeply into playoff scenarios but the Swarm will definitely clinch a playoff berth with the following next weekend:

  • Swarm beat the Wings and
  • Knighthawks lose to the Bandits and
  • Titans lose to the Mammoth

By the time the Swarm beat the Wings on Saturday night, depending on those earlier games, Swarm fans will be able to congratulate their team on making the playoffs for a third straight year.

Game Statistics

Box Score Minnesota Swarm Game Center Highlights

Team Stats Sv/S PIM PP SH S SOG LB FO
Minnesota 33/42 19 5/7 2 68 40 69 5/25
New York 28/40 16 4/8 0 65 42 83 20/25

# Minnesota G A Pts PIM PPG SHG S SOG LB FO
8 Rory McDade 1 2 3 2 0 0 2 1 1 0-0
9 Craig Point 1 1 2 0 1 0 9 4 5 0-0
12 Eric Pacey 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 1 1 0-0
16 Noah Talbot 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 3 0-0
17 Sean Pollock 3 1 4 0 1 1 8 4 7 0-0
19 Chad Culp 2 3 5 0 2 0 12 9 2 0-0
20 Kyle Ross 0 0 0 6 0 0 0 0 6 0-0
21 Andy Secore 1 6 7 2 0 0 15 9 6 0-0
23 Jon Sullivan 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0-0
24 Justin Norbraten 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 1 2 0-0
26 Ryan Sharp 1 2 3 0 0 0 3 2 9 0-0
27 Colin Achenbach 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0-0
34 Nick Inch 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 0-0
44 Ryan Ward 3 4 7 0 1 1 15 9 5 0-0
47 Travis Hill 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 5-25
50 Ryan Cousins 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 7 0-0
93 Nick Patterson 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0
31 Kevin Croswell Back Up Goaltender - Did Not Play
3 Chris Courtney Did Not Dress
11 Keith Cromwell Did Not Dress
18 Andrew Biers Did Not Dress
40 Ian Rubel Did Not Dress
73 Dean Hill Did Not Dress
 
# Minnesota MIN GA Saves Shots Dec  
31 Kevin Croswell 0:00 0 0 0    
93 Nick Patterson 60:00 9 33 42 W 8-3  
 
# New York G A Pts PIM PPG SHG S SOG LB FO
2 Brendan Mundorf 0 1 1 2 0 0 7 3 4 0-0
3 Matt Alrich 0 0 0 4 0 0 2 1 3 0-0
5 Jamie Hanford 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 19 20-25
12 Jarett Park 0 0 0 4 0 0 1 1 7 0-0
14 Ryan Boyle 1 5 6 2 0 0 6 3 5 0-0
15 Patrick Merrill 0 2 2 0 0 0 2 1 4 0-0
19 Mike McLellan 2 0 2 0 1 0 6 4 6 0-0
20 Greg Peyser 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 7 0-0
22 Casey Powell 1 4 5 2 1 0 13 9 7 0-0
24 Rory Smith 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0-0
36 Mitch Belisle 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0-0
41 Bryan Barrett 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0-0
42 Pat Maddalena 3 1 4 0 2 0 15 13 1 0-0
44 Jordan Hall 1 2 3 0 0 0 5 2 5 0-0
48 Matt Vinc 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0
56 John Orsen 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 6 0-0
90 Jeff Ratcliffe 1 1 2 0 0 0 5 3 0 0-0
21 Erik Miller Back Up Goaltender - Did Not Play
10 Brian Tower Did Not Dress
32 Rich Brzeski Did Not Dress
34 Anthony Kelly Did Not Dress
47 Jeff Spano Did Not Dress
71 Keevin Galbraith Did Not Dress
 
# New York MIN GA Saves Shots Dec
21 Erik Miller 0:00 0 0 0    
48 Matt Vinc 59:59 11 28 39 L 5-5  
Empty Net 0:01 1 0 1    

Scoring
Time MN NY Team Goal 1st Assist 2nd Assist Notes
First Quarter
1:16 1 0 Minnesota Chad Culp Andy Secore Sean Pollock PP
3:00 2 0 Minnesota Ryan Ward Andy Secore Chad Culp PP
12:01 2 1 New York Mike McLellan Ryan Boyle Pat Maddalena PP
14:07 2 2 New York Mike McLellan Ryan Boyle Brendan Mundorf  
Second Quarter
4:55 3 2 Minnesota Rory McDade Justin Norbraten    
5:20 4 2 Minnesota Andy Secore Ryan Ward Ryan Sharp  
13:01 5 2 Minnesota Ryan Ward Rory McDade Andy Secore  
13:21 5 3 New York Ryan Boyle Casey Powell Jordan Hall  
Third Quarter
3:55 5 4 New York Pat Maddalena Patrick Merrill    
7:43 5 5 New York Jeff Ratcliffe Casey Powell Patrick Merrill  
8:37 5 6 New York Casey Powell Jordan Hall Ryan Boyle PP
10:27 5 7 New York Pat Maddalena Ryan Boyle Casey Powell PP
13:01 6 7 Minnesota Chad Culp Craig Point Andy Secore PP
Fourth Quarter
0:52 7 7 Minnesota Ryan Ward Chad Culp Jon Sullivan SH
3:31 8 7 Minnesota Sean Pollock Rory McDade Ryan Sharp SH
4:38 8 8 New York Pat Maddalena Jeff Ratcliffe Ryan Boyle PP
7:24 9 8 Minnesota Craig Point Andy Secore Ryan Ward PP
11:15 10 8 Minnesota Sean Pollock Andy Secore Ryan Ward PP GWG
11:43 11 8 Minnesota Sean Pollock Chad Culp Ryan Ward  
12:13 11 9 New York Jordan Hall Casey Powell    
14:23 12 9 Minnesota Ryan Sharp     EN

Penalties
Time Team Player Penalty Bench Duration
First Quarter
0:47 New York Matt Alrich Holding   2:00
2:12 New York Casey Powell Slashing   2:00
3:15 New York Ryan Boyle Unsportsmanlike Conduct   2:00
3:54 Minnesota Andy Secore Checking from Behind   2:00
8:27 Minnesota Nick Inch Illegal Cross Checking   2:00
11:45 Minnesota Eric Pacey Illegal Cross Checking   2:00
Second Quarter
2:24 New York Jarett Park Interference   2:00
14:48 Minnesota Kyle Ross Slashing   2:00
Third Quarter
8:05 Minnesota Kyle Ross Checking from Behind   2:00
8:05 Minnesota Kyle Ross Unsportsmanlike Conduct   2:00
12:52 New York Brendan Mundorf Interference   2:00
14:58 Minnesota Noah Talbot High Sticking   5:00
Fourth Quarter
6:32 New York Matt Alrich Holding   2:00
10:14 Minnesota Rory McDade Delay of Game   2:00
10:14 New York Jarett Park Roughing   2:00
10:57 New York Jeff Ratcliffe Illegal Substitution X 2:00

Referees
Crew Chief Assistant Referee Technical Referee
4-Roy Condon 7-Grant Spies 17-Jeff Dolan