Swarm Invade The Air Canada Centre And Take A Win

Two teams that have been less than stellar of late played in Toronto on Friday night. The Rock hosted the Minnesota Swarm with both desperate for a win. The Swarm, having lost four in a row played like they needed it more and came out on top with a 13-10 win.

The first quarter started out as a duel between goalies Bob Watson and Kevin Croswell. Shots were 21-14 in favour of Toronto. Chris Driscoll on a partial break put one in off the bottom right post to open the scoring. Sean Pollock would later bounce a shot from the right shooter spot to the right side of the Toronto net to tie the score at 1-1. But then Toronto would own the rest of the quarter. Blaine Manning would drive to the net, and diving through the crease would put a shot back to the short side. Chad Thompson, looking better each week in the Rock uniform would drive to the net more or less through Ryan Cousins, and Luke Wiles picked up a loose ball rebound off of a Craig Conn shot and increased the lead. The score after one quarter was 4-1 Toronto.

Minnesota’s Kevin Buchanan did his best Chad Thompson impersonation to open the 2nd quarter. Buchanan had the ball in the high slot and decided to go to the net. Other than a few bumps along the way, he did just that and scored to bring the Swarm to within two. But Jeff Gilbert would score his first of the year on a four on one break. Rob Marshall would follow that up with shorthanded marker while Gilbert was in the penalty box.

Minnesota would then score four in a row, to tie the game at 6-6. Ryan Ward started the Swarm comeback on a Power Play. Five minutes later, Colin Achenbach continued that momentum and then Kevin Buchanan scored twice, his second and third of the night. Buchanan’s third was a beauty and showed off his field lacrosse background and skills. He came down the right side of the floor as a right handed shot (normally a no-no as we are taught in box lacrosse). Buchanan quickly switched hands while accelerating to the middle of the floor. Once he had a step on his defender, he buried a shot over the right shoulder of Bob Watson. With just over a minute left until half time, Luke Wiles would put Toronto back in front, making the half time score 7-6 Toronto.

The second half started with Aaron Wilson tying the game for his new team. Wilson, who was acquired only a week ago from Rochester for Craig Point, threw a bounce shot past Watson while back peddling from the front of the net. Chris Driscoll would put the Rock back up by one on an almost carbon copy of his first on the night. A low shot to the bottom right off the post again.

Less than a minute later Kevin Ross tied the game again and then Buchanan was back at it again. This time he took a beating from Stephen Hoar but continued to battle to the front of the net, put a fake on Watson and deposited his fourth of the night in the bottom right corner. This young man has a nose for the net. The Swarm held the lead after three quarters 11-8.

Toronto had the chance to get back into the game midway into the fourth quarter when Kevin Ross took a goalie interference penalty. But Andrew Watt, broke out of his own end, ran the floor and put a nice fake on Watson for a shorthanded goal to open the lead to 12-8. Kasey Beirnes would score a couple late, but Aaron Wilson removed any doubt against his old team with just over a minute to go.

Other Game Notes:

– Kevin Buchanon had only two goals in two games coming into Friday night’s game. Take notice!
– Toronto was 0-4 on the PP, Minnesota was 1-3
– Jeff Gilbert had a solid game for Toronto. He was hustling all over the floor and scored his first of the season.
– Given the bad blood between these two teams last season, this game was pretty mild mannered.
– Kevin Croswell started a little shaky but settled down nicely for the Minnesota win
– Three goals in the second half for Toronto….that won’t cut it.
– It was the second week in a row that we did not fill Ratcliff’s Room. My fault, these Friday night games are hard to get arranged.
– Shots were 54-53 in favour of Toronto
– a few of the boo birds came out at the completion of the game. Clearly the Toronto fans are frustrated.

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