Swarm stop Wings, 11-10
The Minnesota Swarm traveled to the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday for a matinee matchup with the Wings, who at start time, were still looking for their first home win of the season.
Minnesota won the opening faceoff, but all of the early momentum belonged to the Wings, as they swarmed the Swarm early on. A Jordan Hall goal put the Wings up 2-0 with over 12 minutes still remaining in the first quarter, which was followed up shortly thereafter by a Garrett Thul bounce goal.
The Wings early 3-0 lead didn’t last long however, as Minnesota quickly manufactured a comeback, scoring their first of seven first half goals shortly before the end of the first period. The momentum of that goal carried over into the second quarter, where the Swarm held the Wings to only a single goal while manufacturing six themselves, including two from Jordan Macintosh. The Swarm were often on the offensive throughout the second, causing the Wings to constantly be on the defensive, and not providing them with many opportunities to attack. The Swarm took a 7-4 lead into halftime, and it would be up to Blane Harrison and company to make some adjustments heading into the second half.
The third quarter started out slowly for both sides, with the drought finally being broken by a Tracy Kelusky goal which cut Minnesota’s lead to 7-5. Another Jordan Hall goal cut the lead to 7-6 with six minutes remaining in the third; the battle was back on. A Swarm goal quickly calmed the crowd and brought the lead back up to two, briefly, before the Wings capitalized on a power play to cut the lead to 8-7 heading into the fourth quarter.
The teams traded goals to start the frenetic fourth, with neither team being able to truly seize momentum. Another goal from Garrett Thul tied the game at 9 a piece heading into the home stretch. The tie didn’t last long however, as the Swarm responded with two quick goals. The Wings scored again with just over a minute remaining to cut the lead to again cut the lead to one, but it wasn’t enough, and the Swarm held on for an 11-10 victory. The Wings remain winless at the Wells Fargo Center so far this season.
The two teams will play again on Sunday at 3:00 in Minnesota.
“We need to work on a second quarter,” Coach Blane Harrison acknowledged after the game. “We need defend against the transition, and to learn how to stop the dike from leaking.”
“It’s tough to draw moral victories,” Brodie Merrill added. “Hopefully if we learn from our mistakes and keep striving for improvement, then the results will show.”
The Wings will have a short period of time to learn how to stop the leak, as they square off against the Swarm again in slightly over 24 hours.