The Minnesota Swarm (6-7) earned their third-straight victory and handed the Buffalo Bandits (5-9) their sixth-straight loss, tying their franchise record, with a 21-7 home win before a crowd of 10,167 at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday night.
“The last couple of games, it seems like everything’s going in for us,” said Swarm transition player Jordan MacIntosh. “We’re going to ride that high. We’re not trying to set records every single game, we’re just trying to get 'W’s' right now.”
The 21 goals scored by the Swarm were the most by an NLL team this season and set a new franchise record while the 14-goal losing margin was Buffalo’s worst in team history. Minnesota scored 20 or more goals for the second-straight game, the first time that an NLL team has accomplished the feat since the Bandits did it in 2005.
“Things just fell right for us,” said Minnesota head coach Joe Sullivan. “We’re a team that, if teams don’t plan to defend against our depth, then they’ll find themselves in trouble.”
The Swarm's offense spread the wealth on the offensive end as 11 different players put the ball in the net.
“When you start scoring by committee and you’re goalie starts playing well, things start to happen,” Sullivan said.
With the game tied 3-3 after the first quarter, Minnesota scored four unanswered goals in the first 6:12 of the second quarter and took a 10-5 lead into halftime.
The Swarm dominated the third quarter, scoring all five goals to go up 15-5 after 45 minutes of play. With four more goals in the first 6:56 of the fourth quarter, Minnesota scored 11 unanswered goals before Buffalo finally stopped the run with less than five minutes left to trail 19-6.
Swarm forward Callum Crawford had a game-high 10 points (2+8), Jordan MacIntosh scored five goals and finished with eight points (5+3) as did rookie Shayne Jackson (3+5) while Tyler Carlson made 40 saves on 47 shots.
“When we’ve got all the guys in the right lanes and the right areas and keeping the guys to the outside so the shots come from the outside, the ball looks huge,” Carlson said. “You can just step in front of it.”
MacIntosh, the NLL's Transition Player of the Week last weekend, has now scored nine goals over his last two games.
“I’m just sort of going back to my roots,” MacIntosh said. “Just kind of taking it easy, being in good position in front of the net and it’s going in for me.”
Shawn Williams (2+3) had a team-high five points for the Bandits and captain John Tavares finished with three points (2+1) as the only other Buffalo player to score more than once. Goaltender Anthony Cosmo made just three saves on six shots before Kurtis Wagar came on in relief and finished with just 25 saves on 43 shots.
Buffalo was without its leading goal scorer Dhane Smith, who missed the game with a shoulder injury.
The Swarm face a quick turnaround following the win. They face the Wings tomorrow afternoon in Philadelphia at 4 p.m. ET. Minnesota defeated the Wings 20-11 last weekend.
“We’re going to see a better team than we’ve seen,” Sullivan said. “A more desperate team and that’s always scary.”