Top draft pick Logan Schuss and the Minnesota Swarm beat the Colorado Mammoth by a score of 14-10 in preseason action. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
The Minnesota Swarm defeated the Colorado Mammoth by a score of 14-10 at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre to open NLL preseason games with the first of six exhibitions around the league this weekend.
Reigning NLL Transition Player of the Year Jordan MacIntosh led all scorers with a hat trick, while T Kiel Matisz, F Shayne Jackson and rookie F Scott Jones all added two goalies apiece.
Minnesota opened the second quarter on a four-goal run to build a 6-3 lead after both teams exchanged goals in the first. The Swarm closed out the first half with a clutch goal from No. 1 overall pick F Logan Schuss, who scored with 0.3 seconds left to enter the locker room with a 7-4 lead. Minnesota never looked back from that point on, and used two fourth quarter goals from MacIntosh to seal the victory.
Goalies Tyler Carlson and Zach Higgins split time in net; Carlson started and played the first two quarters, while Higgins closed things out in the second half. Both goalies were impressive, killing several Mammoth power plays, and transition opportunities.
Colorado’s coaching staff wanted to see those in competition to secure a roster spot play in game action.
“You’re looking for guys who are trying to make the club,” said Mammoth coach Bob Hamley. “We’re carrying 27 runners and three goalies, and we’re just trying to find out who wants to be part of the 20-man roster and the practice roster. We were just trying to look at that tonight.”
The veteran coach observed the game from the stands, gaining an unfamiliar perspective. Hamley saw his righties score eight of the team’s 10 goals on the night – including the first six. Jordan McBride, Mat MacLeod and Jamie Lincoln each scored twice in the 14-10 loss. Jarett Park, Sean Pollock and Bob Snider scored a goal apiece, as did draft pick Dom Sebastiani.
Colorado takes on the Toronto Rock in preseason action on Saturday night.
Minnesota returns to action Saturday evening for a preseason tilt against the defending NLL Champion Rochester Knighthawks at The Blue Cross Arena. The 7 p.m. CT matchup will be streamed live on YouTube via The Lacrosse Network, and can be found on Swarm Vision and youtube.com/tln
In 2014, the Swarm will be celebrating their 10th season of professional box lacrosse in the NLL and will kickoff the regular season on the road against the Knighthawks at 6:30 p.m. CT Saturday, Dec. 28. Minnesota will make its home debut at The Hive Sunday, Jan. 19 during a 2 p.m. matchup against the Philadelphia Wings at Xcel Energy Center.