The Philadelphia Wings (2-3) spoiled the home opener for the Minnesota Swarm (1-3) with a 15-8 win before a crowd of 8,213 at Xcel Energy Center on Sunday afternoon. Wings goaltender Evan Kirk, acquired from the Swarm via offseason trade, made his former team pay with 35 saves on 43 shots as the game's first star.
"It was nice to rebound today after a tough loss the night before," said Wings head coach Blane Harrison. "A lot of guys stepped up and played like we knew they could. The team put together a whole game."
After Minnesota earned their first win of the season in Philly on Saturday, the Wings returned the favor with a spirited road effort to finish off the weekend home-and-home series.
“That was not Minnesota Swarm lacrosse," said Swarm assistant captain Callum Crawford. "If you look at the way we’ve played over the past few years in this building we were a force to be reckoned with, and today we were taken advantage of. We have got to check ourselves, figure out our roles on this team, and find ways to contribute positively and win; not just improving ourselves but improving this team.”
The Wings opened the scoring and never trailed, leading 4-1 after the first quarter and 8-4 at halftime with a comfortable lead throughout. Jordan Hall led the way with eight points (4+4) for the Wings and Tracey Kelusky added a hat trick while Kevin Crowley, Pat Saunders and Kyle Buchanan each contributed a pair of goals. Ryan Ward had seven points (1+6) as did Buchanan (2+5).
Minnesota was led with a pair of goals from captain Andrew Suitor, Callum Crawford and rookie Logan Schuss, the first overall pick in last year's draft. Zach Higgins and Tyler Carlson split time in net in the losing effort.
The Wings outshot the Swarm by a 52-43 margin and went 5-for-8 on the powerplay with Minnesota going just 2-for-5 with the man advantage.
“Any time you get a five-minute penalty against you, you are hoping to hold them to one, and we didn’t do that,” Swarm assistant coach Bobby Keast said. “I’m not going to blame our goaltending and defensively I thought they played well. The Wings played better than us.”
CJ Costabile had a team-high 14 loose balls for the Wings while the Swarm's Jordan MacIntosh recorded a game-high 17 loose balls in the loss.
Three Stars of the Game as selected by the media:
1) Evan Kirk
2) Tracey Kelusky
3) Logan Schuss
With both teams on bye next weekend, they will return to action in Week 6 on Saturday, Feb. 1 as the Wings host the Vancouver Stealth at Wells Fargo Center at 7:30 p.m. ET while the Swarm visit the Colorado Mammoth at Pepsi Center at 9 p.m. ET.