In a game for the record books, the Minnesota Swarm (3-9) captured their first home win of the season with a 10-9 overtime victory over the Buffalo Bandits (8-4) in front of a crowd of 6,081 at Xcel Energy Center on Sunday afternoon.
The game went nearly eight minutes into overtime before Callum Crawford sunk one in. After dropping the pass, which baited the defender, Crawford recovered, spun free and walked in to score the OT winner to give Minnesota their first 'W' inside "The Hive" this year after four previous attempts.
“I thought it was an exceptional game by both teams,” said Bandits head coach Troy Cordingley. “Guys that scored tonight earned the goals.”
The first goal of the game was scored over three minutes into the second quarter - producing the first scoreless first quarter in the National Lacrosse League's 28-year history. The drought finally ended when Buffalo's Joe Resetarits scored 18:21 into the game.
Buffalo legend John Tavares, the league's all-time leading scorer who recorded his 1,700th career point earlier this weekend, was held without a point, snapping his record 185-game point streak dating back to January 25, 2002.
“To go out and shut a team down like that for a quarter and then only give them three goals going into the half - that’s pretty dynamic,” said Swarm head coach Joe Sullivan.
The defensive start also marked the first scoreless quarter in regulation of any game since January 1990 and just the third 15-minute frame without a goal in league history.
“To win a really tight game like that is great,” said Crawford, “It fires us up to keep battling and know that good things are ahead.”
Rookie Logan Schuss (2+2) continued to deliver for his team by notching two goals and Shayne Jackson (2+2) found his rhythm with back-to-back goals which gave his team their first lead of the game in the third quarter.
Callum Crawford (2+2) sent an already standing crowd into the air as he fired the winning goal in overtime, adding to a shorthanded goal that started the Swarm offense earlier in the game.
“He’s one of my only veterans,” said Sullivan. “He made good with the trust that we have in him.”
Contributing on the defensive side, transition David Earl (0-2) had a productive night with six loose balls, five forced turnovers and two assists. Swarm goalie Tyler Carlson played a monumental role in front of the net for the Minnesota win. His 34 saves on 43 shots gave
his team their first win at home this season and his first win since last season.
“Tyler was incredible tonight,” said Swarm forward Callum Crawford. “It brought life to the guys again.”
Making his first return to Minnesota since an offseason trade to Buffalo, Ryan Benesch (1+4) scored once and took ten shots on former teammate Tyler Carlson.
“It was strange to be on the other side but I still love this place,” said Benesch. “'TC' was playing great so hats off to him.”
Joe Resetarits (3+0) grabbed the first goal of the second and third quarters and led his team offensively with three on the night. Jamie Rooney (2+1) scored pivotally with one in the first quarter to regain the lead and one to tie it up with Minnesota in the third. Aaron Wilson (2+1) fired up in the second half with two goals of his own.
Steve Priolo played great defense with eight loose balls and four force turnovers. Anthony Cosmo delivered a solid game in goal with 49 saves on 59 shots, making a dynamic contribution to a defensively sharp game.
“He’s kept us in lots of games,” said Cordingley of Cosmo. “He’s always there to make some big saves and he did that tonight.”
The Bandits missed out on an opportunity to clinch a playoff spot with a win, as did the idle Rochester Knighthawks (9-3), who might prefer it that way as Rochester has now overtaken Buffalo for first place in the East Division.
“We didn’t have the weekend we wanted to have,” said Cordingley. “It doesn’t end our season. We have a veteran group that knows how to win so we’ve just got to back to that.”
Three Stars of the Game as selected by the media:
1) Callum Crawford
2) Anthony Cosmo
3) Tyler Carlson
Both teams are on the road next week on Saturday, March 29 as the Swarm visit the Scotiabank Saddledome to challenge the Calgary Roughnecks at 9 p.m. ET while the Bandits head to Langley Events Centre for a contest against the Vancouver Stealth at 10 p.m. ET.