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Blazers win 13 - 8 after Cotter takes over fourth quarter.

The Blazers beat the Swarm 13-8 in front of a record crowd at the TD Garden.
The Blazers beat the Swarm 13-8 in front of a record crowd at the TD Garden.
Ian B. Murphy

Nick Cotter stepped up when the Blazers needed him, despite a weary mind and a banged-up body.

Cotter, who did not expect to play tonight with an upper body injury, was pressed into action when Sean Morris came up with the flu, and ended the night with four goals and two assists. Cotter netted three goals in a row for the Blazers in the fourth, and single-handedly swung the game for Boston.

Blazers' head coach Tom Ryan summed it up simply: "He had it going on."

He stepped up and took a huge shot as the shot clock expired down a man, and netted the team's 10th and most crucial goal in the game, pushing the Blazers lead to two goals and halting the Swarm's four-goal rally.

Cotter stepped up to the crease, laid out vertically and netted the Blazers 11th goal a highlight play the required a review.

Cotter also scored the Blazers' 12th goal of the night, the insurance tally with 1:27 left.

He was the momentum changer the team needed after Minnesota clawed themselves back in the game, facing a 9-4 deficit in the third quarter. And all of that was after taking an eight-hour exam to become a teacher in New York.

He's tough, he's gritty, and guys thrive on him when he scores goals," said Captain Dan Dawson. "A guy like Nick Cotter, when he scores four goals, you can really tell the bench gets excited."

Swarm captain Aaron Wilson scored two goals in 50 seconds, personally cutting a Blazers five-goal lead to three and keeping Minnesota in the game and making the score 9-6.

Sean Pollack scored the next two goals for the Swarm early in the fourth - one on a power play, and another on a blown defensive assignment - and pulled Minnesota within one. 

With all the momentum swinging towards the Swarm, Boston made a big mistake - a two minute penalty for cross checking an Greg Downing.

But that led to Cotter's short-handed goal, one that seemed to lift the Blazers and deflate the Swarm. Cotter said it was the most important goal of his three-goal streak in the fourth.

The Blazers had a franchise-record 10,032 in the TD Garden tonight to see the team pull to 7 - 7 and remain firmly in the playoff hunt. But the team isn't going to get too high on the win; there is still plenty of work to do.

"It's a big lift for our dressing room, but we have to remain even keel," said Dawson. "What have we done? We're 7 - 7. Before we even talk playoffs, we've got to get there. We want to get their of our own accord, and to do that we've got to win out."

The Swarm fell to 5 - 9. The Blazers travel next weekend to play the Colorado Mammoth.


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