The Minnesota Swarm welcomed the Philadelphia Wings to St. Paul in their 2014 season home opener on Sunday January 19, 2014. The Swarm was stunned by the Wings who came to St. Paul bitter at the loss the day before to the Swarm in Philadelphia, determined for revenge. The Swarm fell to the Wings 15-8.
The story of the game is the Swarm's youth and limited time playing together, a.k.a. team chemistry. The Minnesota Swarm got young this year. They welcomed back veterans Jordan MacIntosh, Andrew Suitor, Callum Crawford among others but were also missing several players that helped them get to the semifinal game last year. They were a young team last year and traded away several veteran players including Ryan Benesch in the offseason in order to secure three of the top four picks in the 2013 NLL Draft.
Evan Kirk, Minnesota's long-time goalie, was traded to the Philadelphia Wings over the off-season for future draft picks. This move bit the Swarm as Kirk saved 35 of the 43 shots he faced, leading his team to victory.
For the Swarm, rookie and first overall draft pick Logan Schuss, had a great game scoring twice and picking up an assist. Also with three points for the Swarm were Callum Crawford (2 points, one assist) and Shayne Jackson (3 assists) as the Swarm scored a total of eight points on 43 shots.
Goalie Tyler Carlson was replaced by Zach Higgins after 23 minutes after letting in his tenth goal of the game. Higgins faced 35 shots in a little over half a game and saved 27 of them although he received little help from his defense in the fourth quarter.
The Minnesota Swarm will be in action next on February 1, 2014 in Colorado to take on the Mammoth. They will return to The Hive against the Calgary Roughnecks on February 8. This article was initially written for The Minnesota Sports Report, see photos at The Minnesota Sports Report. Stay tuned to The Minnesota Sports Report for Swarm action all season.