The Swarm enter the game with a disappointing 1-3 record while the Rock crash into St. Paul with a 5-1 record and a full head of steam. The two teams met earlier this year on January 15 in Toronto where the Rock stole a 13-12 victory scoring five unanswered points in the fourth quarter.
The Swarm is led by core group of veterans who are flanked by some very talented rookies and second year players. In fact about two thirds of the team is in their rookie or second year in the NLL. The Swarm started slow last year but surged late in the year and made the playoffs and were even one game away from the championships.
The second 2013 meeting between the Swarm and Rock did not disappoint. Both sides opened the game with very physical play and before long several scrums broke out. The teams settled down and traded goals for most of the game playing one of the most fast paced and physically challenging games the Hive has seen in a year.
The Swarm allowed the Rock to tie the game on two goals in the last minute of the first half. As the clock ran down in the fourth quarter it was déjà vu all over again. The Swarm opened a two goal lead with a little over three minutes to play in the game when Jay Card beat Rock goal tender Nick Rose. The Rock scored back to back goals in a matter of seconds with two minutes go to in the game to tie up the game and force overtime.
In the NLL, if the teams are tied at the end of regulation, four 15 minute quarters, the teams play overtime until one team scores, no matter how many overtime periods it takes.
Swarm captain Andrew Suitor received a two minute intentional minor penalty to open the overtime period, putting the Swarm a man down for the first two minutes in a golden goal situation, where a goal wins the game. The Swarm caught a break when Rock goalie was charged with a delay of game penalty making both teams a man down. Tyler Hass found himself alone with only the goalie between him and a Swarm victory. Hass did not disappoint, at the 4:30 mark of the first overtime period.
With the win on February 8 the Swarm improve to 2-3, not where they would have liked to be but their 2-0 home record is something positive to hold on to as they prepare to host the Calgary Roughnecks on January 16 at The Hive in St. Paul. Stay tuned to The Minnesota Sports Report for continued Swarm coverage.photo gallery