Bobby Snider went 23-for-27 on face-offs and grabbed a game-high 20 loose balls.
The Minnesota Swarm scored seven unanswered goals in the second quarter tonight, ultimately spoiling Washington Stealth Head Coach Chris Hall’s return to the bench with a 15-7 win at the Comcast Arena at Everett. The Stealth falls to 1-6 on the season, while Minnesota improves to 4-3.
The first fifteen minutes of the game were highly contested, as the teams played to a 3-3 tie. Ryan Benesch scored twice for the Swarm in the quarter, while the Stealth got goals from Lewis Ratcliff, Dean Hill and Cam Sedgwick. The one glaring difference between the sides in the opening frame was the number of shots taken during the quarter. The Stealth tallied 16 shots on goal, while the Swarm had just six.
The Stealth was without starting goaltender Tyler Richards, who was injured last week against Rochester. Rookie Chris Seidel and the newly-added Matt King split time in goal, allowing 15 goals on 39 shots in the game.
The second quarter was completely dominated by the visitors. The Swarm outscored the Stealth 7-0. Seven different players scored the goals, which included three power play tallies and a shorthanded goal. Special teams played a major role in this one, and the Swarm dominated all facets.
“Our power play was anemic and our penalty kill gave up too many quality looks,” said Stealth Head Coach Chris Hall. “A point of emphasis for us was playing smarter lacrosse and we certainly didn’t do that on our special teams.”
The Stealth went 4-for-11 on the power play, while the Swarm converted on five of their eight extra man opportunities. The Swarm finished with three shorthanded goals on the night as well. The Stealth was also without leading scorer Rhys Duch, who was injured last week and is listed at week-to-week.
Trailing 11-4 half way through the third quarter, the Stealth showed some signs of life, with back-to-back power play goals by Dean Hill, who finished with a hat trick.
With just a minute left in the third, the Swarm took a major penalty, giving the Stealth five minutes of power play and the opportunity to score three times with the extra man.
“We had a chance to get back in it early in the fourth,” added Hall. “We had a little momentum and caught a break and we didn’t capitalize. We continued to take poor shots and squandered a great opportunity.”
Athan Iannucci scored one goal on that five-minute power play, but it was all the Stealth could muster. The Swarm scored the final four goals of the game and left the Comcast Arena with the 15-7 victory.
Hill’s hat trick led the Stealth offense, while Sedgwick added a goal and three assists. The lone bright spot for the Stealth was the play of face-off man Bobby Snider, who went an astonishing 23-for-27 on draws and collected a game-high 20 loose balls.
Ten Swarm players scored goals, led by Benesch who scored twice and added six assists. Kevin Ross had two and four. Callum Crawford finished with two and two. Rookie goaltender Evan Kirk made 43 saves on 50 shots.
The Stealth returns to action next week, when they travel to Toronto for a rematch of the last two NLL Championship Games. That game starts at 4:00pm PST and can be seen on ESPN3 or the NLL Network at NLL.com.