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Stealth vs. Swarm Rubber Match Tonight

04/14/2012, 1:36pm PDT
By Washington Stealth

The winner of tonight's game in Minnesota will hold the tiebreaker in the season series. Watch on the NLL Network at NLL.com at 5pm.

Stealth face-off man Bobby Snider has won over 78% (51-for-65) of his draws against Minnesota in two games this season.

The Washington Stealth enters the final three games of its regular season a half-game out of the fourth and final West Division playoff spot. Tonight, the Stealth can do a lot to improve their playoff standing with a win in the last game of the three-game season series against the Minnesota Swarm. The two teams square off tonight at 5pm PST at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

Both of the previous two meetings between the Stealth and Swarm took place at the Comcast Arena at Everett, each team winning once. The Swarm won game one, 15-7 on February 24. The Stealth was playing without several key players, including All-Pro forward Rhys Duch, forward Jeff Zywicki and starting goaltender Tyler Richards. Those three players were back in the lineup for game two, which the Stealth won 20-13 on March 25. The winner of tonight’s contest will hold the tiebreaker should the two teams finish with identical records.

The Stealth’s 20-goal output against the Swarm in March was the highest-scoring game for the team this season. Duch tallied a game-high ten points on four goals and six assists. He leads the Stealth with 57 points (24g, 33a) this season, despite missing two games due to injury. Richards, who was sidelined with injury for three games this season, made 49 saves in that last meeting with the Swarm.

Injuries were a constant issue for the Stealth throughout the first half of the season, leading to a slow 1-6 start. As players have returned to the lineup the Stealth improved, going 3-3 in the month of March.

The Swarm (6-7) currently sits in third place in the West. The team is coming off a 13-9 win over the Philadelphia Wings, despite playing without its leading scorer Ryan Benesch. Benesch, the Swarm’s leading goal scorer (25), has missed the last two games with a concussion suffered against the Stealth in March. He’s questionable for tonight’s game.

Tonight’s game is scheduled to begin at 5pm PST at the Xcel Energy Center. It can be watched on the NLL Network at NLL.com.

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