Stealth's playoff hopes take hit with loss to Swarm
The Swarm meanwhile, knew a win would earn them a playoff berth.
Something had to give.
As they have for much of the season, things didn't go the Stealth's way, falling 14-9 to the Swarm in Minneapolis.
With the loss, the Stealth fell to 4-10 on the season and likely need victories in their final two regular-season games to make the playoffs.
"I think they have to be must-wins," Stealth head coach Chris Hall said. "Can we salvage the season? It's still a possibility and we have two home games to do it."
Things started well enough for the Stealth, scoring two quick goals in the first 25 seconds of the game. But things went downhill quickly. The Swarm scored five unanswered goals to take a 5-2 lead after the first quarter and the Stealth never really threatened again.
"We dug ourselves a hole -- we continue to do it -- and we couldn't get ourselves out of it," Hall said.
Minnesota goalkeeper Tyler Carlson settled quickly after letting in the first two goals, giving up just seven more the rest of the way en route to saving 46 shots.
Hall credited Carlson with playing well, but said the Stealth's offense made him look even better.
"We continue to want to take marginal angle shots and they are easier to save," Hall said.
Aside from the Stealth's offensive struggles on Saturday, after scoring the game's first two goals, their five-on-five defense quickly broke down.
"All of the sudden our five-on-five defense, which is usually one our strengths, didn't play well at all,"
While the Stealth were struggling to find the net, the Swarm were being led offensively by Callum Crawford and Jordan MacIntosh. Both players scored all of their goals in the first half. Crawford finished the game with four goals and three assists and MacIntosh had two goals and an assist. Ryan Benesch added a goal and four assists. His fourth quarter goal was his 100th as a member of the Swarm.
Offensively, the Stealth were paced by Athan Iannucci, who finished the game with three goals and two assists. Lewis Ratcliff added two goals and four assists.
Tyler Richards saved 45 of the 59 shots he saw in the net for Washington.
Swarm 14, Stealth 9
Washington 2 3 0 4 -- 9
Minnesota 5 3 1 5 -- 14
1st Quarter -- Scoring: WAS - Snider Goal 0:08. WAS - Ratcliff Goal (Hill, Iannucci) 0:25. MIN - Crawford Goal (Benesch, Ross) 1:31. MIN - MacIntosh Goal (Crawford, Benesch) 2:59. MIN - MacIntosh Goal (Tao, Ross) 9:29. MIN - Crawford Goal (Gillam, Ross) 10:54. MIN - Crawford Goal (Henry) 12:32.
2nd Quarter -- Scoring: WAS - Hill Goal (PP) (Duch, Ratcliff) 4:16. MIN - Crawford Goal (PP) (Gillam, Benesch) 7:09. MIN - Tao Goal (Crawford, MacIntosh) 8:02. WAS - Ratcliff Goal (Zywicki, Hill) 8:20. MIN - Ball Goal 10:09. WAS - Bucktooth Goal (Iannucci, Sorensen) 14:27.
3rd Quarter -- Scoring: MIN - Ross Goal (Gillam, Tao) 10:04.
4th Quarter -- Scoring: MIN - Gillam Goal (PP) (Tao, Benesch) 3:00. WAS - Iannucci Goal (Martin, Hill) 3:45. WAS - Iannucci Goal (PP) (Ratcliff, Duch) 5:47. MIN - Suitor Goal (Gilbert) 7:45. MIN - Benesch Goal (PP) (Crawford, Tao) 8:58. MIN - Henry Goal 9:36. WAS - Duch Goal (PP) (Hill, Ratcliff) 11:22. MIN - Earl Goal 12:06. WAS - Iannucci Goal (Duch, Ratcliff) 13:08.
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