EDMONTON - The Minnesota Swarm were down 8-4 to the Edmonton Rush in the second quarter Saturday before beaming down some much needed help into their crease.
Backup goalie Evan Kirk took over for starter Tyler Carlson and played 37:17 of shut-out lacrosse to force overtime.
“I don’t think I have ever done something like that before,” said Kirk, who finally caved in sudden death, on the 26th shot he faced. “It’s rough to lose a game like that after the way we fought back in it.
“It leaves a sour taste in your mouth. We need to win. We all need to remember what happened to us here (Saturday) night.”
But the Swarm couldn’t have asked for much more from their backup.
“It’s always tough as a goalie to come in partway through the game,” Kirk said. “I think both Tyler and I have been overthinking things too much in net of late and trying a bit too hard.
“We have to go out there and not think so much. There was nothing to lose and I just tried to do my thing and have fun and hoped things would fall in to place. They almost did.”
While this season might be a bit of a rough trek for the team with two rookie goalies, the future looks promising for the Swarm.
“I don’t want to say that either of them is going to shutout teams for a half at a time, but typically if they get a good look they are making that save,” said Swarm coach Joe Sullivan.
“I haven’t see anything like that in a hell of a long time. To play shutout ball for that long in pro, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen something like that.
“We made some adjustments at the half and they worked. That’s great because now the guys have a bit of confidence in what we are telling them to do. Putting a but more pressure on them in certain situations gave the goalie a different look and a better look. We kept them outside.”
Rush head coach and GM Derek Keenan said a lapse in offence by his side helped make Kirk look good.
“I thought he was good, but in the third quarter we had seven shots on net, and not good shots,” Keenan said.
“I thought we were a little better in the fourth and he was strong. But we just didn’t execute the way we did in the first half.”