The Minnesota Swarm made the trek to Rochester, NY to take on the Knighthawks in preseason NLL action, and the game was exciting from the get go. If the regular season lives up to the goodness that was this scrimmage, the National Lacrosse League is in for a great year. Add in around 10,000 fans packing Rochester’s arena for a scrimmage and things look pretty bright.
Both teams looked dangerous on offense at times, and while they presented different styles and looks, both saw some success. Jordan MacIntosh was a monster for Minnesota and continues to improve on the professional level in both field and box. He’s a player to watch this year and he does a lot of different things for the Swarm. With three years in the league (and a lot of rookies on the roster) MacIntosh should emerge as a real leader this year, in every sense of the word.
Photo Credit: Larry Palumbo
Rochester was rocking all grey uniforms, and they looked awesome, even if they are only preseason jerseys. They also had mismatching helmets, which I wholly approve of for preseason action. Dan Dawson, Stephen Keough, Cody Jamieson, Joe Walters, Johnny Powless, Mike Accursi, and Craig Point create consistency year over year, and they bring a ton of talent to the table. With a couple of long deals in place, this is your line up, Rochester. Keep loving it. Keough looked especially hungry, and this group should really put up points this year.
Both teams showed toughness on D, and an ability to fly around and scoop up loose balls. For an early preseason scrimmage the guys defensive played together and well on both ends of the floor, but the offenses were just a bit ahead of the curve as Minnesota won 16-15.
It was also great to see Brandon Styres get time in net for Rochester. It’s interesting in general because Brandon is Curt Styres’ son, and Curt Styres owns the Knighthawks, but it also interests me on a personal level because I played with Styres at the Ales Hrebesky in 2012 for the Salt Shakerz. He was a young man then, really still learning the game, and it’s great to see that he has put in the work, and is suiting up in an NLL preseason game.
Speaking of goalies…
Pat O’Toole was inducted into the NLL Hall of Fame as the sole member of the 2013 class. O’Toole was a goalie in the NLL for an astounding 16 years, and he spent 12 of them with Rochester. It was great to see him inducted in front of his family and friends. O’Toole won two titles during his career with the first coming in Buffalo in 1996. O’Toole was named MVP of the Championship game. The second came in Rochester in 2007 and the home crowd let him feel their appreciation. O’Toole has won two more titles with Rochester as their goalie coach. He is the 21st member of the NLL’s HoF.