Minnesota forward Callum Crawford (No. 98) fires a shot on Edmonton goaltender Aaron Bold (No. 77) while diving to the floor on Friday, Feb. 10. Photo by Adam Crane
Through four seasons of action with the Minnesota Swarm, defenseman Joe Cinosky has accomplished a lot. He anchors the defense for Minnesota, sees plenty of game time, and has experienced playoff lacrosse in the National Lacrosse League.
The one thing he hasn’t seen, however, has been a ball in the net.
Minnesota Swarm defenseman Joe Cinosky scores his first career NLL goal during the second quarter of the Friday, Feb. 10, game against Edmonton. Photo by Adam Crane
In the Swarm’s 10-9 win over Edmonton on Friday, Feb. 10, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Cinosky scratched scoring a goal off his bucket list when he fired a shot past Rush goaltender Aaron Bold on a two-on-one opportunity, notching his first point of the year.
For Minnesota, Cinsoky couldn’t have picked a better time to find twine.
Down 5-2 in the second quarter, Cinsoky helped turn the tide and kick-start the offense into making a comeback.
“He had a huge goal,” Swarm coach Mike Lines said after the game. “It was the turning point in the game for us and it was nice to see him get his first goal.”
On the play, Cinosky found himself in a two-on-one with teammate Andrew Watt. The defender for Edmonton made a move to cover Watt, and without hesitation, Cinosky it whipped in.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Cinosky said. “I’ve been waiting four years for that one. I’m glad we could get the win though.”
Scoring is really not the defenseman’s role on the Swarm, nor has it ever been. Through four years at the University of Maryland, Cinosky scored only once, and he now has matched that with Minnesota. His career point total in the NLL now stands at 18.
After the game, Cinosky was asked if he kept his offensive skills sharp… you know, just in case.
“Every day we do shooting drills and stuff, but not really,” Cinosky said with a laugh. “I concentrate on stopping the other guys from scoring, winning is more important to me than anything.”
That desired victory didn’t come easy for the Swarm or their defense, as Edmonton took the game late into overtime, making it the second longest game in NLL history. More in his element, Cinosky and Minnesota’s defense held on to help capture the win.
“It’s grueling yeah, but we did a great job five-on-five though all night,” Cinosky said. "We just kept doing what we did best and stayed at home and were aggressive on their hands and didn’t give them much to look at.”
“He’s a leader. He’s a veteran,” Lines said. “He calms things down on the back of the floor. He had a really good game tonight.”
-- Walker Orenstein, MN Lax Hub staff
Ryan Benesch (MN Swarm file photo)
Ryan Benesch scored with 2:37 remaining in overtime giving Minnesota a 10-9 victory over Edmonton on Friday, Feb. 10, at Xcel Energy Center.
The overtime game-winning goal was Benesch's third goal of the night and kicked off the Swarm celebration in front of an announced crowd of 7,012.
According to the Minnesota Swarm twitter account, the "game lasted 72 [minutes], 23 [seconds] making it the longest game in team history and the second longest game in league history."
Minnesota rookie goaltender Tyler Crawford finished with 32 saves and also assisted on Swarm defenseman Joe Cinosky's second period goal.
Cinosky's goal was the first of his three-year NLL career.
Eight players scored for Edmonton with former-Minnesota forward and current Eden Prairie boy's varsity coach Ryan Ward scoring twice for the Rush.
Edmonton goaltender Aaron Bold made 41 saves in the loss.
Improving its record to 2-2, Minnesota will look to get above .500 for the first time this season when the Swarm host Rochester at the Xcel Energy Center on Sunday, Feb. 12, at 2 p.m.
Edmonton (1-3) will travel to Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday, Feb. 18, to take on Calgary at 8 p.m.
-- Michael Murakami, MN Lax Hub staff
1. Ryan Benesch, Minnesota
Scoring a hat trick and leading the team in goals scored is definitely worthy of the top star position. Scoring the game-winning goal in overtime to complete that hat trick solidifies Benesch spot as the game's most valuable player. Though he got off to a slow start, Benesch made it count when it mattered most.
2. Tyler Carlson, Minnesota
Though initially going undrafted in the 2010 NLL draft, Carlson has found a home in-between the pipes for the Swarm. The rookie goaltender made 32 saves -- 11 of them coming in the fourth quarter and overtime -- and kept Minnesota in perfect position to win. Carlson also assisted on Joe Cinosky's second-period goal.
3. Joe Cinosky, Minnesota
In the relatively low-scoring contest, defense ruled and Cinosky play a large role in Minnesota's defensive effort. It was his play on the opposite side of the floor, however, that was particularly noteworthy. Opting to shoot when in the Edmonton zone on a two-on-one, Cinosky reached back and fired a hard shot on Rush goaltender Aaron Bold that found the back of the net -- Cinosky's first career NLL goal.
-- Michael Murakami, MN Lax Hub Staff
Minnesota Swarm forward Ryan Benesch (No. 21) fires a shot on Edmonton goaltender Aaron Bold (No. 77) during the Friday, Feb. 10, game. Photo by Adam Crane