ST. PAUL, Minn. - Getting to the playoffs is always exciting, even for a Minnesota Swarm team that has done so three straight times and six times in franchise history. However, making the playoffs is just the start for this team who has never advanced past the first round.
"Oh yeah, I think that's in the back of everybody's head", said team captain Andrew Suitor. "It's just something that you always think about and I think more than just the first round, we're thinking about going all the way. Everybody has all the confidence in the world in everybody here."
That confidence came from banding together after longtime head coach Mike Lines was let go during the season and replaced with associate general manager John Sullivan, a move that was tougher on veterans than rookies but proved successful overall.
"To lose [Lines] was a little tough," says forward Ryan Benesch. "But Joe Sullivan, Bobby Keast and Aime Caines do a great job and they are as capable of coaching this team as Linesy is."
"More than anything, we've had since day one is the Swarm are worried about who is in our dressing room," said Suitor. "Not what's going on around it and we've become a really tight family in there."
This Swarm team is full of new faces this year but its two new goalies - Tyler Carlson and Evan Kirk - have played better than anyone expected them to and have made the biggest impact.
"Both of them they have been playing outstanding and they have given us every chance to win every game," says Benesch.
"You never really know what's going to happen," said Kirk. "I got the chance when I stepped in in the regular season and it went really well. I think you just need that first game to get it out of the way to get that confidence."
That confidence means everything for a Swarm team, who will now spend the next two games preparing for the one that count in the hopes they can finally advance in the NLL playoffs.
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