Saint Paul, Minn. – Brett Bucktooth picked up a hat trick and Pat Saunders added to his team-leading goal total with two more, but it was not enough as the Black Wolves fell at the Swarm, 12-8, on Friday evening.
Minnesota (5-8) got the scoring started with goals from Callum Crawford and Jordan MacIntosh in the first six minutes of action to put the Swarm ahead. New England (3-8) cut the lead to one on Bucktooth’s first goal of the game at the 6:53 mark in the first, but MacIntosh picked up another goal at the end of the first to put the Minnesota advantage at 3-1 at the end of the first.
Both teams scored twice each in the second frame, with both of New England’s goals coming from Bucktooth on the power play. Joel White, who had been traded to Minnesota from New England on Monday, scored his first goal in a Swarm uniform in the second, as did Johnny Powless, who Minnesota also received via trade from Vancouver this week. The Swarm led 5-3 at halftime.
New England scored twice early in the third frame on goals from Kyle Buchanan and Saunders to tie the score at 5-5 just under four minutes in. The Swarm would rattle off three more goals in the quarter, interrupted only by the first goal from Garrett Billings in a Black Wolves jersey at the 12:09 mark, to take a 8-6 advantage into the fourth quarter. The Swarm put the game away in the fourth frame, out-scoring New England 4-2 to notch the victory.
Saunders added four assists to his two goals and led New England with six points on the night. Bucktooth also had two assists for five points while Billings had four points on one goal and three assists. Crawford led Minnesota with seven points on three goals and four assists while Shayne Jackson added five points on one goal and four assists.
Evan Kirk took the loss in goal for New England, giving up 12 goals while saving 41 shots. Zach Higgins recorded the win for Minnesota. He had 36 saves while giving up eight goals.
New England will be back in action Saturday night when they travel to Buffalo to take on the Bandits. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.