By Alex Pagliano -- Bandits.com
ST. PAUL, MINN. -- The Buffalo Bandits had an opportunity to clinch a postseason berth on Sunday, but fell short.
Callum Crawford scored the game-winning-goal 7:09 into overtime, as the Minnesota Swarm defeated the Buffalo Bandits 10-9 at the Xcel Energy Center.
Joe Resetarits, Aaron Wilson and Jamie Rooney each shared the limelight for the (8-4) Bandits on the score sheet. Resetarits added three goals. Rooney added two goals and an assist. Wilson also added two goals. Anthony Cosmo also turned in another magnificent performance, turning aside 49-of-59 shots for a .830 save percentage.
In overtime, Buffalo had two good chances to end the game. Ryan Benesch found space in the slot midway through overtime, but Swarm goaltender Tyler Carlson stopped the shot. Minutes later, Dhane Smith found himself alone in front of the crease, but he fired the shot wide. Crawford ended the game for (3-9) Minnesota at 7:51 on a shot from the right of Cosmo.
Neither Buffalo nor Minnesota scored over the duration of the opening quarter. Cosmo turned aside 12 Minnesota shots. Carlson also rejected nine Buffalo shots. The zeroes marked the first scoreless opening quarter in the National Lacrosse League's 28-year history.
Just under four minutes into the second quarter, Joe Resetarits found the back of the net to end the near 18-minute scoreless drought. Resetarits went over the top and beat Carlson over the shoulder. After a Minnesota goal, Buffalo scored two consecutive goals to regain the lead. Rooney beat Carlson at 9:43 from the outside before Resetarits dove cross-crease and placed a shot far-corner for his second of the game.
Minnesota would respond, scoring two goals in 25 seconds late in the second quarter to even the score headed into halftime.
Less than one minute into the third quarter, the right-handed Resetarits unleashed a left-handed corkscrew past Carlson to cap off his second career hat trick.
Returning to Minnesota for the first time since being dealt to Buffalo this summer, Benesch found twine at 2:46. Cosmo stopped a Minnesota shot, gathered the ball and found Dhane Smith on the other end of the floor in transition. On the 2-on-1 break, Smith found Benesch, who beat Carlson over the shoulder.
After Minnesota scored three consecutive goals to take the lead, Aaron Wilson halted the momentum. Wilson found the back of the net for the second consecutive contest, driving the net on Carlson for the power play goal at 10:56.
Minnesota would add another late goal before the end of the quarter, but Rooney went to the net hard for his second goal of the game with 36 seconds remaining in the quarter to even the score.
The Bandits opened the fourth quarter on a 2-0 run. Wilson found himself open to the left of Carlson and recorded his second goal of the game. Just under a minute later, Shawn Williams beat Carlson five-hole to pad the tenuous lead. But, Minnesota would respond, scoring two unanswered goals to send the game into overtime.
Crawford launched the decisive goal from the right of Cosmo. The shot trickled over the line at 7:51 to end the game. The win marked Minnesota's first home victory of the season in five chances.
Notably, Bandits captain John Tavares was held off the scoring sheet today. Tavares had previously recorded a point in 185 consecutive games dating back to Apr. 26, 2002. The 46-year-old legend launched just two shots on the afternoon.
The Bandits travel to Vancouver on Saturday at 10 p.m. before returning home on April 5 to host the Calgary Roughnecks at 7 p.m.