So was it all the rookies that helped the Minnesota Swarm win those games last year? Yes and no. Was it the veteran leadership up and top of Callum Crawford and Ryan Benesch? Yes and no. Was it the production of Kevin Ross? Hell yeah. That the veteran left-hander out of London, Ontario, scored goals and dished out helpers isn’t a surprise. He’s been doing it his whole career, but in 2012, Ross took his game to a new level and it was his production as a “secondary” scorer behind Crawford and Benesch that forced opposing defenses to keep a balanced approach and not shift too heavily to the right (Crawford) or left (Benesch). Because if they did, Ross made them pay dearly.
Ross wasn’t the only other option outside of Minnesota’s deadly duo, but he was the most consistent. With career highs in goals (28), assists (31) and points (59), Ross was the only Swarm player to score at least 1 goal in all 16 regular-season games last year (Benesch scored in all 13 games he played, missing 3 with an injury). He was second on the team with 9 power-play goals and he even took 1 faceoff, winning that.
It was his effort, combined with the others, that helped the Swarm not only advance to the playoffs for a sixth season, but win a playoff game for the first time in franchise history.
Ross took the summer of 2012 off with no Canadian ball or field lacrosse, although he did have 1 goal and 1 assist in Team Canada’s 11-9 win over Team USA in the Sept. 9 Duel in Denver. It was his first game as a Canadian national and if his numbers follow the trend he started last season in the NLL, it won’t be the last time we hear from Ross.
Fact: In 8 career games against the Philadelphia Wings, Ross has scored 27 points. He scored 14 of those points in 2 games against the Wings last season, including a 9-point (5-4) game. So the Wings took care of that problem by offering the Swarm a 2015 first-round draft pick for Ross and now, he’s a member of the Wings.
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