The Georgia Swarm (3-4) could not stop the fiery offense of the Buffalo Bandits (6-3) nor beat former Swarm goaltender Zach Higgins as Buffalo emerged victorious 18-9 on Saturday, Feb. 10 in front of 14,058 fans.
“We just didn’t execute on offense,” Swarm assistant coach Sean Ferris said. “We didn’t execute there, and if you want to talk about defensively, we didn’t play well defensively … We weren’t physical in front of our net, and they had multiple possessions, and we left our goalies out to dry. Offensively, we had chances and just didn’t execute.”
Buffalo’s transition overwhelmed the Swarm all night and kicked off the scoring courtesy of Nick Weiss. Alex Crepinsek responded quickly for Georgia to tie things at one, but that would be the last time the two teams would remain tied all night. 2017 NLL Draft No. 1 overall pick Josh Byrne bookended a three-goal run before Jesse King ended the run courtesy of a slick pass from Lyle Thompson. The first quarter would end with Buffalo up 4-2.
The second quarter was all Buffalo. The Bandits went on a six-goal run in its seven-goal second quarter, leaving the Swarm in the dust. Goaltender Mike Poulin was pulled, and Warren Hill got to see some action in front of the net. Randy Staats ended Buffalo’s run with a power play goal, Buffalo responded with another goal, and Miles Thompson capped the first thirty minutes. The Bandits held a comfortable 11-4 lead.
Both teams scored three goals in the third quarter, but the lead never seemed to shrink for the Swarm. When the fourth started with Buffalo up 14-7, Georgia had its work cut out for it, but it was the Bandits who came out scoring first. Kiel Matisz recorded the last goal of the night, but it was too little too late as Buffalo won at home 18-9.
King, Staats and Lyle led the Swarm in goals with two each, and Lyle and Miles led the team in points with four points each. Poulin earned the loss as he made 36 saves on 51 SOG in 47:25 min., an 18.98 GAA and a .706 SV%. Hill was between the pipes for 12:35 min. and allowed 3 GA on 12 SOG, a 14.31 GAA and a .750 SV%.
Georgia now turns around quickly to try and rebound at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Field at Infinite Energy Arena against the Rochester Knighthawks (2-6) on Sunday, Feb. 11. Faceoff is set for 6:05 p.m. ET.
“That’s a big thing,” Ferris said about having a game the next night. “If not, we’d be lingering on this loss for a whole week, but now that we have to play in 24 hours, we can redeem ourselves … Get a good night’s sleep, travel tomorrow and battle at home. Got to get back to 4-4 here.”
The Swarm will be hosting Love is in The Hive on Sunday presented by IceByrd Frozen Yogurt. Early arriving fans will receive a special light-up Swarm Fidget Spinner courtesy of IceByrd Frozen Yogurt. Tickets are available at GeorgiaSwarm.com/Love or by calling 844-4-GASWARM.