Stay tuned as we profile 11 Swarm players and their 2017-18 seasons over the next few weeks!
With your team captain, you want a high character individual who consistently delivers on the floor. The Georgia Swarm definitely has that with Jordan MacIntosh.
The Swarm’s team captain has been the steady lighthouse helping guide the team to its second-consecutive first-place finish in the East Division.
Repeating as the top team in the East is no easy feat given how much parity exists in the NLL. The Swarm struggled to gain any traction for two-thirds of the season and found itself at 5-7 and last in the East Division. MacIntosh rallied the troops with “11-7, that’s our goal,” and the Swarm rattled off six-straight wins, claiming sole possession of first place in the East Division in the very last game of the season with a win against New England.
“Everybody talks about the ‘championship hangover,’ and then we found ourselves a bit of that, injuries, all kinds of different reasons, but when you’re a captain and you’re in the middle of that, there’s a lot of pressure,” Swarm assistant coach Dan Ladouceur said. “In my mind, Mac handled that pressure great, and he had an answer. Whether 11-7 was a conscious decision that he thought of and came up with, it really was our focus towards the end of the season, and guys did rally around that. That just speaks to Mac’s leadership and the buy-in that the guys have and the trust and faith that they have in him and his leadership.”
In addition to his leadership qualities, MacIntosh remained one of the most effective transition players in the game. He focused a little more on defense in 2017-18, and his points, loose balls and caused turnovers all took a dip compared to his previous seasons.
MacIntosh’s caused turnover numbers dipped to just 19, but his turnover (TO) numbers shrank even more. His 18 TO are the lowest he’s ever given up since joining the NLL.
And while this marks the third-straight season where the Swarm captain has notched two shorthand goals, he set a new high in shorthand points with three assists to give him 5 shorty points.
“One thing I noticed about Mac is he’s making better decisions in his transition game, when to stay up the floor and push and play and when to come off,” Ladouceur said. “When I watch him play five-on-five, he gets open, he’s effective. He’s doing a great job in the defensive/transition role. We don’t want him playing a huge amount of offensive shifts for us, but if and when he does, nobody’s nervous. He does a great job, he’s effective, and he’s being responsible with his decisions and looking for direction as to when to stay and play. That’s a big improvement for Mac, and we’re really happy.”
All this translates into a veteran player who has been slowly and steadily shifting his game from one of the Swarm’s top scorers into a more defensive tranny with a plethora of discipline.
MacIntosh is holding onto the ball better in his seventh season and helping create effective transition opportunities for himself and others. As a leader, he’s able to get the others to buy into his message and turn it into tangible gains.
The Swarm can’t really ask for anyone better for the players to follow.
MacIntosh squaring up on defense | Photo Credit: Kyle Hess
Best Game of the Season:
Against the Saskatchewan Rush on April 14, MacIntosh turned in a season-high five points (2G, 3A), one of which was a shorthand goal. He also collected a season-high 13 loose balls. MacIntosh’s veteran qualities were on full display that night, and one particular example of his cool-headedness showed why he is such an excellent and successful role model and leader in the NLL.
In the second quarter, he ran with Kyle Rubisch through the Swarm’s defensive zone and was unable to muscle him away from the crease, resulting in a Rush goal. MacIntosh kept a short memory and took full advantage of an opportunity which arose while the Swarm was man-down to snag a loose ball created from a shorthanded Swarm defense, beating Robert Church and Ryan Keenan in transition to score a shorty.
The route he ran was similar to Rubisch’s earlier, and that echo was one of the many Swarm plays that stood out that night. MacIntosh never let that mistake rattle him during the game and was able to pounce on a similar opportunity. It took some cool-headedness and a ton of skill to make happen, but completing the feat and setting the example for how to learn from past mistakes is what you want from the man wearing the C on the front of his blue and yellow jersey.
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