(Friday, Jan. 29) – The Georgia Swarm (1-2) will meet two divisional opponents this weekend, first facing off against the Toronto Rock (0-4) tonight at 8 p.m. ET at Air Canada Centre, followed by a 7:30 p.m. Saturday contest versus the Rochester Knighthawks (2-1) from The Blue Cross Arena. Both games can be viewed live on the FOX Sports Go app.
The Swarm had last weekend off after losing to the New England Black Wolves on Jan. 17 at Infinite Energy Arena. Georgia hosted Toronto during its inaugural home opener the weekend prior and handled the Rock 12-7 for its first-ever home victory in front of over 9,000 fans. Forward Johnny Powless led the Swarm with four goals that evening, and goaltender Brodie MacDonald held Toronto scoreless for over 40 minutes of action in the win.
Toronto meanwhile is still in search of its first win in 2016, after dropping all four contests so far this season. With that in mind, Swarm head coach Ed Comeau expects a physical battle Friday night.
“This is a huge game for them, and a huge game for us,” Comeau said. “We know they're a prideful group over there, they’ve won a lot of championships in that dressing room. They’re going to come out really hungry, especially at home. We expect them to really press us early, and hopefully we can meet their intensity and come out of here with a win.”
Comeau added that having last weekend off was helpful to heal some minor injuries, and it gave the coaches plenty of time to assess a tough home loss to the Black Wolves. Georgia scored a season-low six goals against New England after averaging 13.5 during its first two games.
“Certainly coming off a loss left a sour taste in our mouth,” Comaeu said. “We got our bodies healthy and got some good workouts in so our guys are ready and we’re excited to take on Toronto tonight.”
Although it’s early in the season, Friday’s contest will have big standings implications for both the Swarm and Rock, who sit in fourth and fifth place in the East Division. Only three of the five teams in the division advance to the postseason. Tonight’s contest also marks the final meeting between the two teams in the regular season, and offers the Swarm the chance to sweep the season series.
Following its matchup with the Rock, the Swarm will take a bus ride over the border on Saturday to face the Knighthawks for the first time this season. After dropping its opening contest, the Knighthawks won both games of a home-and-home series against Toronto two weeks ago.
“At about 10:30 tonight, we’ll switch gears to Rochester,” Comeau said. “It will be a quick turnaround, but in this league a lot of times playing back-to-backs is a good thing as guys are together all weekend and stay loose.”
The Swarm returns home to Infinite Energy Arena for a Valentine’s Day showdown on Sunday, Feb. 14 against the Buffalo Bandits at 2:05 p.m. To purchase tickets, call 844-4-GASWARM or visit GeorgiaSwarm.com.