Game Previews

Game Preview: Home Opener


(Duluth, GA) – The Swarm begin their second season in Georgia with a contest against the two-time defending champion Saskatchewan Rush on Saturday, Jan. 7th. Faceoff is set for 7:05 p.m. EST from Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Field at Infinite Energy Arena.

The opener is highlighted by the four Thompson Brothers breaking a professional lacrosse World Record when all four face off for the first time ever. Lyle, Miles, and Jerome will take the floor for the Swarm with their older brother Jeremy playing for the Rush.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 844-4-GASWARM or visiting GeorgiaSwarm.com/homeopener. Fans who purchase the “Thompson Brothers 4-Pack” ticket package and use the promo code: T Shirt will receive (4) Lower Level Tickets and (4) Commemorative T-Shirts.

“The Swarm and Rush going head-to-head will be an intense, action-packed and thrilling game of brother vs. brother,” Commissioner of the NLL Nick Sakiewicz said about the event. “It’s a truly historic moment – for the sport, the league, and the Thompson Brothers.”

“It’s a pretty cool thing to be a part of,” Swarm head coach Ed Comeau said. “When you’ve been involved in lacrosse for a while, you get to say you’ve been involved in a few pretty cool things. This is certainly going to rank up there with them.”

Lyle Thompson (2015 No. 1 overall pick) had a standout rookie season, joining three other Swarm rookie representatives on the 2016 All-Rookie Team. Lyle recorded 60 points (27G, 33A) in the 2016 season, ranked fourth among all rookie players in the NLL and sixth on the Swarm. He also gathered 81 loose balls, caused 12 turnovers, and went 18-for-33 on faceoffs.

Miles Thompson (2014 No. 3 overall pick) has been one of the most consistent offensive threats for the Swarm during his two years in the NLL. Miles has recorded 98 points (46G, 52A) while gathering 125 loose balls over two seasons. Jerome Thompson, the only lefty of the brothers, was acquired by the Swarm halfway through the 2016 season in a trade with the Buffalo Bandits. Jerome posted a solid rookie campaign in 2015 with the Bandits, which was highlighted by a four-goal outburst against the Swarm that season.

Representing the Rush is Jeremy Thompson, a five-year veteran of the NLL and one of the league’s most dangerous transition players. Over his professional career, he’s gone 989-for-1916 on faceoffs and gathered 723 loose balls. Jeremy was named to the 2016 NLL All-Pro Second Team.

"I'm pretty excited for the first game going up against Jeremy and Saskatchewan,” Lyle said. “It's pretty cool that I get the opportunity to be on the same floor as all my brothers, all people who I've always looked up to and who have taught me a lot.

“The whole family is coming down; my father is renting a 14-passenger van and making the drive so everyone is excited for our home opener down in Georgia, and it makes it that much more special that all four of us are playing."

This will also be the Rush’s first trip to Georgia to visit the Swarm at Infinite Energy Arena. Both teams played in new homes last year. In their only matchup in the 2016 season, the Swarm went to Saskatchewan on March 12, falling 14-8.

Historic as the night will be, the Swarm still have a tough job going up against one of the best teams of the past four years. Three of the Rush’s four top scorers (Mark Matthews, Robert Church, and Ben McIntosh) are returning, joined by Adam Jones (acquired via trade with the Colorado Mammoth for veteran Zack Greer).

On the defensive side, the Rush are bringing back reigning Defensive Player of the Year award winner Ryan Dilks and four-time award winner Kyle Rubisch back in addition to goalie Aaron Bold, the 2016 Champion’s Cup MVP.

“We know they’re a really good team, been together for a number of years,” Comeau said about facing the Rush, “and we’ll have our hands full. But our goal is to really play at a high level and compete with the elite teams in this league and continue to get better throughout the year.”

Monumental as this first game is, the Swarm are up to the challenge. They are rolling out one of the league’s strongest offenses and an improved defense. Players are excited for the contest and chomping at the bit to get the season going.

“They’ve (Rush) won two championships together, so they know how to play together,” team captain Jordan MacIntosh said, “and it should be a really good game. Our styles kind of clash and create some really great games.”

Aaron Bold and Ben McIntosh of the Rush have been suspended by the NLL for one game. Five players were suspended for their roles in the brawl between the Rush and Calgary Roughnecks during the Christmas Showdown game on Dec. 16.

Last year’s Swarm home opener drew over 9,000 fans. The sold-out crowd bolstered the Swarm to a victory in their inaugural Georgia game over the Toronto Rock, 12-7.

“We need everyone to come out for the home opener,” Kiel Matisz said. “ … We need that support. We need the fans ready to go, do the goal dance. Every bit of cheering helps out with every play.”

Two-time NLL Transition Player of the Year award winner Jordan MacIntosh will continue as the team captain with Shayne Jackson and Jason Noble returning as assistant captains.

Fans outside of the metro Atlanta area can catch Saturday’s game live via NLLTV.com; the first two games of the season will be available for free. Subscriptions can be purchased at tv.nlltv.com. An all-access 2017 season pass costs $34.95 (US) and $39.95 (Canada), while an individual team pass for the year costs $24.95 (US) and $29.95 (Canada).

GAME PROMOTIONS:

-The Swarm’s home opener is presented by In-Transition Realty, Inc., and the 2017 season is presented by Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort.

-After the game, all players will be available for fan photos and autographs.

-Select fans who arrive early will have a chance to get a Swarm poster, and select fans after the game will have a chance to receive a magnetic schedule from AllGood Plumbing, Electric, Heating & Cooling.

Georgia Swarm Pro Lacrosse Team