(Friday, Jan. 1) – The wait is finally over this evening, as the Georgia Swarm will take the floor against the Colorado Mammoth for a special New Year’s Day clash to open the 2016 NLL season, which marks the 30th anniversary year of the National Lacrosse League. Faceoff is set for 9:30 p.m. ET at Pepsi Center.
Fans can watch the game live on Altitude TV (DIRECTV channel 681, Dish channel 413) and online via Fox Sports GO (U.S.A.) and TSN Go (Canada).
Friday night marks the first-ever regular season game in Georgia Swarm team history; Georgia hosts its inaugural home game next Saturday, Jan. 9 against the Toronto Rock at Infinite Energy Arena for a 7:05 p.m. faceoff. Tickets can be purchased by calling 844-4-GASWARM or at GeorgiaSwarm.com.
Georgia features one of the league’s most talked about rosters, with four of the Top 6 picks from the 2015 NLL Draft making their pro debuts Friday night in Lyle Thompson, Jesse King, Chad Tutton and Randy Staats. Last month, the Swarm finished the preseason 2-0 with wins against Toronto and Rochester, and is optimistic about its chances in 2016 with a new lineup as well as a new coaching staff.
“We’re hoping to do good things in Georgia,” Swarm head coach Ed Comeau said. “We thought we had a really good training camp, and our players and staff are excited to get playing for real.”
On Thursday evening, Georgia named two-time NLL Transition Player of the Year award winner Jordan MacIntosh its team captain, and Shayne Jackson and Jason Noble as assistant captains. Jackson led the Swarm in scoring last season, and Noble has been a steady defenseman for the Swarm since being selected No. 2 overall in 2013.
“We evaluated guys throughout camp and we really felt that Jordan MacIntosh, Shayne Jackson and Jason Noble established themselves as leaders,” Comeau said. “We have many other guys on our roster who are also great leaders, and we are really happy with our overall leadership from within the locker room.”
Heading into Denver this evening, the Swarm will face one of the league’s all-time greats in Mammoth forward John Grant. Jr, as well as forwards Adam Jones, Callum Crawford, and Jason Noble’s twin brother, Jeremy. Colorado finished the 2015 NLL season with a 9-9 record, and lost in the opening round of the playoffs.
“Game one’s are always a little bit tough for both teams and there’s a lack of information on each squad,” Comeau said. “We’re trying to focus a lot on our team, and what we need to do.”
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