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Georgia Continues its Playoff Push at Home Against Buffalo

DULUTH, Ga. (April 14, 2022) – The Georgia Swarm (8-7) return to Gas South Arena this weekend to host the East Division top seed Buffalo Bandits (13-3). The Swarm enter today’s matchup coming off a bye week, while the Bandits fell to the New York Riptide, 15-12, on April 9. It was the East power’s second straight defeat after starting the season 13-1.

If the playoffs were to start today, the Georgia Swarm would earn the fourth seed in the East Division and would face these same top-seeded Buffalo Bandits on the road during the May 6-8 weekend in a single-game quarterfinal elimination game.

The Swarm had the opportunity to clinch a playoff berth Saturday night, but when Panther City (7-9) handed San Diego (9-7) their fifth straight loss Friday night, the Swarm can no longer clinch this weekend and will need to continue to work to make the postseason.

For up-to-date playoff seeding and format information, visit georgiaswarm.com/playoffs.

When Georgia and Buffalo met earlier this season in Western New York, the Swarm fought a noble battle against the Bandits but came up short, 12-10. Buffalo’s Josh Byrne led the floor in points with seven (2G, 5A) as Lyle Thompson, Jordan Hall and Brendan Bomberry all tallied four points each for the Swarm.

Georgia tops the league in overall penalty kills stopping 41-of-62 (66.1 percent) while Buffalo sits in third defusing 55-of-86 (64.0 percent) man-up opportunities. Buffalo and Georgia rank first and third, respectfully, in goals for per game. The Bandits scored 222 goals this season averaging 13.88 per game while the Swarm total 174 goals (11.60 per game).

This weekend’s matchup sees the league leader in goals, Thompson (41), and the NLL leader in points and assists, Dhane Smith (126 and 87, respectively), go head-to-head. In Saturday’s loss to the Riptide, Smith set the NLL single-season record for assists. Smith needs 12 more points to break the league’s single-season point record (137) he set back in 2016. Thompson is six goals away from breaking his own season best goals record, 46, which he posted in 2018. Thompson is fourth in the NLL in points per game (6.00), trailing Smith (7.88), Colorado’s Ryan Lee (6.56), and New York’s Jeff Teat (6.46).

Georgia’s Shayne Jackson and Buffalo’s Byrne are currently tied for 11th in NLL goals, netting 32 this season. Jackson averages 2.28 goals per game compared to Byrne’s 2.00. Tonight’s faceoff game should be a battle as Bandits’ Max Adler and Swarm’s Connor Kirst rank 13th and 14th, respectfully, in league faceoff wins. However, earlier this season the Swarm dominated at the stripe winning 18-of-26 (69.2 percent).

Buffalo’s starting goaltender Matt Vinc leads NLL goalies in saves (687), wins (13), and save percentage (.811). Vinc made 37 saves against the Swarm on January 14 while Mike Poulin totaled 41. Poulin currently posts a .759 save percentage, an 11.58 goals against average, seven wins, and 504 saves. Craig Wende has hopped in net a few times for the Swarm this season, recording one win, 53 saves, a .803 save percentage and a 9.44 goals against average.

As the regular season winds down and the playoff chase heats up, Georgia hits the road for its last road game on April 23 when they visit the expansion Panther City Lacrosse Club in Fort Worth, Texas. Panther City (6-9) is fighting for the 8th and final seed of the NLL playoffs, trailing Philadelphia (8-8). After its trip to Texas, Georgia returns to Gas South Arena on April 30 for its regular season finale against East Division rival, the Philadelphia Wings. Both games between the Swarm and Wings this season have gone into overtime, with Philadelphia emerging with the golden goal in the extra frame each time.

Milestones:

Bryan Cole: Is 10 points away from the 100th of his career

Shyane Jackson: Needs 12 loose ball recoveries to reach 600 in his career

Jordan MacIntosh:

  • Needs 11 faceoff wins to pass Stephen Hoar for 6th place in league history with 1,651
  • Needs eight points to reach 400 in his career

Mike Poulin: Needs two minutes played to pass Dallas Eliuk for fifth in league history all-time with 9,716

Lyle Thompson:

  • Needs to play in two more games to reach the 100th of his career
  • Needs 5 loose ball recoveries to reach 600 in his career
  • Needs six more goals to break his own single-season goal record

Joel White: Needs four loose ball recoveries to reach 900 in his career

Last Time We Took the Field (April 1, 2022):

  • The Georgia Swarm’s four-game winning streak came to an end after the Toronto Rock topped the Swarm 13-9
  • The team’s backline stopped 2-of-7 (28.5 percent) Rock power-plays; the Swarm struggled on man-up situations only scoring on 1-of-6 (16.7 percent) chances
  • Toronto outshot Georgia 55-46; the Rock’s TD Ierlan dominated the faceoff game winning 18-of-26 (69.2 percent)
  • Brendan Bomberry led the team in assists and was tied for first in points after dishing out five
  • Jordan MacIntosh was tied for first on the team in points and topped the Swarm in goals after netting a hat trick and giving out two assists; he also led the team in loose balls with nine
  • Adam Wiedemann and TJ Comizio led the team in caused turnovers, forcing two each; Joel White, MacIntosh and Bryan Cole were the only other Georgia players to force one
  • Mike Poulin was one save shy from tying his season best record of 43; Poulin ended the game with 42 saves and a .764 save percentage

Swarm Spotlight

  • Georgia’s defense ranks first in overall penalty kills, stopping 41-of-62 (66.1 percent)
  • The Swarm rank third in goals per game, netting 174 throughout 15 games of play; the squad averages 11.60 goals per game
  • Lyle Thompson leads the NLL in goals with 41; Thompson ranks sixth in league points (84) but is fourth in the NLL in points per game (6.00)
  • Shyane Jackson ranks 18th in NLL points with 67; Jackson totals 32 goals and 35 assists, placing him second on the team in points, goals, and assists
  • In the last two games, Brendan Bomberry has totaled eight points (3G, 5A); Bomberry ranks third among the team in points and goals while sitting fifth in assists
  • Mike Poulin posts a .759 save percentage and an 11.58 goals against average after collecting seven wins and 504 saves
  • Ethan Walker continues to rank top-10 in NLL rookie points, totaling 30 (8G, 22A)
  • TJ Comizio ranks first among rookies and fourth overall in league shooting percentage, averaging 40.0 percent (4-of-10); Comizio ranks 18th among NLL rookies in points 13 (4G, 9A) and second in caused turnovers (18)
  • Among defenders, Bryan Cole ranks fifth in points (25), fifth in assists (14), and third in power-play goals (2)

Where To Watch

  • Peachtree TV – The Swarm vs. Bandits game will be broadcasted live on Peachtree TV in the Atlanta Metro Area immediately following the Atlanta United game
  • ESPN+ – Use your ESPN+ account (or create a new one) to watch the game live Saturday, April 16, 2022, at 7:00 PM ET and all season long across the United States
  • Watch live in person at six Gwinnett County Taco Mac locations: Buford, Cumming, Duluth, Johns Creek, Lawrenceville & Suwanee

Playoff Picture:

East Division:

  1. X – Buffalo Bandits (13-3)
  2. X – Toronto Rock (11-5)
  3. Halifax Thunderbirds (9-6)
  4. Georgia Swarm (8-7)

X – Clinched Playoff Berth

If the playoffs were to occur today:

#4 Georgia at #1 Buffalo (single game series)

#3 Halifax at #2 Toronto (single game series)

West Division

  1. X – Colorado Mammoth (10-6)
  2. X – San Diego Seals (9-6)
  3. Calgary Roughnecks (8-7)
  4. Philadelphia Wings (8-8)

X- Clinched Playoff Berth

If the playoffs were to occur today:

#4 Philadelphia at #1 Colorado (single game series)

#3 Calgary at #2 San Diego (single game series)

Georgia Swarm Pro Lacrosse Team