(January 8, 2022, Philadelphia, Penn.) – The Georgia Swarm (1-2) and Philadelphia Wings (3-1) turned a defensive battle into a back-and-forth offensive slugfest that ended in overtime with the Wings prevailing, 12-11. The game was tied on seven different occasions and was forced into overtime by Brendan Bomberry with less than a second left in regulation.
For the second game in a row, Lyle Thompson scored five goals. The forward found the net once in the first half, added another in the third, then scored three highlight-reel goals in the final period to keep the Swarm in the game. Thompson finished the day with 199 total career goals.
There was a pattern throughout today’s game: whatever move the Wings would make, the Swarm would repeat it. Philadelphia scored two goals in the first quarter and blanked Georgia, while the Swarm shutout the Wings 2-0 in the second. In the second half, the teams traded goals and followed the same scoring patterns throughout the entire game until Wings’ Blaze Riorden sunk the golden goal in overtime.
In the last three meetings between the Swarm and Wings the final score has read 12-11 (Jan. 31, 2020: GA 12, PHI 11; March 8, 2020: PHI 12, GA 11; Jan. 8, 2022: PHI 12, GA 11).
The first faceoff whistle went off at 12PM and Trevor Baptiste, the leagues leader in faceoff wins, won the first battle of the game. From the start, goaltender Mike Poulin made a statement after saving the Wings’ first shot of the game. Poulin ended the contest with 39 saves and recorded 21 before the second half.
It was a goaltender’s battle in the beginning as Poulin and Philly’s goalie Eric Penney held the game scoreless for nearly six minutes. Poulin gave up the first goal of the day after Ben McIntosh ended the draught. Penney and the Wings’ backline shutout the Swarm in the first quarter and took a 2-0 lead heading into the second.
The roles reversed in the second frame as the Swarm shutout Philadelphia 2-0. Thompson went five-hole on Penney to cut the deficit in half. A minute later, assistant captain Shayne Jackson knotted the match at two apiece. Jackson’s goal would be the last of the half as Penney and Poulin continued to dominate in the crease. The Swarm’s defense totaled 15 caused turnovers today and was led by Kason Tarbell’s four.
Both offenses started to click second half as each team scored four goals in the third frame. McIntosh opened the second half with a goal to give the Wings a one-point lead. That lead was erased after Bryan Cole picked up a loose ball and threw it down field to Chadd Tutton who scored his first goal of the season. Philadelphia gave Georgia a scare after going on a three-goal run but Thompson killed their momentum after grabbing the rebound off Adam Wiedemann’s shot and tallied his second goal of the game. Newcomer Connor Kirst and captain Jordan MacIntosh followed Thompson with goals of their own to tie the game for the third time today.
The fourth frame saw the most goals scored throughout the game as both teams clinched five goals each. Philadelphia would make a move and the Swarm would then mimic it. Thompson’s three goals and Jordan Hall’s one tied the game at 10 apiece with four minutes remaining until McIntosh registered his fourth goal for the Wings to give them an 11-10 lead with two minutes left on the clock.
With seconds to spare, Ethan Walker passed the ball off to Hall who saw Bomberry open on the left side. With .6 seconds left Bomberry found the back of the net and sent the game into overtime.
The Swarm lost the overtime faceoff which allowed Philadelphia to gain possession, call a timeout, then set up a play that resulted in Riorden’s game-clincher just seconds into the extra period.
Before the beginning of the today’s game, the Swarm and Wings warmed up in Every Child Matters t-shirts to raise awareness towards residential school atrocities and honor the victims. The t-shirts are for sale on NLLShop.com and the proceeds benefit the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund in Canada and The National Native American Board School Healing Coalition in the United States.
Georgia continues it four-game road stretch next Friday, Jan. 14 when they visit the Buffalo Bandits at Key Bank Center. Following the Bandits, the Swarm have one more road contest (Rochester Knighthawks, Jan. 21) before returning to Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort Field at Gas South Arena on Jan. 29 where they host the Wings.