DULUTH, Ga. (January 11, 2022) – The Georgia Swarm (1-2) are coming off a 12-11 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Wings (3-1) and look to bounce back this Friday, January 14, when they take a road trip to face the division-leading undefeated Buffalo Bandits (3-0).
The Bandits are coming off their third-straight win of the season and post an undefeated record at home (2-0) after most recently doubling the Toronto Rock 12-6 in KeyBank Center. Meanwhile, the Swarm are 1-1 on the road and last fell to the Wings 12-11 in overtime after Brendan Bomberry scored the tying goal with .6 seconds left in regulation only to see the Wings put the game away just seconds into the extra frame.
Georgia trails Buffalo 12-24 in the all-time series and dropped the last meeting 16-10 in Duluth, Ga. on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. However, the last time the Swarm took a trip to Buffalo they came out victorious, pulling off a 14-9 win on March 9, 2019.
The last time the Swarm took the field, Lyle Thompson recorded his second-straight five-goal performance of the year bumping him to 11 total goals on the season. Thompson now ranks third in NLL goals and fifth in points (22). The righty forward is one goal away from eclipsing his 200th career regular season goal. Thompson will become the second Georgia player all-time to reach the 200-goal mark. The only other player to do so is teammate and 2020 NLL MVP Shayne Jackson.
Entering this weekend’s contest, Jordan Hall ranks second on the team in points (14) and assists (10) while Jackson sits second in goals (7) and third in points (13). Buffalo’s offense is led by Josh Byrne and Connor Fields who both have notched eight goals this season. Byrne also ranks second on the squad in points (17), two behind leader Dhane Smith. Smith is tied for fifth in NLL assists after dishing out 14 in three games.
Kason Tarbell registered four caused turnovers against the Wings last week placing him first on the Swarm leader boards and tied for 11th across the league. Chad Tutton has totaled five forced turnovers this season and 94 throughout his career. Tutton is six away from becoming the second Swarm player since 2011 to reach 100 caused turnovers. Captain Jordan MacIntosh is the only other Georgia player to reach that milestone since 2011.
Also leading the Georgia defense along with Tarbell and Tutton is starting goaltender Mike Poulin. The netminder posts a .750 save percentage and 108 saves this season. Poulin is coming off a stellar game where he only allowed two goals passed in the first half against Philadelphia. He recorded 39 saves against the Wings and totaled 21 before halftime recording a .764 save percentage. The Bandits’ defense is guided by Matt Vinc, who is 3-0 between the pipes this season. Vinc holds a .86 save percentage, 142 total saves and a 7.67 goals-against-average stat line through week six of play.
Since Dec. 4, Georgia’s defense has grown stronger. The backline has shutout their opponents in the second quarter, totaled 28 caused turnovers, and has only given up one power play goal in the last two games.
After facing the Bandits, the Swarm have one more away game before returning to Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort field at Gas South Arena on Jan. 29 when they host East Division rival, the Philadelphia Wings. Next up for the squad is their fourth-straight away game, they face the Rochester Knighthawks on Jan. 21 at 6:30 PM on ESPNU.
- The Bandits topped the Swarm 16-10 in Gas South Arena; Georgia trailed 11-3 at halftime but outscored Buffalo 7-5 in the second half
- The statline was in Georgia’s favor as they outshot Buffalo 57-53, picked up 14 more loose balls and won 18-of-30 faceoffs
- Shayne Jackson led the squad in points after scoring three goals and giving out three assists
- Jordan Hall assisted half of the goals the team scored that day while picking up six loose balls and causing two turnovers
- Mike Poulin totaled 37 saves and stopped a high of 14 Buffalo shots in the first frame
- Georgia converted 3-of-5 power play opportunities while Buffalo scored on 75.0% of power plays
- Chris Cloutier, Chase Fraser and Dhane Smith were offensive threats as they all had six-point affairs in the win
- Josh Byrne was another hazard to the Swarm defense after scoring three goals and assisting two others
- Lyle Thompson is one goal away from his 200th career regular season goal
- Chad Tutton needs to cause six more turnovers to achieve his 100th career forced turnover
- Jordan MacIntosh is 28 faceoff wins away from ranking sixth all-time in NLL faceoff wins
- Poulin is five wins away from his 100th career win making him the fourth NLL goalie to do so all-time
- Jackson achieved his 600th career point in the first game of the season against the Colorado Mammoth
Where To Watch:
- Peachtree TV in the Atlanta Metro Area – watch the game live on Friday, January 14, 2022
- ESPN+ – Use your ESPN+ account (or create a new one) to watch the game live Friday, January 14, 2022 and all season long