DULUTH, Ga. (April 22, 2022) – The Georgia Swarm (8-8) take their final road trip of the regular season this Saturday when they face the expansion Panther City Lacrosse Club (7-9) in Fort Worth, Texas. Georgia is looking to snap a two-game losing streak, while Panther City Lacrosse club is riding high after an upset victory over the playoff-bound San Diego Seals (9-7).
The Swarm are still on the inside looking out of the playoff picture, holding onto the the fourth seed in the East Division for the fourth straight week. Panther City is still very much alive for the postseason but most likely will have to win their final two games (vs. Georgia; vs. Saskatchewan) to leapfrog a Wild Card eighth and final seed from the East Division. The Albany FireWolves (8-9) currently holds that Wild Card spot in the West Division. This weekend, the Swarm, FireWolves and Philadelphia Wings (8-9) cannot clinch or be eliminated from playoff consideration, setting up a wild finish to the NLL’s final regular season weekend as all season finale’s are played on Saturday, April 30.
After a six-point performance against the Buffalo Bandits (April 16 – 1G, 5A), Lyle Thompson is now tied for second in the NLL in goals with 42 (behind Toronto’s Tom Schreiber with 45) and ranks seventh in league points, recording 90. For Panther City, Patrick Dodds ranks tied for eighth in assists (53), and 15th in points (76), while Will Malcom ranks 19th in points (72). Shayne Jackson sits 20th in league points, collecting 69 (33G, 36A).
Georgia and Panther City rank 11th and 13th, respectfully, in goals against this season as the Swarm has relinquished 192 goals (12.00 per game) to Panther City’s 198 past (12.38 per game).
The Swarm struggle on power-play opportunities, ranking 11th in the league, scoring on 25-of-64 (39.1 percent) chances. However, the Georgia defense ranks third in the league, killing 42-of-66 (63.6 percent) penalties. Panther City ranks fourth overall in power-plays, landing 35-of-75 shots (46.7 percent), while the backline ranks sixth in penalty kills, stopping 40-of-69 (58.0 percent) opportunities.
Rookie players have stepped up for Panther City, as four players rank top-20 in NLL rookie points in Dodds (76), Nathan Grenon (31), Dean Fairall (28), and Taite Cattoni (16). Representing the Swarm in NLL rookie points is Ethan Walker in 11th place (30) and TJ Comizio in 18th (14).
Both teams have two goalies sharing time on the field as Mike Poulin leads the Swarm’s backline with 521 saves, seven wins, a .754 and an 11.95 goals-against average. Backup netminder Craig Wende saw playing time again last week and now posts a .798 save percentage, a 10.67 goals-against average, 83 saves and one win. For PCLC, Nick Damude starts in net with 436 saves, six wins, a .761 save percentage, and a 11.95 goals-against average. Former Swarm member Kevin Orleman sees occasional time in net for Panther City, racking up one win and 157 saves.
The Swarm vs. Panther City matchup is the final regular season road contest for Georgia. The Swarm is 4-4 on the road, matching their 4-4 home record. Panther City is 3-4 at home and 4-5 away from Dickies Arena.
Georgia closes out the regular season at home on April 30 when they host the East Division rival Philadelphia Wings (8-9). This marks the third meeting between the two teams this season, with the Wings prevailing in both contests in overtime.
Bryan Cole: Is 10 points away from the 100th of his career.
Shayne Jackson: Needs 11 loose ball recoveries to reach 600 in his career.
- Needs 6 faceoff wins to pass Stephen Hoar for 6th place in league history with 1,651.
- Needs 5 points to reach 400 in his career.
- Needs to play in one more game to reach the 100th of his NLL career.
- Needs five more goals to break his own single-season goal record of 46 (2018).
Last Time We Took the Field (April 1, 2022):
- The Georgia Swarm were doubled by the Buffalo Bandits, falling 18-9; the Bandits outshot the Swarm by 28 (65-37).
- Georgia was beaten in ever statistical category besides loose balls (76-68) and faceoffs (18-13).
- The Bandits went 3-for-4 (75.0 percent) in man-up opportunities, while the Swarm were unsuccessful on all three power play chances.
- Lyle Thompson led the team in points, recording six; Thompson dished out five assists, scored one goal, and picked up 11 loose balls in the loss
- Former Swarm forward Miles Thompson, older brother of Lyle Thompson, suited up with the Swarm for the first time this season and led the team in goals, scoring two
- Mike Poulin and Craig Wende split time in net combining for 47 saves; Poulin played the first 24 minutes of the game and became the fifth goaltender all-time in minutes played
- The Bandits were led by the league’s leader in points, Dhane Smith, as he registered nine (2G, 7A)
- The Swarm had a one goal lead five times in the first 17-minutes of the game but lost it with nearly 10 minutes left in the second quarter; Buffalo went on a six-goal run in the second frame
- Georgia’s offense ranks fourth overall in goals per game, averaging 11.44; the squad totals 183 goals this season
- The Swarm’s backline ranks third in NLL penalty kills, stopping 42-of-66 (63.6 percent) of opponents’ power-play opportunities
- Lyle Thompson is tied for second in NLL goals, scoring 42; across the league Thompson ranks seventh in points (90), first in short-handed points (4), and third in shots (172)
- Shayne Jackson ranks 18th in the NLL in points with 69; Jackson ranks second on the Swarm in goals (33), assists (36), and points (69)
- TJ Comizio leads NLL rookies and ranks second overall in shooting percentage, averaging 45.5 percent; Comizio ranks 18th among rookies in points (14) and second in caused turnovers (18)
- Mike Poulin has spent the most time in net for the Swarm, clocking in 853:25 minutes; Poulin has collected 521 saves, seven wins, a .754 save percentage, and an 11.95 goals-against average
- Craig Wende spent another two and a half quarters in net last week and now totals 83 saves, one win, a .798 save percentage and a 10.67 goals-against average
- Ethan Walker ranks 11th among NLL rookies in points, registering 30 this season; Walker has collected eight goals and 22 assists on the year
- Among NLL defenders, Bryan Cole ranks fifth in points (25), fifth in assists (14), and third in power-play goals (2)
Eyes on Panther City
- Panther City ranks ninth in goals per game this season, averaging 10.75; the squad ranks 13th in goals against per game allowing 12.38 per game
- Panther City ranks fourth overall in league power plays, landing 35-of-75 (46.7 percent) of opportunities; the defense ranks sixth in power-play killing record, stopping 40-of-69 (58.0 percent) chances
- Rookie Patrick Dodds ranks 15th overall in NLL points (76) and sits second overall in rookie points; among rookies Dodds is second in assists (53) and fourth in rookie goals (23)
- Will Malcom ranks 19th in NLL points with 72; Phil Caputo ranks second overall in NLL short-handed points, notching three
- Starting netminder Nick Damude totals 436 goals this season along with six wins, a .761 save percentage and an 11.95 goals-against average
- Among rookies in points, Nathan Grenon ranks 10th (31 – 14G, 17A), Dean Fairall ranks 12th (28 – 14G, 14A), and Taite Cattoni ranks 17th (16 – 5G, 11A)
- Jeremy Thompson, Lyle and Miles Thompson’s older brother, ranks 15th among NLL defenders in points with 16
- Liam Byrnes ranks fifth among NLL defenders in shooting percentage after landing 4-of-11 (36.4 percent) shots between the pipes
Where To Watch