It was not the weekend it wanted as the Georgia Swarm (3-5) lost the second game in its doubleheader, 17-10, against the Rochester Knighthawks (3-6).
Both teams had two games apiece this weekend, and both dropped their first games on Saturday before traveling to Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Field at Infinite Energy Arena. The Swarm kept things close for most of the game but was unable to dig itself out of the hole it dug itself early.
“It’s just been tough to get into a rhythm,” Swarm head coach Ed Comeau said. “We play another game next week, we bounce back, but then follow that with an off-week and another back-to-back. We don’t make the schedule; we’ve just got to play the games … We still need to find a way to rise above.”
Georgia was not able to find the back of the net once in the first quarter. The back-and-forth play featured some great defense from both sides, but Rochester’s Eric Fannell and Josh Currier were able to beat Swarm goaltender Mike Poulin to put Rochester up 2-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Randy Staats finally got Georgia on the board nearly two minutes into the second quarter. Kyle Jackson netted one more for the Knighthawks before Georgia scored three straight goals to take the lead. Unfortunately for the Swarm, Rochester scored four more to end the half up 7-4.
Rochester’s seven-goal run continued into the third quarter before Lyle Thompson capped it with a dodging shot. For the second game in a row, Warren Hill was switched in for Poulin, this time finishing the game. Kiel Matisz scored the last goal of the quarter, but Rochester was still up 10-6.
The Knighthawks saved its best for last in its seven-goal fourth quarter. It started the scoring off with two quick goals before Zed Williams scored an unassisted transition goal. It was not enough to stem the tide as Rochester kept up the pressure. When the final buzzer sounded, Rochester had snapped its six-game losing streak with a 17-10 win.
Poulin finished the night playing 33:46 min. and making 26 saves on 36 SOG, a 17.77 GAA and a .722 SV%. Hill earned his second loss of the season. He spent 26:14 min. between the pipes and made 17 saves on 24 SOG, a 16.01 GAA and a .708 SV%.
“There’s obviously a few we’d like to have back, but for the most part, I think Poulin’s played well,” Comeau said. “We’ve let him down defensively on a number of occasions. Sometimes when you have that situation, you give the other guy the chance and give the young guy some minutes to play … We weren’t generating enough at the front door to kill the deficit that we had at the back door.”
Jerome Thompson led the men in blue and yellow in scoring with five points (2G, 3A), followed by Lyle and his four points (2G, 2A).
“I mean, there’s only one way,” Lyle said about how to shrug off this weekend’s two losses. “You look forward, you start to prepare for Toronto, and have a short memory. Tough weekend. I guess we look back on film, see what we did good, see what we did bad, and learn from it.”
“We’re going to have our work cut out for us,” Comeau said. “I think every guy in the locker room is going to look in the mirror. You got to bring your best next week.”
Georgia’s next home game will be against the Toronto Rock on Saturday, Feb. 17. The Swarm will be hosting its inaugural Country Night presented by JT Stratford and will feature a 10-minute halftime and 30-minute postgame performance by country music superstar Scotty McCreery. Early arriving fans will receive cowbells courtesy of JT Stratford. Tickets are available at GeorgiaSwarm.com/CountryNight or by calling 844-4-GASWARM.