FULL BOXSCORE – http://nll_stats.wttstats.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=3199448
The Georgia Swarm (2-3) claimed a 15-12 win against the Calgary Roughnecks (1-4) on Saturday night. Georgia’s comeback victory in front of 11,843 fans marks the first time the Swarm has won in Scotiabank Saddledome since 2012.
Down 9-6 early in the third, Georgia sparked a six-goal run to retake the lead and emerge the victor. Randy Staats and assistant captain Shayne Jackson led the team with four goals apiece as goaltender Mike Poulin was exceptional between the pipes in the second half.
“This is always a tough place to play,” Swarm head coach Ed Comeau said. “Calgary is really good at going on runs and really playing to the crowd, and they did that in the second to take that lead on us. I thought we showed good composure. Offensively, we had really good opportunities that we cashed in. We moved the ball. Defensively, we played well again.”
For the first time all season, Georgia scored the first goal of the night, courtesy of Staats. But the Swarm would not hold the lead long as Dane Dobbie scored a power play goal for the Roughnecks to tie it up. A back-and-forth battle ensued, and when the buzzer signaled the end of the quarter, Georgia was up 4-3.
Holden Cattoni started the second quarter off with a goal as he came streaking off the bench, tying things up quickly. Staats would net another, but Curtis Dickson managed to tie it up again before Wes Berg gave Calgary its first lead of the night at 6-5. Cattoni widened the lead by two goals before Miles Thompson netted a goal of his own coming off of the bench. Berg got the hat trick, however, and halftime began with Calgary up 8-6.
“Calgary was playing really well, a lot of energy,” Comeau said. “We had to control transition, which we really did in the second half. They had a man-short transition [in the third quarter], but that was their only transition goal, and they had had three in the first half. We really talked about doing a better job in transition, which we did, and just continuing to move the ball on offense and keep putting the hard work in. We were hoping it would pay off, and it did.”
The Roughnecks kept momentum on its side coming back from the locker room as Tyson Bell scored a shorthand goal, giving the home team a three-goal lead with over 26 minutes left in regulation. A minute later, Jackson kicked off a six-goal run for the Swarm, five of them within a 2:21 min. span. Berg and Dobbie notched two more goals for Calgary, but Georgia was in the lead 12-11 at the end of the third quarter.
“We were playing with speed,” Jackson said. “I might have got lucky with that one [his first goal of the quarter]. I saw four seconds left on the clock, so I was just trying to get on net and maybe that sparked the boys. But I think in that two-in-a-half-minute span, we played with a lot of speed, and when we play with speed, that kind of stuff happens. That’s something we can look back on and build off of.”
Poulin turned in his best quarter of the night in the fourth, making fantastic saves until Kiel Matisz scored the first goal of the quarter over five minutes in. Jackson followed up five minutes later with his fourth of the night before Riley Loewen netted the ball with under a minute left. Not content with a two-goal cushion, Georgia scored an empty netter from Alex Crepinsek, and that became the last goal of the night, Georgia earning its second win of the season by way of a 15-12 win on the road.
For the Roughnecks, Berg (4G, 2A) and Dobbie (2G, 4A) led the team in points, followed by Cattoni and Loewen with two goals and two assists each. Frank Scigliano started the night at goal, allowing 11 GA in 36:15 min before being chased out of the nets and finishing the night with an 18.21 GAA and a .686 SV%. Christian Del Bianco took over for 23:44 min. to eventually earn the loss and made 14 saves on 17 SOG, an .824 SV%.
Jackson led the team’s offense with a season-high 10 points (4G, 6A), tying his career-high. Team captain Jordan MacIntosh (1G, 4A), Matisz (1G, 4A), Staats (4G, 1A) and Johnny Powless (1G, 4A) all finished with five points. Poulin made 43 saves on 55 SOG, posting a .781 SV%. In the fourth quarter, he made 15 saves while allowing only one goal against.
“Our power play was not good again tonight, which is something we’ll continue to work on,” Comeau said. “We’ve got too many good players back there to not eventually be finding the back of the net. That’s something we’re going to take away from this and try and figure out what we need to do to get some balls behind a goalie.”
The Swarm takes a bye week next week before heading further west to challenge the Vancouver Stealth (1-4) on Saturday, Jan. 27. Faceoff is set for 10:00 p.m. ET. Fans can catch the game LIVE via NLLTV.com. Georgia’s next home game will be against the Rochester Knighthawks on Sunday, Feb. 11. Tickets are available at GeorgiaSwarm.com/Tickets or by calling 844-4-GASWARM.
Play of the Game:
He led the team in scoring tonight and gets Play of the Game honors. Jackson’s goal that sparked Georgia’s six-goal run was phenomenal. Some aggressive Roughnecks’ D had him falling down, and it seemed like the ball would be lost and the Swarm’s scoring chance would disappear. But Jackson showed some incredible control and launched the ball when he was a foot from hitting the ground, netting it with precision and sparking Georgia’s comeback victory.