The Georgia Swarm’s (5-4) resilience was on display, as they came back from an 11-6 deficit to force overtime against the Calgary Roughnecks (4-4). Ultimately, the Swarm lost 1:40 min. into overtime, as Dane Dobbie’s sixth goal of the game became the game-winner at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Field at Infinite Energy Arena, and the Roughnecks left Sting City with an 18-17 overtime win.
Zed Williams (5G, 1A), Randy Staats (4G, 4A), and Shayne Jackson (2G, 7A) led the Swarm’s second-half surge, which saw the game tied up six different times in the fourth quarter.
“We obviously want to score the last goal,” Swarm head coach Ed Comeau said. “We were hoping we could put them in that spot where they would have to trail, because they didn’t trail the whole game. We would score the big goal, and they would come down. It was like a heavyweight slugfest, punch for punch. Really proud of our guys. Down by five, and we really picked it up and played some great lacrosse down the stretch.
“It just shows the intensity that we need for the full 60 minutes. That’s really what we take from this: proud of the effort, not happy with the result, but it just shows what we need to do minute one to minute 60.”
Calgary roared to an early three-goal lead to start the game. Bryan Cole, playing in his first game since being activated from the Injured Reserve list, netted the Swarm’s opening tally, but the Roughnecks continued to pour on the pressure. The netminders swapped nets with the visiting team up 6-2.
The Swarm played it closer in the second quarter. Williams netted his first goal of the night, a shot which ricocheted off the crossbar. A shorthanded marker from Miles Thompson capped a three-goal run, putting the Swarm within one goal. Dobbie and Curtis Dickson continued their furious efforts, creating a bit more separation. Staats and Zach Currier were the final goals of the half, with the Roughnecks still up, 9-6.
Tyler Burton struck quickly for the Roughnecks in the second half, winning the face-off and finding the back of the net. Rhys Duch’s hat trick chased Mike Poulin from the net, and Kevin Orleman took over the netminding duties, finding himself in a similar situation as the last time the Swarm played the Roughnecks.
The young goaltender performed admirably for the 12:14 min. of the third quarter he played in, making 12 saves and not allowing a single ball to pass him.
“Kevin did exactly what a goalie coming off the bench should do. He went in, he made saves, he gave us a chance to get back into the game,” Comeau said.
His efforts allowed the Swarm offense to record three goals of their own. Lyle Thompson scored his first goal of the night, and Williams posted his second and third goal. The two teams entered the fourth quarter with an 11-9 score in the visiting team’s favor.
A natural hat trick, Zed’s fourth goal of the night was his third in a row, an absolute rocket from outside. Jackson’s first of the night tied things up at 11 goals apiece, before Dickson and Dobbie reintroduced separation between the scores.
It was short-lived, thanks to Miles’ hat trick and Zed’s fifth goal of the game, a new personal best for the third-year forward. Dickson again gave the lead to the Roughnecks, kicking off a back-and-forth heavyweight battle. In the fourth quarter, 14 goals were scored, the final game-tying goal courtesy of Lyle when the Swarm had an extra attacker in the final 30 seconds.
To overtime the two teams went, both with 17 goals. The Swarm won the face-off, but they were unable to stop Dobbie for his sock trick goal, winning the shootout in Sting City for his club, an 18-17 overtime victory for the Roughnecks.
“It’s mixed feelings,” Orleman said about the loss. “Obviously, we want to get the win, but it felt good seeing the boys rally like that and come close at least.”
Poulin played for 32:46 min., making 19 saves on 30 shots; Orleman’s 17 saves on 24 shots on goal came in 28:54 min. of action. Poulin finished with a 20.14 GAA and a .633 SV%, and Orleman a 14.53 GAA and a .708 SV%.
Dickson’s 10 points (5G, 5A) led his team in points, followed by Duch’s eight points (4G, 4A). Dobbie handed out an assist to go with his sock trick. The trio accounted for 15 of the Roughnecks 18 goals. Christian Del Bianco finished his night between the pipes with a 16.54 GAA and .734 SV%.
The Swarm now go on the road, traveling across the continent to take on the Vancouver Warriors (4-7) at Rogers Arena on Saturday, Feb. 29. Face-off is set for 10:00 p.m. ET.
“They’ve got lots of pretty gifted goal-scorers,” Comeau said about the Warriors. “We’re going to have to play some really good defense and give ourselves a chance to win on the road.”
Fans can catch the game on B/R Live.
The Swarm’s next home game will be against the Philadelphia Wings on Sunday, March 8 at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino at Infinite Energy Arena. Face-off is set for 4:00 p.m. ET. The Swarm are hosting Heroes Night, recognizing those who enrich our lives and keep us safe – active military and veterans from all branches of service, EMS, fire and police first responders, and others who work selflessly to ensure our freedom and peace of mind. Tickets are available at GeorgiaSwarm.com/Hero or by calling 844-4-GASWARM.