It was a dominant performance from the first whistle, as the Georgia Swarm (6-4) jumped to a 5-0 lead, never looking back as they left Rogers Arena with a 14-7 win against the Vancouver Warriors (4-8).
Each of the Swarm’s seven forwards found the back of the net, and goaltender Mike Poulin and the Swarm defense frustrated the Warriors offense all night long.
“In the last number of games, even games we’ve won, we’ve played well for periods of time, but our focus this week was really trying to play more of a complete game, and I thought we did that tonight,” Swarm head coach Ed Comeau said.
Zed Williams opened the scoring with a pick and roll and slick dodge up past his defender, and four different Swarm players followed suit. It was a good mix of even strength, power play, and transition for the Swarm, and the first quarter ended with them up 6-1.
The pace slowed slightly in the second quarter, as Jordan McBride and Riley Loewen netted goals for the home team. But the Swarm kept it even, with Randy Staats’s second goal of the night, an extra attacker goal for Miles Thompson, and Lyle Thompson’s hat trick kept the Swarm with a comfortable lead. Halftime saw the Swarm up 9-3.
McBride’s hat trick was the lone tally of the third quarter for the Warriors. Meanwhile, Jordan Hall, Zach Miller, and Shayne Jackson furthered the Swarm’s lead. The two teams swapped sides one last time, with the Swarm ahead 12-4.
Jackson’s hat trick widened the Swarm’s lead to the largest it would be all night, a nine-goal differential. But a back-to-back pair from Loewen and a fourth goal from McBride brought things within six. Miles’ second goal, a power play marker, became the final goal of the game, and the Swarm successfully killed the clock. Their 14-7 win became their first win of the season against a West Division opponent and their fourth win of the last five games.
Staats’ nine points (2G, 7A) led the Swarm, his second nine-point game of the season. Lyle (3G, 3A) and Hall (2G, 4A) both had six points.
Loewen (3G, 1A) and McCready (4G, 1A) were the only goal-scorers for the Warriors, highlighting the excellent work Poulin and the Swarm defense did controlling the game. Mitch Jones and Keegan Bal finished the night with four assists each. Eric Penney earned the loss, allowing 13 goals against.
The Warriors were perfect on their lone power play chance, but allowed six Swarm power play goals against.
West coast business handled, the Swarm continue their road trip with an East Division doubleheader. They visit Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum for the third and final contest against the New York Riptide (1-11) on Saturday, March 7. Face-off is set for 7:30 p.m. ET, and fans can catch the game live on B/R Live.
“For our guys, we talked a lot this week about playing complete games,” Comeau concluded. “That’s really the message. We want to start well, play well in the middle, and finish well. We did a great job tonight of that, and certainly want to continue to bring that type of intensity and effort…
“That’s the message going against New York and certainly playing them in New York. We lost to them the last time, had a big lapse in the fourth quarter, so it’s going to be big for us to play a complete game.”
They then return to Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Field at Infinite Energy Arena to welcome the Philadelphia Wings (7-5) for the regular season finale. 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.