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Game Previews

Swarm host New England during Super Bowl week

Swarm take on the Black Wolves on Friday and Knighthawks on Saturday

The Georgia Swarm’s (5-2) packed schedule continues as they head into another doubleheader weekend. On Friday, Feb. 1, the Swarm will face the New England Black Wolves (3-2) on Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Field at Infinite Energy Arena. Faceoff is set for 7:35 p.m. ET. The Swarm then travel north to take on the Rochester Knighthawks (2-3) on Saturday, Feb. 2 at Blue Cross Arena. Faceoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.

The Swarm are hosting School Spirit Night presented by DoMyOwn on Friday night. Early arriving fans will receive a Lyle Thompson drawstring backpack. Fans can purchase tickets at GeorgiaSwarm.com/SchoolSpiritNight or by calling 844-4-GASWARM.

The Swarm also partnered with Atlanta Tech Park to celebrate STEM day and will be hosting the first-ever Atlanta Tech Expo from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the main concourse of Infinite Energy Arena.

Technology companies based in the metro Atlanta area will display their products, services and innovations before the Swarm take the floor. Fans can RSVP for the event at GeorgiaSwarm.com/Tech

After difficult doubleheader losses two weekends ago, the Swarm responded with a 13-10 win against the defending world champion Saskatchewan Rush last Sunday. A nine-point night (2G, 7A) from Randy Staats and 46 saves from Mike Poulin helped lead the Swarm back into the win column and second place in the East Division.

“It was a big one for us,” Swarm head coach Ed Comeau said. “We needed to answer back after losing two on the road. Coming home, we needed to play well. We talked about getting off to a good start, and obviously, we did that. In this league, teams expend a lot of energy getting out from being behind, and I think we did a good job of being able to maintain that lead. Although they (the Rush) closed the gap on us, we were still able to seal the deal.”

The Swarm are led by Staats and his 41 points (13G, 28A). Lyle Thompson is close behind in points with 38 and leads the team and NLL in goals with 20. Poulin improved his season record to 5-2, has an 11.14 GAA and a .780 SV% and currently leads the NLL with 277 saves.

Now trending in the right direction, the Swarm ready themselves for their fourth and fifth game in the last 16 days, concentrating first on Friday’s contest against the New England Black Wolves.

Meeting for the third and final time this regular season, the Black Wolves evened the season series against the Swarm with a 13-12 home win on Jan. 19. Now for either team to hold the postseason tiebreaker over the other, they will have to emerge victorious Friday night.

“There’s a lot of implications to this game,” Comeau said. “We obviously want to keep our home streak at home intact. We’re going to expect them to come out firing, and we need to have a very similar effort to like what we had this weekend in order to get a win.”

Photo Credit: Khoi Ton

The Black Wolves are coming off their worst loss of the season, having fallen to the Buffalo Bandits (5-2) by a 15-5 score on Sunday night, the franchise’s lowest goals for total since moving to New England.

They are led by Callum Crawford with 29 points (13G, 16A), followed by Reilly O’Connor with 22 points (11G, 11A). The team has split time in front of the net between goaltenders Alex Buque and Doug Jamieson.

Buque has spent 151:32 min. in net and has a 2-0 record, an 11.48 GAA and a .768 SV%. He was minding the net on Jan. 19 when New England bested Georgia. Jamieson has guarded the twine for 148:27 min. He has a 1-2 record to go with his 13.74 GAA and .759 SV%.

The Swarm will be wearing their navy uniforms for the first time this season on Friday, and will wear them for the next two Friday games at home.

After Friday’s contest, the Swarm head to Blue Cross Arena for their first time facing the Rochester Knighthawks since the two last met in the East Division Finals last May.

The Knighthawks have a doubleheader of their own this weekend, taking on the Philadelphia Wings (0-6) in Wells Fargo Center on Friday before returning home to welcome the Swarm on Saturday.

Rochester exacted revenge against Buffalo last Saturday with an 18-13 win, the team’s first win since its Home Opener on Dec. 29. The Knighthawks are led offensively by Cody Jamieson with 24 points (8G, 16A) and Joe Resetarits with 22 points (8G, 14A).

Following the departure of long-time goalie Matt Vinc to Buffalo over the offseason, the Knighthawks have depended upon goaltender Angus Goodleaf. Over 299:23 min., Goodleaf has an 11.82 GAA and a .774 SV%.

Per usual with a doubleheader, the Swarm have their players focused on the first game of the back-to-back. With tiebreaker implications weighing on Friday’s game, the Swarm know how important it is to start the weekend on the right foot.

“We try to focus the guys on really being focused on that first game of a doubleheader,” Comeau said. “Usually, that second game the adrenaline kind of kicks in, and guys are able to rise to the challenge. We’re not going to do anything extra this week, that’s for sure, really focus on some good rest and recovery and be ready to go for Friday night.”

Photo Credit: Kyle Hess

For fans not in attendance, both games will be broadcast on the B/R Live app available through iTunes, Google Play, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire. Fans can also listen to Friday’s game on Atlanta Sports X 1230 AM/106.3 FM.

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