Finally rested and ready following their bye week, the Georgia Swarm (7-4) return to Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Field at Infinite Energy Arena on Saturday, March 2 seeking to end their second two-game skid of the season. Standing in the way are the Rochester Knighthawks (2-7); faceoff is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.
The Swarm are hosting Heroes Night, honoring local military veterans and first responders. Early arriving fans can receive a Swarm Koozie courtesy of Axiom Corporation. Call 844-4-GASWARM or visit GeorgiaSwarm.com/HeroesNight for tickets.
Fans interested in helping support local heroes and their families can participate in the Swarm’s Seats for Heroes program. The Swarm have four different packages available which provide heroes and their families the opportunity to attend Heroes Night for free. Visit GeorgiaSwarm.com/SeatsForHeroes.
After running the gauntlet of 10 games in eight weeks, the Swarm spent the bye week resting and reflecting on what led to the team’s two recent losses to Colorado and Buffalo.
“The break was really welcome,” Swarm head coach Ed Comeau said. “The timing was good for us. Like with a lot of breaks in the schedule, it gives you the opportunity to reflect a little bit about where we’re at as a team and where we want to get to and also get some guys healthy. Back-to-backs take a toll on the body and on the mind, as well. It’s given us a chance to take a breath and regroup, and that’s really been our focus.”
“We just wanted to take a look in the mirror, take a look at the film, see what we’re doing well as a group, see what we’re doing well individually, and then obviously on the other end, what we need to clean up, go back to the drawing board and reassess some of our situational play,” Swarm transition player Bryan Cole said.
Now with a home game ahead of them, the Swarm turn that focus towards their East Division opponent, the Rochester Knighthawks.
Rochester spent February winless, most recently falling at home last Friday to the Buffalo Bandits, 16-9. The last time the Swarm and Knighthawks met, the Swarm handed the Knighthawks a 16-12 loss at Blue Cross Arena.
Cody Jamieson leads the Knighthawks in goals (17), assists (30) and points (47). Behind him sits Joe Resetarits with 37 points (15G, 22A), Kyle Jackson with 30 points (15G, 15A) and Austin Shanks with 28 points (16G, 12A).
Goaltender Angus Goodleaf has spent 485:10 min. between the pipes and sports a 2-6 record. That record is echoed by a 13.23 GAA and a .754 SV%.
“They’re a pretty versatile team from all around the floor. They’ve got a really good, fast defense who can push in transition, and then they have some pretty slick and talented guys up front who can make a lot happen” Cole said.
The Swarm’s offense features Lyle Thompson (29G, 33A) and Randy Staats (20G, 42A) near the top of the NLL leaderboards in the three major offensive categories. Holden Cattoni has recorded 50 points (17G, 33A), with Shayne Jackson tallying 39 points (15G, 24A).
In front of the net is Mike Poulin with a 6-4 record. Over 575:05 min., Poulin has an 11.16 GAA and a .786 SV%.
The Swarm’s 7-4 record still has them at the top of the NLL standings, opposite of the Knighthawks at 2-7, but the Swarm know not to let those records obscure the challenge in front of them.
“I don’t pay a whole ton of attention to records,” Comeau said. “I think we learned that lesson in Colorado, too. We expect to see their best, and we know we’re going to have to be a lot better than what we have been the last couple of games in order to get a win.
“We’re coming down to the last third of the season, and wins and losses are going to be much more critical now than they were in the first two-thirds of the season.”
For fans not in attendance, Saturday’s game 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 the game on Atlanta Sports X 1230 AM/106.3 FM.