#83 Randy Staats (Photo Credit: Paul Sasso)
Georgia Swarm (4-9)
Buffalo Bandits (9-4)
(April 2) – The Georgia Swarm (4-9) lost 18-14 in a high-scoring affair Saturday night against the Buffalo Bandits (9-4) at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Field at Infinite Energy Arena.
The Swarm used a three-goal run to build a 10-9 lead to close out the third quarter, but the Bandits went on to score a game-high nine goals in the final 15 minutes to walk away with their fifth straight victory.
“If you had points for leading going in the fourth quarter, we’d be right there near the top,” Swarm head coach Ed Comeau. “We’ve got to finish up games; we got to find a way to do that. It’s against teams that have skilled players and veteran players and you make some mistakes, then it ends up in your net.
“We didn’t quit. That’s a pretty good team we battled with; I don’t think they’ve given up more than 10 goals in the last four games. We put 14 on them, so we had some chances. But at the end of the day the outcome is the same.”
Forward Shayne Jackson (4G, 1A) led the Swarm with a season-high four goals and rookie Randy Staats tallied seven points (2G, 5A) in the loss. As a team, Georgia finished the night 2-for-6 on the power play, while the Bandits went 4-for-5.
Saturday’s contest was a physical one, which included a first quarter tilt between Swarm defenseman Reid Acton and Bandits defenseman David Brock. In total, the game featured 50 combined penalty minutes and several big hits. Despite the loss, Georgia managed to win the faceoff battle (24-for-35) and collected more loose balls, 92 to 70. Team captain Jordan MacIntosh (2G, 1A) won 21 of those faceoffs, and collected a game-high 15 loose balls.
“We knew we needed to bring it. We’re in a desperate state and in that situation in the standings you got to play every shift like it’s your last,” Comeau said. “…We needed to finish this thing out if we want the chance to move on, we needed to play at that level or higher — every shift not for 45 minutes.”
NLL leading scorer Dhane Smith (5G, 2A) scored a game-high five goals, and Ryan Benesch (3G, 6A) scored nine points to lead the Bandits.
Following the Swarm game, the Atlanta Rollergirls took the floor in part of a Doubleheader Event where fans could attend both events on one ticket. Terrapin Beer Co. sponsored the night.
Georgia continues its homestand next Sunday, April 10 at 2:05 p.m. to face the Colorado Mammoth (10-3) during Native American Heritage Day. For tickets, call 844-4-GASWARM or visit georgiaswarm.com.