The Georgia Swarm (2-0) return to Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Field at Infinite Energy Arena for the new year, taking on the rebranded Vancouver Warriors (1-2) on Saturday, Jan. 5. Faceoff is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.
The Swarm are hosting Country Night presented by Georgia Lottery, and multi-platinum selling singer-songwriter Jerrod Niemann will perform in the Swarm’s Goal Zone Club during halftime and postgame.
Early arriving fans will receive Swarm cowbells courtesy of Georgia Lottery. Lower Level Tickets to Country Night featuring Jerrod Niemann start as low as $25 and can be purchased online at GeorgiaSwarm.com/CountryNight or by calling 844-4-GASWARM.
The Swarm played a tight game against the Toronto Rock last Friday, but 2017 NLL MVP Lyle Thompson put the team on his back to tie the game in the final minutes of regulation and score the game-winner in the final seconds. Georgia left Scotiabank Arena with a 12-11 win, its second of the season.
Lyle led the team in scoring with five points (4G, 1A), followed by Holden Cattoni (2G, 2A) and rookie Adam Wiedemann (1G, 3A) with four points apiece. Goaltender Mike Poulin acquired his second win after saving 45 of the 56 SOG throughout the night.
“Any time you can get away with a win on the road, it’s a good win,” Swarm head coach Ed Comeau said. “It was a pretty exciting game to be part of. Defensively, we played really well; offensively, we certainly could have been better. Our on-net shooting percentage wasn’t great, and I think we looked a little disjointed offensively.
“I’m not sure if that was more of a holiday malaise or just the fact that we had an off-week and our timing wasn’t good. Certainly, given that our offense wasn’t firing on all cylinders and we still were able to get a win, it was a really good win.”
Georgia’s win last Friday marked the team’s fourth-straight road win against Toronto and ninth win out of ten games against Toronto since 2016, including two postseason meetings.
The Swarm now turn their attention to the Vancouver Warriors, formerly known as the Vancouver Stealth. For the last three seasons, the two teams met four times with the Swarm winning each game. In Vancouver’s last game as the Stealth, the team left everything out on the floor, playing a tight game against the Swarm before ultimately falling 11-10 and earning their 16th loss of the season.
Acquired by Canucks Sports & Entertainment, the Warriors donned a new name, logo and uniform before extensively re-working their roster. Among the roster moves made, the Warriors signed free agent goaltender Aaron Bold during the offseason, released franchise cornerstone Rhys Duch and traded Corey Small to Buffalo for Mitch Jones.
Logan Schuss leads the team in points with 17 (5G, 12A). Jones has 14 points (5G, 9A) and Keegan Bal has 12 points (4G, 8A), rounding out the top three points-getters for Vancouver. Bold has spent the most time in net so far this season. In 149:54 min., he has a 14.41 GAA and a .721 SV%.
The Warriors won their first game of the season before dropping their next two games by six goals apiece. In the second game of its current East Coast road trip, Vancouver will be looking to reverse its fortunes and earn its second win of the season.
“I think Vancouver, as much as their record being 1-2 might say otherwise, but certainly we see them coming in fully expecting to knock us off at home,” Comeau said. “So, we’re going to have to be at our best to get a win on Saturday.”
For the Swarm, being at their best will involve staying the course defensively, encouraging their diverse offense to remain as such, striking during power play situations, and continuing to develop team chemistry.
“I think (our team chemistry) has been good, and I think it can even get better,” Comeau said. “I think offensively, we’re still bumping into each other a little bit more than we would like, and that just comes with familiarity and with more time. As the season goes on, guys will get into even more of a rhythm. We’ve been happy with what we’ve seen so far, but I think it’s even going to improve from here.”
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.