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Swarm seek return to .500 in New England

Sunday's matinee will be the first of three meetings between the Swarm and Black Wolves

After dropping their third consecutive game, the Georgia Swarm (2-3) head to the home of another East Division rival seeking a win. They play the New England Black Wolves (4-0) on Sunday, Jan. 26 at Mohegan Sun Arena. Face-off is set for 1:00 p.m. ET.

Fans can catch the Sunday matinee live on B/R Live. Most Atlanta-area Taco Mac restaurants will also be airing the game live on Sunday.

A month has passed since the Swarm’s last win, and their recent dropped games have left the team trying to figure out how to get that elusive third win of the season. Against the Riptide on Jan. 11, they were in control for most of the game, but a seven goal fourth quarter and overtime game-winner for the home team sent the Swarm back on the road still trying to get their feet under them.

The Swarm now face an undefeated Black Wolves team, one of two undefeated NLL teams this season and the top team in the East Division. This will be the first of three meetings between the two clubs this season.

The Black Wolves had their own overtime game against an East Division opponent last weekend, too, but their result was more favorable. Callum Crawford netted the game-winner against the Philadelphia Wings, allowing the Black Wolves to stay undefeated after an 8-7 overtime win.

Crawford leads the Black Wolves in scoring with 30 points (14G, 16A). While the offense runs primarily through him, rookie Andrew Kew has impressed with 19 points (6G, 13A). Joe Resetarits (8G, 9A) and Stephan Leblanc (4G, 13A) are next with 17 points each.

In his first full season as the starting netminder, Doug Jamieson has been exemplary. Over 239:48 min., he has an 8.C54 GAA and .834 SV% to accompany his undefeated record.

“(He’s playing with) a little bit of confidence and a feeling of calm back there,” Swarm head coach Ed Comeau noted about Jamieson’s play this season. “That’s really how it looks … It usually takes young goalies a couple years to get to that point, so he’s reaching that and playing really well.”

The Swarm will throw their usual list of offensive suspects at Jamieson to try and chase him from net. Both Shayne Jackson (15G, 15A) and Randy Staats (4G, 26A) have been dynamic in their own ways. Jackson is tied for the league lead in goals, while Staats has sole possession of the league lead in assists. Lyle Thompson is coming off of his third four-goal game of the season, and he has 27 points (13G, 14A) so far this season.

Defensively, the Swarm have regressed significantly since their hot start. They now sit eighth in GA/GAME at 10.4. Goaltender Mike Poulin’s numbers have shifted the same way. He sports a 10.34 GAA and .788 SV%. A victory in this game will mean having to stonewall the league’s top offense.

The focus has been internal for the Swarm as they have tried to escape this losing streak, trying to figure out how to string together a full 60 minutes and close out the first third of their season with a win. The week leading up to Sunday’s matinee is no different, as their attention will remain aimed at themselves for the foreseeable future.

“We’re worried about playing better, and that’s our focus. It doesn’t matter who we play this week. Obviously they’re a good team, well-coached, and they’re playing really well, but we’re focusing on what we need to do better and what we need to address, some really key things … Obviously, we’ll talk about New England and prepare for New England, but we need to focus on some of the mistakes we’ve made that have put us in this situation.”

The Swarm’s next home game will be on Saturday, Feb. 15 against the New York Riptide. Face-off for College Night is set for 7:00 p.m. ET. Fans can get their tickets at GeorgiaSwarm.com/CollegeNight or by calling 844-4-GASWARM.

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