Fresh off a bye week and celebrating the holidays, the Georgia Swarm (1-0) head to Scotiabank Arena on Friday, Dec. 28 to take on the Toronto Rock (1-0). Faceoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Fans can catch the game LIVE through the new B/R Live website and app available through iTunes, Google Play, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
The Swarm won their fourth-straight Home Opener on Dec. 15 with a 16-12 victory against the New England Black Wolves. Randy Staats led the Swarm in points with eight (2G, 6A), followed by Lyle Thompson and newcomer Holden Cattoni with seven points (2G, 5A) each.
Goaltender Mike Poulin spent the entire game in net and made 42 saves on 54 SOG, a .778 SV%. He and the Swarm defense prevented New England from scoring for a 19:59 min. stretch bookending the second quarter.
Following the win, the Swarm took their first bye week of the season. Given how important momentum is in the NLL and with Toronto fresh off a game, Georgia will have to hit the ground running on Friday night to earn its second win of the season.
“Given that (the bye week) was around the holidays, I think the guys appreciated having time to spend with the family and take care of all of that, knowing that – starting with our next game – that we’re going to play a large number of games without any break until the end of February,” Swarm head coach Ed Comeau said. “We’re going to need to be ready to go with Toronto having played last week. They’re going to be coming out at game-speed. We have to be aware of that, especially them at home in their Home Opener.”
Toronto spoiled the Buffalo Bandits’ Home Opener with a 17-12 come-from-behind win. Tom Schreiber led the team with seven points (3G, 4A), followed closely by Rob Hellyer and his six points (2G, 4A). Five other Rock players recorded four points to help chase Bandits goaltender Matt Vinc from the net last Saturday.
Goaltender Nick Rose suffered no such banishment, making 52 saves on 64 SOG. His .813 SV% currently leads all NLL goalies.
“I thought (Toronto) started out like a team that hadn’t played a game against a team that had played a game,” Comeau said. “That’s often what happens. But they settled in, and I thought they ran the floor well. Their offense is dynamic, their power play was excellent. Definitely the type of effort to win in this league where you have contributions from every player, and I believe they’ve really got that.”
Last season against the Swarm, Rose played 180:49 min. and had an 11.95 GAA and a .752 SV%. Poulin saw plenty of success against Toronto in 2017-18. He won all three games against the East Division rival and had a 9.79 GAA and a .806 SV%.
Of the six NLL teams to have already played their Home Opener, Georgia is the only one to have not lost, a trend it would like to continue this Friday.
The Swarm have a recent history of success against the Rock. Over the past three regular seasons, Georgia has won six of seven games against Toronto and has won the two postseason contests between the two.
“We’re not going in there with any allusions of anything,” Comeau said. “This game is going to be a tough game. They’re 1-0. They want to be 2-0, just like we do. Past success doesn’t mean anything once the new season starts, and we’re ready to get after it.”
The Swarm’s next home game is Saturday, Jan. 5 against the Vancouver Warriors. Hosting Country Night presented by Georgia Lottery, multi-platinum selling singer-songwriter Jerrod Niemann will perform a halftime and postgame concert in the Swarm’s Goal Zone Club. Early arriving fans will receive Swarm cowbells presented by Georgia Lottery.
Lower Level Tickets to Swarm 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.