DULUTH, GA (April 1, 2022) – The Toronto Rock (9-5) offense was too much for the Georgia Swarm (8-7) to manage this week, a dramatic contrast from last week when the Rock mustered just 6 goals in a rare home 10-6 loss to the Swarm.
The difference tonight was the Rock’s ability to move the ball around in their offensive sets and find open men at close range and convert instead of constantly having to fire from long range with the 30-second clock winding down to zero.
It culminated in a 13-9 Toronto win that kept the Rock (9-5) on pace with the Halifax Thunderbirds (9-5) in a battle for the #2 seed in the East Division playoffs.
The Swarm maintained control of the #4 seed in the East Division with the loss, but each of their remaining regular season games (two at home, one at Panther City LC) become all the more critical with teams like the Philadelphia Wings still jockeying for the final two NLL playoff spots.
Georgia took a two-goal lead early in the first quarter, as Lyle Thompson returned to the lineup after missing last game with a lower body injury and promptly gave the Swarm a 1-0 lead just over three minutes into the opening frame.
Shayne Jackson added to the lead two minutes later, and things initially seemed to be going well for the red-hot Swarm at Sting City.
But Toronto took over the game in the second and third quarters, extending a 5-4 halftime lead to as many as 4 goals in the second half. Toronto outscored Georgia 8 to 5 in the final two quarters and coasted to a four-point victory.
Toronto’s Nick Rose was much better in goal than last week’s meetings between the two clubs, stopping 37 of 46 Swarm shots and shutting down any semblance of a Georgia second-half run.
Jordan MacIntosh notched a hat trick and added two assists for the host Swarm, but Georgia’s offense couldn’t establish any rhythm, especially after Jackson exited the game in the second quarter.
Tom Schreiber scored four goals and added three assists to pull within three goals of the NLL lead (with 38 goals) behind Swarm superstar Lyle Thompson (41 goals).
Georgia will have to regroup in a big way during their upcoming bye week, as they face East powerhouse the Buffalo Bandits, who are on a 7-game winning streak and sit atop the NLL standings with a 13-1 record, on April 16 at Gas South Arena.
UP NEXT: The Swarm (8-7 in the East Division) enjoy a bye week next weekend then face a showdown with the East Division leading Buffalo Bandits (13-1 in the East Division) on Saturday, April 16 at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort Field at Gas South Arena for Fan Appreciation Night and the ever-popular Diamond Drop, where one lucky fan will go home with an $8,000 diamond halo pendant necklace, compliments of Tara Fine Jewelry. The game can be seen live locally at 7:00 pm in Atlanta on Peachtree TV and streamed throughout the US on ESPN+.
CHASE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP: View the updated playoff seedings.