Now with a victory under its belt, the Georgia Swarm (1-2) look to start 2018 on the right foot with a win against the Saskatchewan Rush (2-0) this Saturday, Jan. 6 at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Field at Infinite Energy Arena. Faceoff is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.
Georgia’s first-ever Star Wars Night is highlighted by a partnership with the Georgia 501st Legion to have over 60 Star Wars characters in attendance. The Swarm will also distribute illuminating BamStix to early arriving fans, and the game will include Star Wars-centric entertainment. Fans can get tickets by visiting Georgia Swarm.com/StarWarsNight or by calling 844-4-GASWARM.
The Swarm’s 14-11 victory against the visiting Rochester Knighthawks saw a Georgia team that seems to be getting back in a groove. A seven-goal run in the second quarter gave Georgia a lead it would not relinquish for the rest of the game.
Lyle Thompson led the team in points with six (3G, 3A), and Jesse King continued his hot start back after missing the 2017 season by scoring four goals. Goaltender Mike Poulin made 37 saves on 48 shots, improving his GAA to 12.33 and slightly raising his SV% to .757.
“I thought our offense was much better, but we need to capitalize on our excellent scoring opportunities,” Swarm head coach Ed Comeau said. “Our power play was not good, and scoring even a few goals there would have got the score closer to a number we saw last year. We are continuing to work on our offense and our timing. We will need to be good against the Sask D and Evan Kirk.”
Saskatchewan comes to town after two dominating performances against the Toronto Rock and the New England Black Wolves. Led by Mark Matthews and his 18 points (7G, 11A), the dangerous Rush offense leads the NLL in GF/GAME with 20.5. On the defensive end, Saskatchewan features a new goaltender in Kirk, a familiar foe to Georgia from his Black Wolves days. So far in the 2017-18 season, Kirk has a 10.00 GAA and a .778 SV%.
“We know Sask is very good, and by the scores and their play, it looks like they are sending a message to the league,” Comeau said. “We have to be at our best defensively against the Rush. They move the ball very well and have purposeful movement on and off ball. They create great scoring chances and our defense will need to try to be physical and disruptive.”
Georgia and Saskatchewan met three times last season, once in the regular season and then twice in the Champion’s Cup Finals. Georgia won all three games, the final game with an overtime victory that earned the Swarm its first-ever Champion’s Cup. While the two teams did meet during the preseason, this will be their first official game since June 2017.
Fans can also watch Georgia welcome Saskatchewan on Jan. 6 LIVE via NLLTV.com. The game will also air LIVE on 1230AM/106.3FM The Fan 2 and can be streamed online or on a smartphone at 1230thefan2.com.