DULUTH Ga. (April 28, 2022) – With two of the eight NLL Playoffs spots still up for grabs, the Georgia Swarm (9-8) close out the 2021-22 regular season against their bitter division rival, the Philadelphia Wings (8-9).
A win for Georgia clinches a playoff berth for the Swarm – the fifth straight playoff appearance for the team that relocated from Minnesota prior to the 2016 season. A victory would send the Swarm on the road for a one-game Quarterfinal elimination round the weekend of May 6-8. A win and a Halifax loss at Rochester Saturday would send the Swarm to #2 seeded Toronto in the quarterfinal round. A win and a Halifax win would have Georgia traveling to Buffalo to face the #1 seeded Bandits in round one.
A loss to Philadelphia would not eliminate the Swarm from playoff contention, but they would then require an Albany loss at home to New York Saturday night to qualify for the postseason. This scenario would send the Swarm to the West Conference as the #4 seed, where they would go on the road to face that conference’s top seed in the opening round.
Philadelphia is eliminated from playoff contention with a loss to the Swarm.
For the detailed playoff scenarios for both Georgia and Philadelphia, visit GeorgiaSwarm.com/Playoffs.
After the Quarterfinal round, the Conference Finals and NLL Finals are all three-game series, with the higher-seeded team getting two home games and the lower-seeded team receiving one. Thus, if the Swarm qualify for the playoffs, they will first need to win their first round Quarterfinal game before having the chance to host a playoff game at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort Field at Gas South Arena.
The Swarm have lost to the Wings twice this season, with both games going to overtime. On January 8 in Philadelphia, the Wings defeated the Swarm, 12-11, a final score that had improbably been replicated for the third-straight time in a row between the two teams. That bizarre scoring coincidence was shattered on January 29, the last time the two clubs met, when both squads’ aggressive defenses held both teams in the single digits in goals as Philadelphia recorded an 8-7 overtime win at Gas South Arena.
The Swarm enter tonight’s contest riding high after last week’s 12-9 road victory over Panther City Lacrosse Club, a game in which Swarm teammates and brothers Lyle Thompson (3G, 4A) and Miles Thompson (4G, 0A) combined for 11 points.
Lyle Thompson regained the NLL lead in goals scored (45) with his hat trick in Fort Worth, tied with Toronto’s Tom Schreiber. The 45 goals equal his goal total during his NLL MVP 2017 season and is one shy of his career high of 46 in 2018. Lyle Thompson’s 97 points currently rank him fifth in in the NLL.
Miles Thompson played in his second game this season last week and led the team for the second game in a row in goals. After returning to game action for the Swarm on April 16 for the first time since the 2019-2020 season, Miles Thompson has notched two goals and four goals in his two games back.
The Wings’ Kevin Crowley ranks top-20 in two NLL offensive statistical categories. Crowley leads his team in points (84) and assists (60) while ranking 12th and sixth across the league, respectfully.
Philadelphia’s starting goaltender Zach Higgins ranks fourth among league goalies in saves (635) and save percentage (.798). Mike Poulin currently posts 560 saves, a .758 save percentage, an 11.76 goals-against average, and eight wins this season. Seventy-nine of Poulin’s 560 saves this season have come in the two games against the Wings.
Georgia netted 21 more goals than Philadelphia this season, ranking fourth in the NLL in goals per game (11.47) compared to the 12th place Wings (10.24 per game). Although Philadelphia is the top-ranked power-play team in the league, scoring on 34-of-62 chances (54.8 percent), Georgia ranks third in penalty-killing, stopping 45-of-71 man up (63.4 percent) opportunities.
This marks the regular season finale for the Swarm. Tonight’s outcome will dictate if Georgia makes it into the playoffs and continues its Chase for the Championship.
- The Swarm dropped its second game to the Wings in overtime, falling 8-7; Georgia outshot Philly by 12 (60-48)
- Georgia converted 3-of-4 (75.0 percent) man-up opportunities into goals; the Swarm’s backline gave up 2-of-2 power-play goals
- Trevor Baptiste dominated at the dot, winning 15-of-20 (75.0 percent) of faceoffs
- Shayne Jackson led Georgia in points, totaling four (2G, 2A); Jackson notched a power-play goal in the first quarter to put Georgia up 3-0
- Bryan Cole was tied for first on the team with Jackson in goals, registering two; he ended the game with a 40.0 shooting percentage, and one caused turnover
- Mike Poulin saved 40 Wings shots ending the game with a .834 save percentage
- Defensively, Joel White, Adam Wiedemann, and Chad Tutton all recorded two caused turnovers each
- Corey Small and Ben McIntosh both led the Wings in points, recording four each; Small netted one goal and dished out three assists while McIntosh registered a hat trick and one assist
- Zach Higgins stopped 53 Swarm shots ending the game with a .883 save percentage
- Georgia’s backline ranks third among the NLL in penalty kills stopping 45-of-71 (63.4 percent) man-up opportunities
- The Swarm rank fourth in goals per game, netting 11.47 per game (195 total); 90 of the team’s goals have been scored at home
- Lyle Thompson leads the team in all offensive statistical categories as well as being first in the NLL in goals (45), fifth in the NLL in points (97), and first in the NLL in shots (185)
- TJ Comizio ranks second across the league and first among rookies in shooting percentage, sinking 5-of-11 shots (45.5 percent); Comizio ranks 17th on the NLL rookie points leaderboard with 17 (5G, 12A)
- After playing in just two games, Miles Thompson ranks fourth in NLL shooting percentage, netting out 6-of-15 (40.0 percent) shots between the pipes
- Mike Poulin currently posts 560 saves, a .758 save percentage, an 11.76 goals-against average, and eight wins
- Ethan Walker holds the 11th spot in NLL rookie points with 30 (8G; 22A)
- Connor Kirst has won 99 faceoffs this season, averaging 41.1 percent and ranking him second in the NLL in rookie faceoff percentage
- Bryan Cole continues to hold the fifth slot in NLL defensemen points with 27 (11G, 16A); among league defenders Cole also ranks fifth in assists (16) and third in power-play goals (2)
Eyes on the Wings
- Philadelphia is the most successful team in the league in power-plays, converting 34-of-62 (54.8 percent) of man-up opportunities
- The Wings’ offense sits 12th across the league in goals per game, averaging 10.24 per game (174 total)
- Kevin Crowley ranks 12th in NLL points, totaling 84 (24G, 60A)
- Corey Small ranks fourth in league power-play goals, registering 10
- Trevor Baptiste ranks second across the league in faceoff percentage, posting a 67.5 average; Baptiste totals 187 loose balls, ranking him fourth in the NLL
- Zach Higgins ranks fourth among league goaltenders in both saves (635) and save percentage (.798)
- Among rookies, Sam LeClair ranks third in shooting percentage, landing 6-of-20 (30.0 percent) shots between the pipes
- Among NLL defenders, Kiel Matisz ranks second in points (51), fourth in goals (12), first in assists (39), tied for third in power-play goals (2), second in power-play assists (6), and third in shots (79)
- Is eight points away from the 100th of his career
- Needs to recover three more loose balls to reach 300 in his career
Shayne Jackson: Needs three loose ball recoveries to reach 600 in his career.
- Needs one faceoff win to pass Stephen Hoar for 6th place in league history with 1,651
- Needs four points to reach 400 in his career
- Needs one more goal to break his own single-season goal record of 46 which he set during the 2018 season
- Needs nine assists to reach 300 in his career
Miles Thompson: Needs one more game played to reach the 100th of his career
Where to Watch:
- Peachtree TV – The Swarm vs. Wings game will be broadcast live on Peachtree TV in the Atlanta Metro Area beginning at 7 PM ET Saturday night.
- ESPN+ – Use your ESPN+ account (or create a new one) to watch the game live at 7:00 PM ET Saturday night
- Watch live in person at six Gwinnett County Taco Mac locations: Buford, Cumming, Duluth, Johns Creek, Lawrenceville & Suwanee