DULUTH, Ga (March 4, 2022) – It took pair of goals from defensemen TJ Comizio and Adam Wiedemann to send a back-and-forth affair into overtime and reigning NLL MVP to settle the score for the home team as Georgia (5-6) toppled visiting Rochester (3-7), 17-16, in a high-scoring affair the Swarm needed to keep pace in the chase for an NLL playoff spot.
Shayne Jackson (5G, 3A) and Lyle Thompson (4G, 3A) paced Georgia’s offensive attack, with rookie forward Ethan Walker (2G, 3A) and Jordan Hall (2G, 2A) making significant contributions at the most opportune times.
The Swarm were slow out of the gates as the Knighthawks scored twice in the first three minutes to jump out to a 2-0 lead. The Swarm stormed back in the second quarter, scoring 7 goals to the Knighthawks’ 5 – including three from Lyle Thompson – to stake Georgia to a 9-8 halftime lead.
Rochester shut down Georgia in the third, outscoring the home team 5-1 to take a 13-10 lead into the final 15 minutes of play.
Shayne Jackson picked an opportune time for his hat trick, sneaking one past Rochester goalie Rylan Hartley in the first minute of the fourth to pull the Swarm within striking distance at 13-11.
Two minutes later Jackson added to his prolific night with a breakaway goal, his fourth of the game, to cut Rochester’s lead to 13-12 with 12:45 left in regulation.
Lyle Thompson answered 90 seconds later after an amazing assist from Jordan MacIntosh as Thompson broke free in front of the crease and undressed Hartley to tie the score at 13 all with just over 11 minutes left in regulation.
Former Swarm forward Holden Cattoni broke the tie at 10:01, scoring his fourth goal of the night to put Rochester back up by one.
The visitors extended the lead to 15-13 with a Thomas Hoggarth goal midway through the final frame.
Walker wouldn’t let the Swarm go quietly, bringing them back to within a goal at the 7 minute mark with a blast past Hartley.
Down by a goal inside of two minutes, Adam Wiedemann twisted, juked, and slipped one past Hartley to send the game into overtime, much to the delight of the 7,100 fans in attendance
With just over four minutes into the extra period, Walker found Jackson alone to the left of the crease, and the 2020 MVP ended it with his fifth goal of the evening.
Rochester’s Ryan Smith (4G, 5A) saw his 9-point evening spoiled by the Swarm’s resilient comeback.
Swarm goalie Mike Poulin made his 6,000th career save, becoming only the sixth NLL netminder in history to reach this milestone. Poulin’s 99th career win also vaulted him over Anthony Cosmo into fourth place on the all-time NLL wins list for goalies.
Georgia out-shot Rochester 57-47 on the night and won 19 of 35 face offs. Rochester converted 2 of their 4 power play opportunities, while the Swarm was 1 of 4 in man-up situations.
The Swarm (5-6 in the East Division
) face the Halifax Thunderbirds (7-1 in the East Division) at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort Field at Gas South Arena on Saturday, March 12 at 7 pm for Heroes Night
, celebrating local first responders, military members, healthcare professionals, and teachers. Tickets start at just $12 a seat
, and the game can be seen live locally in Atlanta on Peachtree TV and throughout the US on ESPN+.