NLL: One goal loss for Wings at home against Swarm

Georgia’s Lyle Thompson scores against the Wings (Photo credit: Tracey Happold-Brown)

The Georgia Swarm hung on to defeat the Philadelphia Wings 12-11 on Friday night at Wells Fargo Center.

Georgia went up 4-3 in the first quarter as Philadelphia seemed to struggle with finding its wings. They surged again at the end of the game when it was too late for Philadelphia to pull off a victory.

Despite a first quarter that apparently seemed pretty even, the second quarter told a different story as the Swarm went on to score six goals to Philadelphia’s four including four in a row.

Georgia Swarm vs Philadelphia Wings (Photo credit: Tracey Happold-Brown)

The halftime talk appeared to work in Philly’s favour the second half as Kevin Crowley scored and the Wings blanked the Swarm. Wings’ head coach and GM Paul Day, suffering from the flu, explained the situation..

“They are obviously a real good team, and we played a little uncharacteristic in the second quarter but [I was] a little excited and happy for our battle in the second half. We shut them out… we changed our game plan, the way we were playing against them, and everybody stuck to it which was a really good second half.”

The Wings tied the game at 10 in the fourth but let it get away from them soon after and were unable to  come back again.

“We had unbelievable chances at the end of the game and Mike Poulin made some great saves,” Day said.

Lyle Thompson had one goal and four assists. During a post-game media conference, Josh Currier recognized that he is definitely one of the best players in the world and hard to defend against, though he then passed off the question to Steph Charbonneau.

Charbonneau agreed on how hard it is to defend one of the greatest players of all time and recognized that if he is double or triple teamed that this leaves other guys open to score.

“We’ve got our systems. We have our homework. We watch their tendencies… He’s one of the best players in the world and you keep that in the back of your mind. We have our system and we stick to it. We’ve got our help guys and we’re a rough five man defense and it’s not individual at all. You know that whatever you’re doing you’ve got your teammate there to have your back. And we’re a unit back there so you can make those plays and you can challenge Lyle like that.”

Georgia Swarm vs Philadelphia Wings (Photo credit: Tracey Happold-Brown)

Jordan Hall seemed to take full advantage of the scoring opportunities and was not challenged as much as Thompson. Perhaps Hall wanted to show Philadelphia that he still has a lot of lacrosse left with his two goal, four assist show. He seemed quite familiar with Philadelphia’s defensive plan.

Shayne Jackson also seemed to figure it out by netting three and having four assists. Randy Staats also contributed with a hat trick and one assist. Staats was also assessed nine penalty minutes for punching Liam Patten squarely in the head after they had a skirmish. Penalties and all the booing did not seem to impact Staats who went on to score two goals after the incident, though the NLL head office will probably review the incident.

After struggling to find the back of the net recently, Matt Rambo had a big night for Philadelphia with two goals and five assists. He powered through defenders to score ad also passed off to others when he could not get the shot off. Josh Currier had three goals and one assist. Trevor Baptiste also had a strong game winning 25 of 28 faceoffs.

Philadelphia has some time off to rest, recover and prepare for their upcoming opponents. They will face Buffalo on February 15th in a game that will probably be quite physical as the Wings have come to expect from the Bandits.

Georgia next faces the New York Riptide on the 15th.