NLL: Split weekend for Swarm

Philadelphia Wings @ Georgia Swarm. (Photo credit: Kyle Hess)

The Georgia Swarm went 1-1 on the weekend as they defeated the New York Riptide on Saturday and lost to the Philadelphia Wings at home on Sunday. Georgia now sits in second place in the East Division with a 7-5 overall record.

Against the Riptide, it was a defensive battle and Georgia could not get anything to go on the offensive end. Entering the third trailing 2-1, Georgia started to find themselves on both ends of the floor. And in the fourth quarter they put all the pieces together and played their usual game.

Georgia outscored New York 7-1 in the fourth quarter to jump ahead and secure the 11-7 victory. With the win they take home the season series against the Riptide and secure their first win on the road against New York.

Lyle Thompson led Georgia with five points (2G/5A). Three of those five points were earned in the fourth quarter. New York saw Pat Saunders lead the way with three points (2G/1A).

Mike Poulin made 44 saves on 51 shots on goal for Georgia, while Gowah Abrams made 44 saves on54 shots on goal for New York.

Early on it looked as if the Swarm’s late-game energy from the night before had carried over into their Sunday contest. The Swam jumped out to a 5-0 lead at the end of the first and extended their run to six goals early in the second.

However, Philadelphia, losers the night before to New England, wasn’t going to stay down that long. Blaze Riorden broke the ice for Philadelphia early in the second and the Wings rattled off six consecutive goals to end the half and cut the Georgia lead to just 7-6 heading into the locker rooms.

While Randy Staats scored two straight early in the third for Georgia to get their offense going once again, Philadelphia had a much quicker answer this time with Blaze Riorden scoring two of his own. Georgia went into the fourth quarter with a 10-8 lead after a Lyle Thompson goal to end the third.

The fourth quarter was very similar to the first half of Georgia’s Saturday night game as the Wings held them to just one goal the entire quarter. Philadelphia went on a three-goal run to close out the game and secure the win. Riorden score the game tying goal and Brett Hickey scored the game-winner.

“It was a typical lacrosse game where teams went on runs,” Swarm head coach Ed Comeau said in a press release. “We went on a run early and maybe thought things were happening a little too easy for us. They tightened up a little bit, and they went on their run. For both teams, it was a tough travel weekend, and both teams left it out on the floor. Extremely disappointed in the outcome.”

Blaze Riordan led Philadelphia with eight points (5G/3A), while Kevin Crowley dished out seven assists. Randy Staats had seven points (4G/3A) for Georgia, while Shayne Jackson also had six points (3G/3A).

Zach Higgins made 43 saves off of 54 shots on goal for Philadelphia and Mike Poulin made 36 saves off of 48 shots on goal for Georgia.