Country night at Rogers Arena saw the hometown Warriors take on the visiting Georgia Swarm. Live country music played throughout the game as fans dressed in plaid, leather boots and cowboy hats were treated to both a concert and a lacrosse game. At the end of the 60 minutes Georgia came out on top with a decisive 14-7 win over Vancouver. Although it was mostly a one-sided affair, the entire stadium was raucous throughout the evening.
It was a game that the Swarm completely dominated offensively for the first half. Georgia opened the game with a 5-0 run and led 6-1 at the end of the first quarter. By the time the Warriors’ defence settled down to start the third quarter, the Swarm already had a commanding 9-3 lead.
Vancouver’s frustration at being behind early resulted in the Warriors being penalized throughout the game. Their lack of discipline resulted in seven Georgia power plays. With such a potent offense, Georgia was able to go 6-7 with the man advantage.
“We didn’t have it going on special teams tonight, and any time you don’t have your penalty kill working the game becomes more difficult,” Warriors head coach Chris Gill said in his post-game interview.
The fourth quarter was the one bright spot for the Warriors who started to dominate physically, checking their opponents, keeping shots to the outside while outscoring the Swarm 3-2 over the course of the last 15 minutes.
Georgia’s goalie Matt Poulin took home first star of the game honours for allowing just five goals on 33 shots. The second star of the game went to Swarm assistant captain Lyle Thompson who had three goals and three assists on the night.
The Warriors’ Riley Loewen was awarded third star for his three goal, one assist performance. “We worked hard,” Loewen said after the game. “It’s the mental discipline that let us down tonight.”
Georgia Swarm head coach Ed Comeau also spoke after the game. “Tonight is a good example [of what we can accomplish], we led tape to tape which is always the intent.”
Next up: Vancouver (4-8) head to the prairies to take on the the Saskatchewan Rush (6-3) while Georgia (6-4) visit the New York Riptide (1-11). Both games take place on March 7.