(DULUTH, Ga.) – The Georgia Swarm (2-3) heads back to the West Coast on Saturday, Jan. 27 for its first of two games against the Vancouver Stealth (1-4) this season. Faceoff at Langley Events Centre is set for 10:00 p.m. EST. Fans can watch the game LIVE via NLLTV.com.
Georgia had another bye week last weekend after its first win in Calgary since 2012. It knocked off the Roughnecks 15-12 on Jan. 13.
“I don’t think anyone in the league really likes bye weeks only because you want to get into a little bit of a rhythm and a routine,” Swarm head coach Ed Comeau said. “The positive of bye weeks are that you get a chance to take a look at what’s happening, do some reflection of where you’re at and where you’re going.”
The Swarm’s second win of the season was a comeback victory led by the fiery assistant captain Shayne Jackson and his nine-point performance (4G, 5A) that night. Four other Georgia players recorded five points that night as the Swarm offense featured a varied effort from a number of players.
Goaltender Mike Poulin achieved his second win of the season and his first win in Calgary as a visitor since leaving there as a free agent. He posted a 12 GAA and a .789 SV%.
Vancouver’s 11-10 OT win against the Buffalo Bandits on Jan. 13 was its first of the season and followed a 24-7 loss at home against the Toronto Rock. The Stealth comes off its bye week with a doubleheader, taking on the Colorado Mammoth in Denver this Friday before returning home to take on Georgia.
Corey Small, after a slow start to the season, ran roughshod that night with eight points (4G, 4A), and Logan Schuss continued being the most productive member of the Stealth roster with a seven-point night (3G, 4A).
The story of the night, however, was Eric Penney starting for Vancouver between the pipes. After missing the 2017 season and starting this one on the Stealth’s practice squad, Penney was called up after the struggles Vancouver has had at goaltending and became the first Stealth goaltender to finish a game he started. Penney made 52 saves on 62 SOG over 62:12 min., a 9.65 GAA and an .839 SV%.
“He played really well for them the other night, and that certainly gave them a big boost,” Comeau said. “They were able to hold Buffalo, who we saw score a bunch of goals against Saskatchewan last week, to a pretty low number of goals, a team that’s pretty capable of scoring goals.”
This will be the two teams first meeting since a year ago when Georgia won 14-12 in Vancouver. Randy Staats led the scoring that night with nine points (3G, 6A) followed by Schuss and his seven points (3G, 4A). Poulin earned the win that night with a .789 SV%, while Tye Belanger was handed the loss following his .745 SV%.
Acknowledging the extra confidence the Stealth now have between the pipes following Penney’s performance, Comeau and Co. are looking to take advantage of Vancouver’s lack of cohesion on the floor. A win this Saturday gets Georgia back to .500 and tied for third in crowded East Division.
“It’s a relatively even playing field,” Comeau said. “We’ve the same opportunity to prepare for them, to watch them. Both teams would feel they’re underachieving this year and certainly want to continue to build upon the winning streaks we both have of one game. It’ll be two teams really trying to play desperate, trying to keep themselves in the playoff hunt and put themselves in a little better position in the standings in both divisions.”
Georgia’s next home game will be against the Rochester Knighthawks on Sunday, Feb. 11. The Swarm will be hosting Love is in The Hive. Tickets are available at GeorgiaSwarm.com/Tickets or by calling 844-4-GASWARM.