At the midpoint of the 2016 season, the Georgia Swarm and the Saskatchewan Rush will face off this evening in Saskatoon. Both teams are within reasonable grasp of a conference lead and should be a close matchup with Georgia having more success on the road than they do at home. Barring a playoff run, these two teams have not met this year, and will not meet again.
For Georgia, Johnny Powless leads in points with 47, consisting of 25 goals and 22 assists; this also makes him the goal leader for the Swarm. Kiel Matisz and Jesse King lead the way in helpers, with 29 apiece. The Swarm have relied heavily on Brodie MacDonald in net, and reasonably, he is expected to start tonight. He currently posts a 13.46 GAA with a .740 SV%. The Rush have the fewest shots in the west, so it may not be too much of a challenge for him.
The challenge, however, lies with the Swarm. Saskatchewan is second in their division while the Swarm fall third in the East. Aaron Bold have made 239 saves at this point in the season, giving him a 10.53 GAA and a .745 SV%. The Swarm are second in the east in shots, so he should be busy, however, only 70% of the Swarm’s shot attempts are actually on net.
The player to watch for the Rush will be Mark Matthews. He has a team leading 44 points with 16 goals and 28 assists. Keep a close eye on Robert Church and Zack Greer as well; both players lead the team with 19 goals. Matthews and Church also lead the team in shots, so they’ll be keeping the Swarm defense and goalie busy.
Georgia has only had one game (against Buffalo) with more than a five point difference in score. Calgary also boasts the same statistic, with the bulk of their games being decided by one or two goals. I’m calling this one a close one tonight in Saskatoon that should keep you hooked until the final buzzer.