The Georgia Swarm traveled to MVP Arena to face the Albany FireWolves on Saturday night. Georgia was looking to continue building momentum after a rout of Albany in The Hive a week ago. Albany hoped that celebrating Indigenous Heritage Night would help them snap a six-game losing streak and get them their first home win this season.
While the score was a lot closer than last week, the FireWolves found themselves down and out for the seventh straight time. Lyle Thompson’s goal less than 20 seconds into overtime gave Georgia a 9-8 win, which moves them from last place in the East Division to 6th place. Albany drops to 2-8 (7th place East Division) and is now 0-5 at home this season. These teams meet once more in the Capital Region on April 15.
Sharp defensive play dominates first half
With the return of Brett Manney and Greg Downing to the Albany lineup, it was clear this second matchup would not go quite the same way as the matchup last week. Instead, each team could only manage three goals through the first 30 minutes. Andrew Kew (1g, 2a) got the Swarm on the board first, scoring at the 1:57 mark. Newcomer Jake Fox (8:22) equalized for the FireWolves. Lyle Thompson (3g, 4a; 12:03) restored Georgia’s lead, but former Swarm defender Leo Stouros (14:48) scored in transition to tie the game at 2-2 after one quarter of play. The second quarter saw markers from Georgia’s Kason Tarbell (1:39) and another Albany newcomer, Thomas Vaesen (1g, 1a; 5:35). The defenses remained stingy as the game went into halftime tied 3-3.
Georgia rallies late, wins in overtime
Once again, the teams traded goals throughout the third quarter. Connor Kelly (3g, 2a; 7:17; 9:25 power play) did the damage for the FireWolves. Seth Oakes (1g, 1a; 4:25 power play), Brendan Bomberry (1g, 3a; 7:44 power play), and Shayne Jackson (2g, 1a; 14:56) scored for Georgia to give them a 6-5 lead entering the final frame.
Albany would take the lead in the fourth quarter with a three-goal run. Kelly’s hat trick goal (3:07), Tanner Thomson 55 seconds later, and Kieran McArdle (1g, 3a) 22 seconds after that gave the FireWolves an 8-6 edge. The Swarm’s stalwarts would take over the game from there. Lyle Thompson’s second of the night (5:34) cut the deficit to one, then Jackson’s second (7:49) tied it. Lyle would call game just 18 seconds into overtime with his hat trick marker.
Other Stats of Note
Power Play: GA 2 for 7; ALB 1 for 3
Hiana Thompson (ALB): 5 assists
Jeremy Thompson (GA): passed Jamie Hanford (2,091) for third place all-time in faceoff wins
Jordan MacIntosh (GA): 11 Loose Balls (led all players)
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“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk was formally introduced to box lacrosse when he attended a New England Black Wolves game on a whim in 2016. Instantly hooked, he has since become an avid follower of the National Lacrosse League. Following the postponement of the 2019-2020 NLL season, he was offered the chance to share his wealth of statistical knowledge and unique insights with the lacrosse community at large. He cheerfully accepted, and currently serves as Edge of Philly’s correspondent for both the Albany FireWolves and New York Riptide.