The Georgia Swarm faced the Albany FireWolves at MVP Arena in the Capital Region Saturday night. The FireWolves, who end their season with a three-game homestand, sit at the bottom of the East Division with a 3-12 record. They are also the only NLL team who has not yet won a home contest this season.
Conversely, Georgia is the hottest team in the league right now, having won 7 of their last 8 games after starting the season with seven straight losses. The midseason turnaround has brought the Swarm from last place to the fourth and final secure playoff spot in the East. The Swarm would continue to hold on to that spot, as they got out to an early 5-0 lead en route to a 15-6 win, sweeping all three games against the FireWolves this year.
Georgia shuts down Albany in first half
The Swarm started out the game on fire, going on a five-goal run. Adam Wiedemann (1g, 1a) scored in transition at 3:02. Andrew Kew (4g, 5a) then went back-to-back (6:46; 7:36) to extend the lead to three. Shayne Jackson (3g, 5a) then played copycat, going back-to back as well (11:07; 12:18) to make it 5-0 in favor of the visitors.
Ethan Walker (1g, 2a; 2:54) finally got Albany on the board in the second quarter. Jackson (4:53) and Kew (5:28) responded with their respective hat trick goals. Marshall Powless (2g, 2a; 6:23) reduced Georgia’s lead to 7-2, but goals from Lyle Thompson (1g, 4a; 10:05) and Bryan Cole (13:56) made it 9-2 entering halftime.
Georgia rolls to sixth straight win
The second half started in much the same way as the first. Brendan Bomberry (2g, 5a; 1:05), Kew’s fourth (6:03 power play), and Bomberry again (7:50), and Ryan Lanchbury (3g, 4a; 8:26) put the Swarm up 13-2. Albany goaltender Doug Jamieson was lifted in favor of Justin Geddie following the Lanchbury goal. Powless (9:28) and Connor Kelly (1g, 2a: 11:50) scored for Albany to close the third quarter with Georgia leading 13-4.
Lanchbury tacked on two more (1:47; 8:51) for the Swarm in the final frame. John Piatelli (2g, 1a; 9:59; 13:18) did the same for the FireWolves to wrap up the scoring. With the victory, Georgia (8-8) finds themselves at the .500 mark for the first time since Week 1. The FireWolves drop to 3-13 on the year and 0-7 at home. They have two more chances to win for the home crowd (vs. Philadelphia Week 21, vs. Buffalo Week 22).
Other Stats of Note
Faceoffs: GA 14; ALB 11
Brett Dobson (GA): 36 saves; 4 goals allowed
Jordan MacIntosh (GA): 10 Loose Balls (led all players)
Kew, the #3 overall pick in 2019, recorded the first 100-point season of his career. His 106 points currently ranks 5th in the NLL.
The victory gave Ed Comeau his 122nd career win as a head coach, 2nd all-time in NLL history.
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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.