Halifax’s comeback fell short against Georgia

The Halifax Thunderbirds’ comeback fell short as they dropped a 12-11 decision to the Georgia Swarm on Friday night.

Brett Dobson for Georgia and Warren Hill for Halifax both saw a lot of rubber, facing 54 shots each. Both goaltenders stood tall especially Hill who made a number of one-on-one saves.

This game came down to the wire. Halifax went on a late five-goal run late in the game including Graeme Hossack scoring with 5.7 seconds left on the clock. Otherwise, the Swarm more-or-less controlled the game.

To the surprise of no one, Lyle Thompson had a huge game with four goals and two assists for the Swarm. For Halifax, it was scoring by committee. Ryan Benesch, Clarke Petterson, Austin Shanks, Dawson Theede and Randy Staats all put up two goals.

Early Swarm lead

It was scoreless to open the game. It took 5:42 before anyone got on the board. Shayne Jackson broke the ice on the power play to give the Swarm the lead.

Halifax replied at 7:23 when Petterson found the back of the net.

However, Georgia ended the first quarter with a two-goal run. Jeff Hendrick scored unassisted with 5:17 left on the clock and Lyle Thompson gave the Swarm 3-1 lead after one.

Georgia begins to pull away

Randy Staats opened the scoring 1:37 into the second quarter to reduce Georgia’s lead to one with a highlight reel goal.

Right off the draw, Jeremy Thompson got the ball to Shayne Jackson who found the back of the net as the Swarm went up 4-2.

Goals were coming left-right-and-centre as Theede scored 31 seconds after that to keep Halifax within striking distance.

Jeremy Thompson then found his brother Lyle at the 7:33 mark to restore Georgia’s two-goal cushion.

Ryan Benesch continued to find the fountain of youth, scoring at the 9:41 mark. Georgia rounded out the scoring with a pair of goals from Lyle Thompson to hold a 7-4 lead at the half.

Trading goals

Halifax chipped away at Georgia’s lead early in the third quarter. Austin Shanks found the back of the net 2:10 into the third quarter. Staats then scored at the 5:57 mark to make it 7-6.

The Thunderbirds then got themselves into penalty trouble. Andrew Kew scored on the man-advantage at 8:30. Kew struck again on the power play with 3:36 on the clock as the Swarm led 9-6 heading into the fourth quarter.

Halifax comeback falls short

The Swarm took a commanding lead early in the fourth quarter with a three-goal run.

Zach Miller got the scoring started 2:08 into the fourth quarter. Brendan Bomberry scored 59 seconds later to make it 11-6.

Seth Oakes would put the Swarm up by six at the 5:28 mark and it would look as if Georgia was in control.

Cue Halifax’s five-goal run.

Theede started it off with a power play marker at the 6:05 mark. Petterson followed that up at 9:20 to narrow the lead to four. Benesch would make it 12-9 with 4:53 left to play as the Thunderbirds started crawling back.

Only 10 seconds later, Shanks found the back of the net and the Thunderbirds were down by two with 4:43 left on the clock.

With the extra attacker on the floor, Graeme Hossack scored with 5.7 seconds left.

Jake Withers won the ensuing faceoff, but the Thunderbirds’ comeback fell short 12-11.

Top Scorers

Georgia Swarm

Lyle Thompson, 4g 2a

Brendan Bomberry, 1g 5a

Andrew Kew, 2g 4a

Halifax Thunderbirds

Clarke Petterson, 2g 4a

Austin Shanks, 2g 3a

Dawson Theede, 2g 2a

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Shawn Slaght
Shawn Slaght

Shawn Slaght has been a sports reporter across the Canadian prairies for over 10 years and has experience covering everything from junior hockey to World Cup skiing to all levels of lacrosse. He is the Saskatchewan correspondent for All Lacrosse All The Time.