Panther City Puts Georgia In Doubleheader Doldrums

The Panther City Lacrosse Club hosted the Georgia Swarm at Dickies Arena on Sunday to close out Week 13 in the NLL. This was the second meeting between the teams, with Georgia having triumphed 12-10 at The Hive in Week 6. The game was also the back end of the doubleheader weekend for the Swarm, having lost in overtime to San Diego on Friday night. Panther City sent Georgia home winless on the weekend, escaping with a 10-9 victory, though not without some controversy. The win puts Panther City back over .500 (5-4) and into 5th place in the Unified Standings. Georgia drops to 6-6 and 6th place overall.

Everyone chips in for Panther City in first half

It only took eight seconds for the home team to get on the board, with Brandon Goodwin finding the net off the opening draw. Mathieu Gautier (2:47) made it 2-0, but Zach Miller (4:40) got one back for the Swarm. Phil Caputo pushed the lead back to two at 6:56, but Lyle Thompson answered for Georgia roughly a minute later (7:59). Jonathan Donville (8:41 power play) and Jason Knox (13:29) pushed Panther City’s lead to 5-2, but Thompson netted his second goal (13:51) to cut the lead to 5-3 after one quarter of play. Donville added his second goal just 16 seconds into the second quarter. Mike Manley countered for Georgia at 1:57 after having an apparent goal waved off by the officials earlier in the game. The rest of the half was quiet as PCLC entered halftime leading 6-4.

A wild comeback and controversy in Panther City

Manley’s goal ignited a five-goal run for Georgia into the fourth quarter. Bryan Cole (0:20 power play) and Jeff Henrick (6:32; assisted by goaltender Brett Dobson) leveled the game 6-6. Andrew Kew then went back-to-back in the fourth quarter (0:50; 8:37) to put the Swarm up 8-6. Callum Crawford cut the lead to one with a power play goal at 10:18. Lyle Thompson scored his hat trick goal (11:39) to push the lead back to two, 9-7. Just when a comeback seemed out of reach, PCLC delivered a three-goal run in less than 90 seconds. Donville scored his hat trick goal (12:54), followed by Will Malcom (13:21) tying the game at 9-9. Crawford then put Panther City ahead for good with a patented jump-shot goal with just 40 seconds remaining in regulation.

Queue the controversy: Seth Oakes appeared to score the tying goal with about 10 seconds left in the game. However, Oakes was in the crease when Andrew Kew secured a rebound on the previous Georgia shot, and was the next Georgia player to touch the ball. Per Rule 67.2, this constituted a crease violation, awarding possession of the ball to Panther City. Georgia had one more shot to tie the game when PCLC goaltender Nick Damude’s outlet pass was intercepted following the crease violation call. The desperation shot from the Swarm hit the goal post and did not cross the goal line as time expired, preserving the narrow victory for the home team.

Other Stats of Note

Georgia: Thompson (3g, 2a); Kew (2g, 1a); Cole (1g, 1a); Miller/Henrick/Manley (1g)

Panther City: Donville (3g, 2a); Crawford (2g, 4a); Knox (1g, 3a); Malcom (1g, 2a); Gautier (1g, 1a)

Adam Wiedemann (GA): 8 Loose Balls, 2 Caused Turnovers

Brett Dobson (GA): 47 saves; Nick Damude (PCLC): 42 saves

All is not lost for the Swarm. They play at Halifax in Week 14, then finish the season with their final five games at home: Calgary, Philadelphia, Saskatchewan, Las Vegas, and Rochester

Panther City still has some big games left on their schedule. After hosting both San Diego and Rochester in a Week 14 doubleheader, they hit the road for games at Philadelphia and at Halifax.

“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk

“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.