Written by “Muffler” Mike Kostiuk
Lax Philly  – A Division of Edge of Philly Sports Network

The Albany FireWolves and Georgia Swarm faced off at Gas South Arena on Friday night in the first game of a Week 10 home and-home doubleheader. Georgia shook off their poor second half performance last week to eke out a 14-13 victory, snapping Albany’s 3 game win streak. The Swarm improve to 3-4, while the FireWolves drop to 3-3, with the teams to rematch in Albany Saturday night.

Not So Fast?

Continuing their recent trend, Albany had yet another hot start. Reilly O’Connor (1g, 4a) opened the scoring, beating Swarm goalie Mike Poulin with an impressive shot from long range just 29 seconds into the game. Joe Resetarits (4g, 7a) followed up with his first less than two minutes later. However, unlike the FireWolves’ three previous opponents, Georgia found a way to limit Albany’s transition opportunities throughout most of the game.

The Swarm would strike back with a 7-goal run of their own. Ethan Walker (3g, 1a; 3:35), Brendan Bomberry (2g, 2a; 6:49), Jordan Hall (1g; 12:46), and Lyle Thompson (2g, 6a; 14:18) each found the back of the net to end the first quarter with a 4-2 lead.

Georgia continued their run to open the second quarter, with Bomberry’s second (2:13), Kason Tarbell (1g) in transition (3:39), and Jordan MacIntosh (1g, 5a; 6:05) extending the lead to 7-2.

Within 45 seconds, Albany would cut the deficit to three, Resetarits (6:25) notching his second of the night, and Ryan Benesch (4g, 1a; 6:46) getting in on the action. Jacob Ruest (2g; 10:03) then pulled the FireWolves within two, before Walker (12:18) scored his second of the night to make it 8-5 Swarm at the half. Somewhat surprisingly, all goals scored in the first half were during even strength situations.

Left! Right! Left! Right!

Ruest’s second made it a one-goal game just 26 seconds into the third quarter. Then the top lefty and top righty on each team proceeded to take over. Thompson (2:36) put his second past Albany goalie Doug Jamieson. Resetarits (3:57) responded with his hat trick goal.

Georgia forward Shayne Jackson then netted the first non-even strength goal of the game with a shorthanded marker at 7:17. Walker (9:27) added a goal for his first career hat trick, before Benesch (14:14) scored his second of the night to make it 11-8 Georgia heading into fourth quarter. Albany didn’t take long to erase that lead. Benesch’s third (1:53), Resetarits’ fourth (3:25), and Benesch’s fourth (4:22) seemed to have the Swarm reeling and feeling the déjà vu of losses suffered earlier this season, but…

In case you forgot who the reigning MVP is…

A Georgia Swarm game without Jackson recording at least a hat trick is about as rare as a goal scored by a goalie. The 2019-2020 MVP made sure not to disappoint, scoring his second goal 30 seconds later, then his third on a power play at 10:39 to re-establish a two-goal lead at 13-11. Albany was still a man down late in the game when Colton Watkinson (1g) notched a shorthanded marker at 13:46 to close the gap to one. In true MVP fashion, Jackson added his fourth goal of the night on an empty-net at 14:45. FireWolves faceoff wizard Joe Nardella won the next draw, but Albany was slow to get an extra attacker on the floor. Charlie Kitchen (1g, 1a) scored to make it 14-13, but with only two seconds remaining on the game clock. Nardella was unable to cleanly win the last faceoff or register a desperation shot, and the Swarm celebrated their first home win of the season.

3 Stars of the Game

1st Star: Thompson

2nd Star: Resetarits

3rd Star: Jackson (4g, 3a)

Other Stats of Note

  • Power Play: ALB 0 of 5; GA 2 of 5
  • Nardella (ALB): 22 of 31 on faceoffs; 15 loose balls (led all players)
  • TJ Comizio (GA): 4 Caused Turnovers (led all players)
  • Jamieson (ALB): 34 saves; Poulin (GA): 26 saves
Gary Groob
Gary Groob

Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.

An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.

Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.

In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.

Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).

Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.

Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.