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

The Albany FireWolves and Georgia Swarm met at MVP Arena in Albany on Saturday night for the rubber match of their season series. The teams previously split a home-and-home doubleheader in Week 10, More importantly, just a half-game separated these teams for the fourth and final secure playoff spot in the East Division standings This meant the winner of this game would gain a huge tiebreaker advantage, with a realistic possibility that the loser could wind up on the outside looking in with regard to the playoff picture. In yet another rendition of “A Tale of Two Halves, the Swarm overcame a five-goal deficit in the second half to win 15-12.

First Half

Georgia defenseman Jeff Henrick (1:13) scored his second career NLL goal to open the game Oddly enough, his first career goal also opened the scoring in the Week 10 game at Albany, Joe Resetarits (3g, 3a; 4:32) evened the score at 1, and Jacob Ruest (2g, 2a; 9:13) gave Albany a 2-1 lead. Later in the quarter, three goals in a 40-second span would see Jordan Macintosh (12:52) tie the game again, before Resetarits notched his second (13:09), and Andrew Kew (2g, 1a; 13:32) made it 4-2 FireWolves.

The second quarter would see Albany outscome Georgia 4-2 once again. Colton Watkinson (1g) converted on a breakaway at 7:07, Shayne Jackson (3g, 1a; 8:32) would respond for the Swarm with a nifty quick stick past Albany goalie Doug Jamieson. Resetarits tallied his hat-trick goal at 10:08, and Ruest would add his second at 11:56. Swarm netminder Mike Poulin was relieved by Craig Wende following the Ruest goal.

Stephan Leblanc, who was traded to Georgia from Halifax via Panther City this week, scored his first goal in a Swarm uniform at 12:58, but Jackson Nishimura (2g) would answer 7 seconds later off the ensuing faceoff to make it 8-4 Albany at halftime.

Second Half

Similar to the second quarter, the third quarter saw all of its goals come in a flurry during the latter minutes of the frame. Nishimura would add his second in transition at 8:58, and a would hold up under a review challenge from Swarm coach Ed Comeau.

Then the Lyle Thompson Show began.

A natural hat trick from Thompson (9:28: 11:30; 11:48) would cut the deficit to 9-7. Kason Tarbell appeared to make it a one-goal game with a transition goal at 14:48, but FireWolves coach Glenn Clark threw his challenge flag, and replays showed Tarbell’s foot stepped into the crease before his shot trickled over the goal fine – no goal.

Kew’s second goal 17 seconds into the fourth quarter made it 10-7 Albany, Thompson’s fourth of the night (1:09) pulled Georgia within two. Less than a minute later, Chad Tutton would score in transition to make it 10-9. Jordan Durston pushed the FireWolves lead back to two with a goal at 3:14, before the Swarm netted six of the last seven goals.

Jordan Hall (2g. 1a) closed the gap to one at 3:43, Then Jackson’s second (8:06), Hall’s second (8:38), and Bryan Cole (1g, 3a; 9:09) suddenly put Georgia up 13-11, Charlie Kitchen (1g, 1a) made it a one-goal game at 12-54, before Thompson scored his fifth of the night (13:45), and Jackson added an empty-netter for his hat trick to seal the win.

Now 7-6, the Swarm have a 1.5 game lead on Philadelphia (5-7), and a 2.5 game lead on Albany (6-8) for the 4th place playoff spot in the East Division.

3 Stars of the Game

  • 1st Star Lyle Thompson (5g. 4a)
  • 2nd Star: Shayne Jackson
  • 3rd Star: Joe Resetarits

Other Stats of Note

  • Power Play: GA 2 of 3: ALB 0 of 2
  • Joe Nardella (ALB): 27 of 30 on faceoffs
  • Reilly O’Connor (ALB): 4 assists
  • Thompson (GA) 11 loose balls (led all players): scored his 500th career NLL point
  • Craig Wende (GA): 22 saves in 33 minutes in relief of Poulin

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.