Shawn Slaght, All Lacrosse All The Time – A division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network
The Philadelphia Wings came from behind to defeat the Swarm 13-12 in Georgia on Saturday night in a nail-biter of a game.
These two teams always put on a close contest, and this was no exception. Trailing 10-7 heading into the final frame, the Wings put up six goals, including the game-winner Hunter Lemieux, with 2:29 left in the game. Not only was it the game-winner, but it was also Lemieux’s first-ever NLL goal.
It was a big match-up for both teams coming off Week 1 losses, and both had something to prove in what could be a tight race in the East Conference.
Meanwhile, the Wings were dominated on the faceoff dot, taking 22 of 27 draws. Special teams also played a huge role as the road team was a perfect 3-for-3 with the man advantage. Philly got timely goaltending out of Zach Higgins as they were outshot 50-44.
A high Scoring First Frame
Bryan Cole opened the scoring for the Swarm 2:10 into the game with a transition marker to make it 1-0.
Philly replied right back 49 seconds later with a goal from Sam LeClair finding the back of the net. Blaze Riorden would beat Swarm goaltender Craig Wende to give the Wings a 2-1 lead.
Adam Wiedemann took over from there. He tied up the game with 8:21 left on the clock and gave the Swarm a 3-2 lead with just over seven minutes left in the quarter.
Brendan Bomberry would cap off a three-goal run for the Swarm at 6:11 to make the score 4-2.
Fifty seconds later Ben McIntosh would strike for the Wings to get Philly back within one, but Jordan MacIntosh replied with 4:08 left to restore Georgia’s two-goal cushion.
Ben McIntosh struck again with 1:38 left to make it 5-4, but the scoring didn’t end there. Andrew Kew beat the buzzer by scoring with 16 seconds left to make it 6-4 for the Swarm at the first intermission.
Polar opposite second quarter
After a combined 10 goals in the first quarter, neither team could make headway in the second quarter.
Philly’s dangerous powerplay unit got to work early. Matt Rambo scored on the man advantage at 12:16 to bring the Wings back within one.
Georgia again cut it close to the end of the quarter. Shayne Jackson scored with 39 seconds left as the Swarm held a 7-5 advantage at the halftime break.
The Swarm Extend Their Lead
Jackson put Georgia right back on the board 1:44 into the third quarter, as both teams struggled to hold on to momentum.
Offseason acquisition Joe Resetarits potted his first of the game for the Wings with 7:33 left to play in the third quarter to make it 8-6 in favour of the Swarm.
Bomberry answered right back, taking a feed from Kew and burying it passed Higgins on the powerplay at 5:14 to help Georgia regain their three-goal lead.
Riorden would come to the rescue again at 4:43, but a last-minute goal put Georgia up by three again. With 48 seconds left on the clock, Lyle Thompson let a shot go that Higgins got a piece of. The ball trickled over the line to make it 10-7 for Georgia heading into the fourth quarter.
All Wings in the Fourth
Philly opened the fourth quarter with a five-goal run starting with Resetarits 3:20 into the final frame.
McIntosh and Cory Vitarelli each scored power play markers with just over eight minutes left in the game to tie it up 10-10.
Resetarits scored the hat trick with 7:42 left to play to give the Wings the lead. Riorden struck at 6:18 as Philly took a 12-10 advantage.
Kew would get Georgia back on the board until Lemieux scored a beauty with 2:29 left to play. He twisted Wende into a knott with fakes before burying it into the back of the net.
If you’re the Georgia Swarm and you are trailing, who do you give the ball to? Lyle Thompson of course. Lyle scored at 1:13 to give Georgia a fighting chance.
Bomberry would let a shot go at the buzzer that nearly tied the game, but Higgins was able to get enough of the shot to keep it out of the net.
Wings forward Ben McIntosh and head coach Paul Day had this to say after the game:
- Ben McIntosh, 3g 4a
- Joe Resetarits, 3g 2a
- Blaze Riorden, 3g 2a
- Shayne Jackson, 2g 3a
- Andre Kew, 2g 3a
- Lyle Thompson 2g 2a
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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.