The Georgia Swarm Defeat League Rivals in Overtime
DULUTH, Ga.— The Georgia Swarm ends their losing streak with a hard-fought 14-13 overtime win against league rivals Toronto Rock on Saturday.
“It was a great game, both teams played real well, and it just showed some resilience,” head coach Ed Comeau said. “We were down five nothing, and being able to keep our composure and keep chipping away and get back in it and eventually take it.”
Co-captain Shayne Jackson scored the game-winning goal almost four minutes into the sudden-death overtime.
“I was just trying to set a good pick and get [the defender’s] hands-free,” Jackson said. “I was able to reach around [Rose], and luckily it went in.”
The game started off slow for the Swarm, with a faceoff violation giving the Rock early possession and allowing Toronto forward Dan Lintner a goal in the first thirty seconds of play. From there, Toronto scored nearly a goal a minute for four minutes with Dan Craig, Adam Jones, Rob Hellyer and Challen Rogers scoring one goal each. The Swarm struggled with possession, only touching the ball a few times before finally retaliating with their first goal scored by Jesse King in the sixth minute.
Georgia brought up the energy after their first goal, getting much more aggressive and physical on offense and firing off three more goals in a row. Each team scored once more before the quarter ended, the Swarm trailing 6-5.
“I think we really wanted that one; it was definitely that feeling on the bench that everyone really, really wanted it,” Swarm forward Jordan Hall said. “A little bit of desperation makes us a little bit more of a dangerous team.”
Randy Staats managed to tie the game up in the second quarter, followed by Kiel Matisz scoring and Hall’s third goal of the night. Toronto’s Kieran McArdle closed out the half with a goal, the Swarm still leading by one point, 8-9.
“They’ve [Toronto] got so many good shooters that we can’t be back on our heels,” Comeau said. “We gotta to be out on our toes, being aggressive and I think offensively we talked about trying to get the ball a little deeper, we were a little bit too high at times.”
The rest of the game went back and forth between the teams, Toronto taking two goals early followed by King’s third goal of the match to end the third quarter.
Miles Thompson tied the game up with just under four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, forced into sudden death overtime where Shayne Jackson took his opportunity on goal and ended the game 14-13.
“Mike Poulin and our D made some good saves,” Comeau said. “I think we made some good plays at the end, and they had some good chances. Both teams traded punches in overtime, and we were lucky to come out with a win.”
The Swarm face their last bye week of the season before playing against the Colorado Mammoth March 2 in Duluth at the Infinite Energy Arena.