Swarm Tie Game Late, Win Early In OT
Toronto, ON – The Georgia Swarm (6-1) defeated the Toronto Rock (4-2) by a score of 13-12 in overtime on Friday night at Air Canada Centre. Georgia scored with just seconds remaining in regulation to send it to overtime and won the game just 46 seconds into the sudden death extra period.
“It was a game you want to come out of on the right side of, but we didn’t, and that’s disappointing,” said Rock Head Coach Matt Sawyer. “We’re bound to face some adversity in the season, this is our first real test of it. We have to have a real short memory and forget about what happened tonight and bounce back in a big one tomorrow night in Rochester.”
The Swarm took it to Nick Rose early and scored on their third shot of the game. That goal, however, woke up the Rock offence and Dan Lintner, Kieran McArdle and Turner Evans put the Rock up 3-1. Shayne Jackson replied for the Swarm shorthanded but the Americans combined, 30 seconds apart, to give Toronto a 5-2 lead after the first. McArdle picked up his second before Tom Schreiber fired an underhand bullet past Mike Poulin.
Jordan Hall and Lyle Thompson sandwiched a Brett Hickey marker in the second quarter for a 6-4 Rock lead at the half. All three goals in the second quarter were on the power play.
Georgia outscored the Rock 5-4 in the third but the Rock held on for a 10-9 lead going into the final quarter. Stephan Leblanc, Damon Edwards and Lintner scored before McArdle completed his hat-trick. Miles Thompson also had a hat-trick on the Swarm side.
Sandy Chapman was credited with an assist on Edwards’ transition goal and the assist marked Chapman’s 100th point as a member of the Toronto Rock.
It was a tense fourth quarter. Jerome Thompson and Kiel Matisz put the Swarm up 11-10. The Rock’s transition game took over and captain Brodie Merrill tied the game at 7:21. The Rock had a great chance on the next possession but a sprawling Poulin made the save. Both teams were stymied until 13:59 when Chapman scooped the loose ball up to Latrell Harris on a clear cut fast-break and gave the Rock a 12-11 lead. Air Canada Centre erupted in dismay when Jackson re-tied the game at 12 with 3.2 seconds left.
After the Rock failed to score on their first possession in overtime, the Swarm’s Powless scored for the Swarm on their first try, 46 seconds into overtime.
Toronto’s goal scorers were led by McArdle’s three, followed by Lintner with a pair. Hickey, Evans, Schreiber, Leblanc, Merrill, Edwards and Harris all added singles. Schreiber was the top point getter with six points (1+5).
Toronto will travel to Rochester, NY on Saturday night to face the Knighthawks at the Blue Cross Arena at 7:30 p.m. ET. Fans can watch the game live on NLLTV.com. Toronto’s next home game will be Star Wars Charity Night benefitting the Smilezone Foundation on Friday, March 3. For tickets, please call 416-596-3075 or visit torontorock.com.