The Georgia Swarm (3-2) earned a weekend sweep with a 13-9 road win over the Rochester Knighthawks (2-2) in front of 8,770 fans at the Blue Cross Arena Saturday night.
The Swarm dominated the first quarter, scoring four goals. Ethan O’Connor got the first goal 3:43 into the game. Then Miles Thompson scored with 6:23 left in the quarter, followed by Johnny Powless a minute later. Lyle Thompson got on the board with 2:04 left, but the Swarm were unable to capitalize after pulling goalie Brodie MacDonald for the extra attacker with 30 seconds to go.
Paul Dawson took a penalty at the end of the first to put the Knighthawks a man down to start the second, but they successfully killed it. Adam Bomberry got Rochester on the board on a partial breakaway with 8:42 left in the second quarter to cut the lead to 4-1. The Swarm answered back less than two minutes later on a diving goal by Shayne Jackson.
The Knighthawks got a goal back with Joel White in the box for the Swarm as Dan Dawson flipped a no-look behind-the-back pass to Cory Vitarelli who had a few inches of open net and made it count. Adam Bomberry took a penalty and the Swarm got three shot-clock resets to start the power play, but the Knighthawks successfully killed the penalty off. The Knighthawks gathered the ball with 12.1 seconds left and called a timeout to get goalie Matt Vinc off the floor and pull goalie Matt Vinc. Cody Jamieson got a shot off with 2.6 seconds left but MacDonald gathered it in like he had most of the first half to keep the Swarm ahead 5-2 at halftime.
Stephen Keogh had a great chance to cut into the Swarm’s lead, but MacDonald got his arm in the way. The Swarm went down the other end and Powless netted his second goal of the night 2:47 in to extend the lead to 6-2. Shortly thereafter, Paul Dawson got called for a holding penalty then an unsportsmanlike penalty to sit for four minutes. However, Staats took a delay of game penalty to wipe out the Swarm’s advantage for two minutes. The Swarm killed off the Staats penalty after Jamieson missed a close-in opportunity, then Powless tallied his hat-trick goal with 1:26 left in Dawson’s penalty to take a 7-2 lead. Staats scored with 4:16 left, but Craig Point scored with 3:25 left to make it 8-3.
Mike Kirk took a two-minute roughing penalty with 1:15 to go in the period to put the Swarm back on the power play, and Staats capitalized 14 seconds in for his second goal to make it 9-3. Point answered back off a nice pass from Dan Dawson to make it 9-4 with 26.6 seconds left. The Knighthawks pushed for a buzzer-beater to end the third, but MacDonald put the rebound into the corner to preserve the 9-4 lead.
The fourth quarter started with back-and-forth play, but Cody Jamieson got the first goal 3:32 in. Miles Thompson scored 33 seconds later to reopen the six-goal lead, but Scott Campbell cut the lead back to five 19 seconds later. Earl then took a roughing penalty to put the Knighthawks on the power play and Point picked up his hat trick goal to make it 11-7 after 13 seconds. Just as they had all night, the Swarm had an answer with two goals in 33 seconds by Miles Thompson and Jackson to make it 13-7 with eight minutes to go.
The Knighthawks would not go away quietly with Vitarelli netting his second goal of the night with 6:41 left to make it 13-8. Then 29 seconds later, Joe Resetarits got on the board to make it 13-9. Earl took another penalty for the Swarm after a high hit on a Knighthawks player with 5:41 to go in the game. The Swarm killed off the penalty, but Jason Noble took a penalty for checking from behind that was assessed with 3:27 to go. The Swarm killed that penalty off too, and the Knighthawks were unable to finish the comeback.
Three Stars of the Game:
1) Johnny Powless
2) Randy Staats
3) Brodie MacDonald
By Jeremy Pike for NLL.com. Photo by Micheline Veluvolu.