fbpx

#FaceOffWeekend is This Weekend! Schedule

×
WK
1
Fri, Dec 2
6:00 pm ET
Wings
Thunderbirds
Sat, Dec 3
5:00 pm ET
Warriors
Rock
Sat, Dec 3
7:30 pm ET
FireWolves
Bandits
Sat, Dec 3
7:30 pm ET
Seals
Riptide
Sat, Dec 3
8:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Swarm
Sat, Dec 3
8:30 pm ET
Mammoth
Rush
WK
2
Fri, Dec 9
8:30 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Panther City
Fri, Dec 9
10:00 pm ET
Rush
Seals
Sat, Dec 10
7:00 pm ET
Rock
Knighthawks
Sat, Dec 10
9:30 pm ET
Warriors
Roughnecks
WK
3
Fri, Dec 16
10:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Warriors
Fri, Dec 16
10:30 pm ET
Panther City
Desert Dogs
Sat, Dec 17
7:00 pm ET
Bandits
Rock
Sat, Dec 17
7:00 pm ET
Wings
Swarm
Sat, Dec 17
7:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
FireWolves
Sat, Dec 17
7:30 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Riptide
Sat, Dec 17
8:00 pm ET
Mammoth
Panther City
WK
5
Fri, Dec 30
7:30 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Bandits
Fri, Dec 30
9:00 pm ET
Seals
Roughnecks
Sat, Dec 31
9:00 pm ET
Panther City
Rush
WK
6
Fri, Jan 6
10:30 pm ET
Wings
Desert Dogs
Sat, Jan 7
7:00 pm ET
Bandits
Swarm
Sat, Jan 7
7:00 pm ET
Panther City
Knighthawks
Sat, Jan 7
7:00 pm ET
Thunderbirds
FireWolves
Sat, Jan 7
7:30 pm ET
Rock
Riptide
Sat, Jan 7
10:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Mammoth
Sat, Jan 7
10:00 pm ET
Warriors
Seals
WK
7
Fri, Jan 13
6:30 pm ET
FireWolves
Thunderbirds
Fri, Jan 13
9:00 pm ET
Rush
Mammoth
Sat, Jan 14
7:00 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Rock
Sat, Jan 14
7:00 pm ET
Panther City
Wings
Sat, Jan 14
7:30 pm ET
Swarm
Bandits
Sat, Jan 14
9:00 pm ET
Seals
Roughnecks
Sat, Jan 14
10:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Warriors
Sun, Jan 15
3:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Riptide
WK
8
Fri, Jan 20
7:30 pm ET
Bandits
Knighthawks
Fri, Jan 20
10:30 pm ET
Warriors
Desert Dogs
Sat, Jan 21
7:00 pm ET
Rock
Wings
Sat, Jan 21
7:00 pm ET
Riptide
FireWolves
WK
9
Fri, Jan 27
6:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Thunderbirds
Fri, Jan 27
7:00 pm ET
Bandits
Wings
Sat, Jan 28
7:30 pm ET
Bandits
Riptide
Sat, Jan 28
8:30 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Rush
Sat, Jan 28
9:00 pm ET
Rock
Roughnecks
Sat, Jan 28
9:00 pm ET
Seals
Mammoth
Sat, Jan 28
10:00 pm ET
Panther City
Warriors
WK
10
Fri, Feb 3
9:00 pm ET
Swarm
Mammoth
Sat, Feb 4
6:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Thunderbirds
Sat, Feb 4
7:00 pm ET
Riptide
Rock
Sat, Feb 4
7:00 pm ET
FireWolves
Wings
Sat, Feb 4
7:30 pm ET
Knighthawks
Bandits
Sat, Feb 4
10:00 pm ET
Panther City
Seals
Sat, Feb 4
10:00 pm ET
Rush
Warriors
Sat, Feb 4
10:30 pm ET
Mammoth
Desert Dogs
WK
11
Fri, Feb 10
7:30 pm ET
Rock
Swarm
Fri, Feb 10
9:00 pm ET
Rush
Roughnecks
Sat, Feb 11
7:00 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Knighthawks
Sat, Feb 11
7:30 pm ET
FireWolves
Riptide
Sat, Feb 11
8:00 pm ET
Warriors
Panther City
Sat, Feb 11
9:00 pm ET
Mammoth
Roughnecks
WK
12
Fri, Feb 17
10:00 pm ET
Rush
Seals
Fri, Feb 17
10:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Warriors
Sat, Feb 18
7:00 pm ET
Swarm
Rock
Sat, Feb 18
7:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
FireWolves
Sat, Feb 18
7:30 pm ET
Wings
Bandits
Sat, Feb 18
8:00 pm ET
Mammoth
Panther City
Sun, Feb 19
1:00 pm ET
Riptide
Thunderbirds
WK
13
Fri, Feb 24
9:00 pm ET
Panther City
Mammoth
Fri, Feb 24
10:30 pm ET
Roughnecks
Desert Dogs
Sat, Feb 25
7:00 pm ET
FireWolves
Swarm
Sat, Feb 25
7:00 pm ET
Riptide
Knighthawks
Sat, Feb 25
8:00 pm ET
Warriors
Rush
WK
14
Fri, Mar 3
6:30 pm ET
Bandits
Thunderbirds
Sat, Mar 4
11:30 am ET
Riptide
Wings
Sat, Mar 4
4:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Seals
Sat, Mar 4
7:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Rock
Sat, Mar 4
7:00 pm ET
Swarm
FireWolves
Sat, Mar 4
8:00 pm ET
Rush
Panther City
Mon, Mar 6
7:00 pm ET
Rock
Wings
WK
15
Fri, Mar 10
7:30 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Bandits
Fri, Mar 10
9:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Mammoth
Sat, Mar 11
7:00 pm ET
FireWolves
Rock
Sat, Mar 11
7:30 pm ET
Wings
Riptide
Sat, Mar 11
8:30 pm ET
Seals
Rush
Sat, Mar 11
10:30 pm ET
Warriors
Desert Dogs
Sun, Mar 12
4:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Swarm
WK
16
Fri, Mar 17
9:00 pm ET
Rush
Roughnecks
Fri, Mar 17
10:00 pm ET
Seals
Warriors
Sat, Mar 18
11:00 am ET
Swarm
Wings
Sat, Mar 18
6:00 pm ET
Rock
Thunderbirds
Sat, Mar 18
7:30 pm ET
Mammoth
Bandits
Sat, Mar 18
7:30 pm ET
FireWolves
Riptide
Sat, Mar 18
8:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Panther City
Sun, Mar 19
3:00 pm ET
Wings
Knighthawks
WK
17
Fri, Mar 24
8:30 pm ET
Seals
Panther City
Sat, Mar 25
7:00 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Wings
Sat, Mar 25
7:00 pm ET
Rock
FireWolves
Sat, Mar 25
7:30 pm ET
Swarm
Riptide
Sat, Mar 25
9:30 pm ET
Roughnecks
Rush
Sat, Mar 25
10:00 pm ET
Bandits
Seals
Sat, Mar 25
10:00 pm ET
Mammoth
Warriors
Sat, Mar 25
10:30 pm ET
Knighthawks
Desert Dogs
WK
18
Fri, Mar 31
7:00 pm ET
Riptide
Swarm
Fri, Mar 31
9:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Mammoth
Fri, Mar 31
10:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Seals
Sat, Apr 1
7:00 pm ET
Bandits
Rock
Sat, Apr 1
8:00 pm ET
FireWolves
Panther City
Sat, Apr 1
9:30 pm ET
Warriors
Rush
Sun, Apr 2
1:00 pm ET
Swarm
Thunderbirds
Sun, Apr 2
6:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Wings
WK
19
Sat, Apr 8
7:00 pm ET
Rush
Swarm
Sat, Apr 8
7:00 pm ET
FireWolves
Knighthawks
Sat, Apr 8
9:00 pm ET
Panther City
Roughnecks
Sat, Apr 8
9:00 pm ET
Warriors
Mammoth
Sat, Apr 8
10:30 pm ET
Seals
Desert Dogs
WK
20
Fri, Apr 14
9:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Roughnecks
Fri, Apr 14
9:00 pm ET
Seals
Mammoth
Sat, Apr 15
7:00 pm ET
Wings
Rock
Sat, Apr 15
7:00 pm ET
Swarm
FireWolves
Sat, Apr 15
7:30 pm ET
Riptide
Bandits
Sat, Apr 15
9:30 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Rush
Sat, Apr 15
10:00 pm ET
Panther City
Warriors
WK
21
Fri, Apr 21
8:30 pm ET
Roughnecks
Panther City
Sat, Apr 22
6:00 pm ET
Riptide
Thunderbirds
Sat, Apr 22
7:00 pm ET
Swarm
Knighthawks
Sat, Apr 22
8:00 pm ET
Rock
Bandits
Sat, Apr 22
9:30 pm ET
Mammoth
Rush
Sat, Apr 22
10:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Seals
Sun, Apr 23
3:00 pm ET
Wings
FireWolves
WK
22
Sat, Apr 29
7:00 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Swarm
Sat, Apr 29
7:00 pm ET
Wings
Knighthawks
Sat, Apr 29
7:00 pm ET
Bandits
FireWolves
Sat, Apr 29
10:00 pm ET
Mammoth
Seals
Sat, Apr 29
10:00 pm ET
Riptide
Warriors
Sat, Apr 29
10:30 pm ET
Rush
Desert Dogs
Powered By
MGM Logo
Scores / Schedule
Stories/Op-Ed

The Swarm Are Back in Town And Ready For A Playoff Push

This past Saturday was a reunion of sorts for the 2017 Champion’s Cup winners, the Georgia Swarm. It was the first time since Game One of the 2017 NLL East Division Final that transition players Chad Tutton and Joel White, as well as forwards Kiel Matisz and Jordan Hall were all suited up and on the bench ready to face an opponent together. As the band Thin Lizzy wrote to open their chart-topping 1976 song, The Boys Are Back In Town, “Guess who just got back today, them wild-eyed boys that had been away.”

 

“We’ve said all along,” Swarm assistant coach Dan Ladouceur noted. “[Each of the returning players] aren’t magic pills. It’s not like we insert them and then everything is right again. But, they’re definitely pieces of something bigger.”

 

While each of the newly returned players may not be an instant solution to winning more games, Ladouceur did make clear that both on and off the floor, guys like Tutton, White, Hall, and Matisz make a significant impact on the team, particularly the younger players.

 

Rookie transition player Zed Williams was forced into various roles from the getgo this season while Tutton and White were out. Ladouceur admits that being in that situation is tough on a young player who is trying to acclimate to the high-quality of play at the NLL-level.

 

“It’s a tough spot for Zed,” Ladouceur said. “Typically we ask an offensive player to be at the [defensive] door and to learn about how to play on defense and then also be a threat in transition. On the defensive said of the ball, I can honestly say we’ve seen marked improvements from him and also his ability to transition on the offensive end. We’ve asked him to do a lot of things as a rookie; it’s pretty tough, we’ve asked him to do a lot. It’s hard to key in on one aspect of his game and get really good at it when we’re changing his role as often as we have. But, he’s responded, and we’ve seen marked improvements.”

 

Williams has collected 41 loose balls and caused nine turnovers over the nine games he’s participated in this year – he also has added eight points (five goals and three assists). While those are decent from a rookie in his ever-changing role, it does not make up for the physical, gritty defense of Tutton who caused 22 turnovers in 2017 or the dogged play of white who recorded four caused turnovers, scooped up 31 loose balls and tallied nine points (3 goals and six assists) in the four Swarm playoff games last season.

 

Even though Williams is likely to see a significant decrease in his playing time with the team’s veteran transition players back in the lineup, he says he is always ready to contribute in any way he can, “Whatever the team needs me to do, I’m ready to do it to help the team win,” The rookie said.

 

Nevertheless, many of the team’s other key players such as the Thompson brothers, Miles and Lyle, Randy Staats, Mike Poulin, Jordan MacIntosh, and Shayne Jackson to name a few, have been trying to string together wins with an incomplete lineup that has looked far less potent than it did last year. Now with four core pieces of last year’s lineup back and ready to play, this team is prepared for a stronger second half of the season to grab a playoff spot.

 

“At the begging of this year,” Lyle Thompson said. “We were telling ourselves, ‘don’t look at last year.’ But now, it’s nice to look at last year as a teaching point and look at what we did last year that made us successful. This year, it has been about going through adversity and learning from it.”

 

There has been a sharp offensive decline from the Swarm’s record-setting season last year. Whereas last year the Swarm averaged 14.78 goals per game, this year they are only posting 11.91 per game. Even more remarkable, the Swarm had the league’s second-best power play in 2017 at 55.56% but have barely cracked the 30% mark this season by capitalizing on a league-worst 32.56% of man-up chances. To put their scoring woes into further perspective, last year the team’s goal differential was +53 while this year it is -10.

 

Lyle Thompson is putting the responsibility on himself as one of the team’s most gifted scorers to help his team get better on 5-on-5 chances, but especially on the power play.

 

“I think the only thing we need to do on the power play is to shoot the ball more accurately,” the youngest Thompson brother said. “I put it on me; it’s my fault. I’m the point shooter, and I have to be a threat and have the defenses respect me as a shooter. If that doesn’t happen, the guys alongside me, the crease-men, they don’t get those better opportunities.”

 

Lyle will be getting help from transition pieces like Tutton and White who will help to create chances throughout the game.

 

“The transition pieces are obviously a very important part of the Georgia Swarm,” White said with excitement. “I think that Chad brings that energy, and myself, I can help bring the ball up the floor; we add a different dimension to be able to get up the floor quickly for our unbelievable offense.”

 

The hope that this team can play better in the second half of this season than they did in the first half is palpable. It is clear that this newly reunited Swarm team is no longer the 5-4 team that is currently sitting fourth-place in the East and out of the playoffs.

 

“For me personally,” Ladouceur said. “Having these guys back and having the team gelling – we’re always talking about having the team gelling – when you’re on this side, it’s really exciting, and you can actually see the differences with the guys and how they interact in the locker room and during warmups. Seeing that now is giving me a sense of confidence that going forward we’re on the way to where we need to be, and that we’re rolling and peaking at the proper time of the season.

 

The players are echoing their coach’s confidence heading into the back-half of the 2018 season. “I know we can beat any team and I’m confident that we’re going to win,” Lyle said. White added, “Being part of the lineup again this past weekend felt pretty good. I think we have a group that is starting to click at the right time as we head down the back-half of the season.”

 

The Swarm will need to mesh quickly, though. With their next four games against East Division opponents and five of their last seven overall against the East, the pressure will surely be on them to sneak back into a playoff spot.

 

The confidence is back because the players are have returned to a more recognizable group to last year’s squad. As the song says, “The boys are back in town, the boys are back in town, again.”

 

NLL