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Georgia Swarm holds to 1/2 game Lead in Eastern NLL nailbiter

With six games remaining in the regular season, the Georgia Swarm (8-4) hold tight to the East Division National Lacrosse League lead.
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With six games remaining in the regular season, the Georgia Swarm (8-4) hold tight to the East Division National Lacrosse League lead. The Swarm currently sit half a game in front of the Toronto Rock, who narrowly defeated them last Friday night (March 24), 12-11, their first home loss in 2017.

With Randy Staats, Miles Thompson, and Johnny Powless all contributing goals, the Swarm were up 11-8 in the fourth quarter when Toronto scored the last three goals in regulation, and then in overtime the Rock’s Reinholdt found the winning goal 44 seconds in, leading to their 12-11 win.

It was a disappointing reversal from the Swarm’s 17-8 victory against the Calgary Roughnecks the previous Friday, March 17. The Swarm has not seen a victory against Calgary since March 2012.

That game featured the return of key offensive player Randy Staats, who suffered a concussion earlier in the season. Additionally, the Swarm also welcomed back to the field two other key offensive players who have also suffered injuries this season- Miles Thompson (back), and Johnny Powless (concussion). All three had not been on the field together since the February 11 game against New England.

ICMN was at that February 11 home game at Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth, Georgia, to capture the second of four matchups between the Swarm and its rival, the New England Black Wolves. It was an extended family affair for the Swarm’s Thompson Bros. as their cousin, Bill O'Brien, no. 96, plays for the Wolves. The final matchup will be Friday, April 7 at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

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All three Thompson brothers made the board with Lyle being awarded 3rd Star for the game. Randy Staats (Mohawk) also scored with one goal and two assists.

The action-packed third quarter gave Georgia its first lead of the night. A crucial final play of the quarter, featured Lyle passing to Staats, then to Miles Thompson for a power play goal.

With a few lead turnovers in the fourth quarter, Miles brought in another goal to give Georgia their second lead of the night. Then with three-and-half minutes left in regulation, they rallied and scored four goals to pull out the victory, 17-15. Lyle Thompson, #4 (Onondaga Nation), scored the final goal in dramatic fashion.

Georgia Swarm will take on the Colorado Mammoth at Infinite Energy Arena on Saturday, April 1.