Defending NLL champs take frustrations out on the Rock

A quality team like the Georgia Swarm was not going to lay down after losing the front end of a back-to-back.

The defending NLL champions, who have spent much of the season at the bottom of the East Division standings, gave up three goals late on Friday night in an 11-10 home loss to the Colorado Mammoth.

On Saturday, Georgia took out its frustration and put together a complete game in a 12-7 win over the Toronto Rock at the Air Canada Centre.

The Swarm proved to be difficult to contain and while Toronto put out a good defensive effort, Georgia was good in all areas, shutting down Toronto’s offensive set, laying constant pressure to the man with the ball in its zone, blocking shots, and not allowing sufficient opportunities in transition. And to top it off, goaltender Mike Poulin played to the form he showed on many occasions in 2017.

“Our defence really stepped up,” Swarm coach Ed Comeau said. “Our offence got some timely goals. It’s tough to win on the road and tough to win the second of a back-to-back. Our guys played with the intensity and the urgency and the anger we need to win in this league.”

The Rock ended the opening period with a 3-2 lead to the second quarter. Kieran McArdle scored twice, once on a low shot that beat Poulin and once in transition after some good work by Brock Sorensen created a breakaway opportunity. Rob Hellyer opened the scoring for Toronto while Kiel Matisz and Lyle Thompson scored for Georgia.

Both Matisz and Thompson scored their second as the Swarm took a 7-5 lead to halftime. Miles Thompson, Shayne Jackson and Jordan Hall also scored in a quarter where both offenses saw many of their shot attempts either miss the net or hit the framework. Toronto did a good job getting to the front of the net and though Poulin was sharp on many occasions, both Dan Lintner and Brett Hickey were able to beat him. An issue for Toronto early was the power play, which looked very unimpressive in three first-half attempts.

The Swarm increased the lead to 9-5 with markers early in the third. Jackson scored his second while Jesse King added his name to the scoresheet. Late in the third with the Rock on a power-play, Jackson levelled a defenceless Damon Edwards, earning him a five-minute major. And while the Rock executed the power-play better, Poulin was spectacular, perfectly handling several Rock shots and denying the home side again with the man advantage.

Hickey and Reid Reinholdt finished the scoring for Toronto before 10,679 in the building. Brothers Miles and Lyle Thompson added to their evenings as did Jackson.

“Our effort wasn’t where it needed to be, especially coming out of a bye and with the importance the game held” Rock coach Matt Sawyer said.

The Rock is back at the Air Canada Centre next Sunday for an afternoon encounter with the New England Black Wolves.

Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies