(Duluth, Ga.) – Behind three first-quarter goals from forward Johnny Powless, and a 35 save performance from Brodie MacDonald in net, the Georgia Swarm (1-1) garnered its first victory of the 2016 season in a 12-7 win over the Toronto Rock (0-1). A noisy crowd of 9,087 fans witnessed the first professional box lacrosse game in Georgia at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Field at Infinite Energy Arena on Saturday evening.
“It was awesome,” Powless said post-game of the fans following the first home game of the year. “…It was nice and loud. It’s a great place to play.”
Powless scored three of the game’s first seven goals, and struck for consecutive tallies to tie the game for the first time at 3-3 and gave Georgia its first lead at 4-3, in the opening 15 minutes. Toronto and Georgia traded 2-0 runs to open the contest.
“It looked like it was headed like last week with a lot of goals early,” head coach Ed Comeau said after the win on his team’s performance. “Then, credit to our goaltending and defense. They really made some big saves and some great plays in the second half.”
Toronto netted two of the first three goals to open the second quarter, taking a 6-5 lead, but would be held scoreless by MacDonald for over 40 minutes of play, including stopping all nine shots he faced in holding the Rock scoreless in the third quarter. In the second half, MacDonald stopped 17 of the 18 shots he faced.
“He played awesome,” Powless said after the game about Georgia’s netminder. “The defense played awesome and that’s what we needed on the field.”
Georgia was led offensively by Powless, who added an assist to his four-goal night. Forward Shayne Jackson (2G, 3A) and rookie F Randy Staats (3G, 4A), who has recorded a team-high 14 points (6G, 8A) through his first two career games in the NLL.
Captain Jordan MacIntosh had a strong night in the face-off circle, winning 57-percent of the faceoffs (12-21) while T Ethan O’Conner went a perfect 2-2.
In total, the Swarm outshot Toronto 44-42, while both teams converted twice on power plays; Georgia went 2-for-5, while the Rock went 2-for-7, and did not convert on a five-minute power play in the third quarter.
Georgia wraps up its brief two-game home stand next Sunday, Jan. 17, against the New England Black Wolves, with the opening face-off slated for 2 p.m. ET from Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Field at Infinite Energy Arena.
Call 844-4-GASWARM or visit GeorgiaSwarm.com to purchase tickets. All Swarm home games feature FREE PARKING. To view the Swarm’s full 18-game schedule in 2016, visit GeorgiaSwarm.com/games