Duluth, GA – In a game that featured runs by both teams, the Georgia Swarm rallied from 15-13 deficit, exploding for four goals in the last 3:32 of regulation to pull out a 17-15 win over the New England Black Wolves at Infinite Energy Arena on Saturday night.
The Black Wolves (2-4) looked to be in control after scoring for five goals in a span of 4:28 late in the fourth quarter, erasing a 13-10 Georgia lead. New England was under four minutes away from its third straight win and its first road victory of the year.
But Jordan Hall (four goals, two assists) scored three in a row in a span of 2:25, and Lyle Thompson (four goals, six assists) clinched the win with a goal in the last 45 seconds as the Swarm improved to 5-1 with their second home win of the year over New England. Jordan MacIntosh (three goals, six assists) also had a huge night for the Swarm.
Kevin Crowley had a season-high five goals with three assists, Shawn Evans had season-highs of four goals and eight assists and Kevin Buchanan had season-bests with three goals and four assists. Kyle Buchanan (two goals, one assist) and Pat Saunders (four assists) also contributed to the highest scoring effort of the season for New England.
Shutout in the first quarter of the previous meeting between the teams – a 14-9 loss in Georgia back on January 20th — the Black Wolves jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead in the first 11:21 of the game behind offensive production from Evans (two goals, two assists), Crowley (two goals, one assist) and Kevin Buchanan (one goal, two assists).
By the end of that first quarter, with the Black Wolves leading 6-3, Georgia goalie Mike Poulin (six goals allowed on 15 shots) had been pulled. His replacement, Brodie MacDonald, helped cool down the New England offense by making 25 saves on 29 shots through the end of the third quarter.
Georgia battled back from deficits of 7-4 and 8-5 in the second quarter, eventually tying the game at the half with unanswered goals from Randy Staats, Lyle Thompson and MacIntosh over the last 5:57 before intermission.
The run continued into the third quarter, when Hall scored 4:51 into the frame to give the Swarm a 9-8 lead.
Chad Culp tied the game at 9-9 just over a minute later, and New England regained the lead when Kevin Buchanan scored short-handed to make it 10-9. It was the sixth short-handed goal of the year for the Black Wolves and the league-best fifth road short-handed goal.
But Miles Thompson sparked another four-goal Georgia run with a power play goal late in the third quarter. He scored again in the first minute of the fourth quarter, and MacIntosh and Shayne Jackson followed to make it 13-10 just over five minutes into the fourth quarter.
New England responded, however, as goals by Kyle Buchanan, Evans and Kevin Buchanan tied the game at 13 before Crowley scored two straight, giving New England a 15-13 lead with four minutes, 11 seconds left.