Duluth, Ga – The New England Black Wolves nearly staged a miraculous comeback against the defending champion Georgia Swarm at Infinite Energy Arena Saturday night before eventually falling 17-12.
On the road just 24 hours after a tough home loss to Buffalo, the Black Wolves fell behind 10-3 at the half, and were trailing 13-4 after a goal by Randy Staats with just over five minutes remaining in the third quarter.
But New England (6-7) scored eight of the next 10 goals, getting within 15-12 when Kyle Buchanan – who started the comeback by scoring 28 seconds after Staats – collected his second goal of the night with 5:56 left on the clock.
Lyle Thompson (three goals, three assists) shut the comeback down for the Swarm (7-7), however, scoring with 3:42 remaining. Jesse King (two goals, three assists) added a power play goal with 1:25 left to seal the victory.
Callum Crawford (three goals, three assists) had his best game as a member of the Black Wolves while also collecting his 300th career goal. Crowley recorded his ninth hat trick and his 11th multiple-goal game while extending his streak of games with at least one goal to 32.
Johnny Powless (one goal, one assist), Adam Bomberry (one goal, one assist) and JP Kealey also scored during the comeback for New England.
Shayne Jackson (three goals, three assists), Miles Thompson (two goals, two assists) and Kiel Matisz (seven assists) contributed to the Georgia attack.
Georgia had a whopping 38-15 edge in shots during the first half – it was 20-3 at one point – building a 10-3 lead as eight different Swarm players scored at least one goal
The game was tied at 1-1 after Crowley answered a goal by MacIntosh with his 34th of the season 5:15 into the first quarter. But 26 seconds later, Georgia began a run of six unanswered goals when Jackson beat Bold to make it 2-1.
During that run of goals, which lasted seven minutes, 40 seconds, stretching into the first minute of the second quarter, Lyle Thompson, Miles Thompson, Staats, King and Bryan Cole all found the back of the net as the Swarm built a 7-1 lead.
Brett Manney scored his first goal of the season to make it 7-2, but Joel White answered for the Swarm in the sixth minute of the second quarter. Crawford cut the New England deficit to 8-3 in the 11th minute, but Jackson and Miles Thompson scored goals to make it 10-3 at the half.
New England is at Buffalo next Saturday. Game time is set 7:30 p.m.