Di Miller, Correspondent New York Riptide
Lacrosse is Awesome©
Featured Image Photo Credit: A. McIntyre
The Georgia Swarm (7-4) made the trip to Long Island to face their East Division rivals the New York Riptide (1-12) for the third game of their series which was tied at one game apiece. The Riptide had their one and only victory against the Swarm on January 18 and were hoping to get Win No. 2 tonight. They had 5,207 fans in NYBC Live Arena last night and what started out as an extremely promising first half with the ‘Tide holding the Swarm to a scoreless quarter (only the second time this year for Georgia), it would turn ugly in the fourth. The Swarm would outscore the ‘Tide 6-1 in the final 15 and go on to win the contest. Final Score: Swarm 11—Riptide 7.
The Riptide got it going in the first with Pat Saunders (2g, 1a) making his debut at 4:48 off a nice behind-the-back feed from Kieran McArdle as he’d fire it into the empty net to get them on the board. At lot of back and forth action with some great saves on both end of the floor before the ‘Tide would break the Mike Poulin Wall with 1:45 remaining in the frame. Dan MacRae (1g) found the sweet spot over the top short side in transition putting the home team up by two. The New York offense was all over the Swarm defense in the first quarter and Gowah Abrams was mind-blowing in between the pipes as well. The Riptide led in all categories: Shots on Goal 10-9; Loose Balls 20-19; and Face-offs 3-3. Score at the end of one: Riptide 2—Swarm 0.
Georgia finally got on the board at the 2:59 mark of the second. Lyle Thompson (2g, 5a) would notch his 25th of the year when he went underneath his defender and with the crease dive buried it far side. New York had gone on three man-down situations and not allowed a power-play goal by the Swarm so far in the contest and their defensive unit was clicking. But the Thompson goal would be it for the frame. This would be the worst scoring half by Georgia all year and the best half ever by New York. Georgia had taken the lead in shots on goal 23-22; and loose balls 45-31. But New York had completely dominated at the face-off dot going 5-5. Score at the end of the first half: Riptide 2—Swarm 1.
The second half had a much different look than the first. The teams would trade goal for goal in the third with New York starting it off. Dan Lomas (1g, 1a) on the up pick pressing up from the middle got the feed from McArdle and found a piece of the net far side at 1:21 and it was 3-1 in favor of the ‘Tide. It took almost seven and a half minutes before the stalemate would break and it would be Georgia striking next. Bryan Cole (2g, 1a) on the right hand side found the hole and put it in under Abrams hand at the 8:56 mark. Less than two minutes later, New York used some simple ball movement to keep the defensive moving and Connor Kelly (1g, 2a) with the twister power-play tally bouncer shot got Poulin to drop and he’d notch his 15th of the season with 4:14 remaining. It took less than 30 seconds before Shayne Jackson (2g, 1a) got the cross crease pass and put it far side with 3:37 left in the half closing the gap again 4-3. But once again it took less than 3o seconds and New York would answer back. Tyson Gibson (1g, 2a) used the screen and connected with a twister shot over the top with 3:08 left 5-3 New York. Then Brendan Bomberry (1g) would notch his first goal of the season for the Swarm in transition up high down low five-hole 5-4 Georgia with 2:27 remaining. The final goal in the third was a beauty. A cross floor pass from Connor Kelly to Travis Longboat (1g, 2a) for the snipe shot top corner with 1:37 on the ticker. That was the last time that the Riptide would hold a two goal lead in the contest. The Swarm led in shots on goal 38-32; and loose balls 63-50. The Riptide still led in face-offs 9-13. Score at the end of three: Riptide 6—Swarm 4.
Georgia would go on a four-goal run to start the fourth and never looked back. Zed Williams (2g, 1a) was left wide open in front of the net, used the screen and hit net far side only 44 seconds in; Cole would notch the equalizer off the feed from Staats on the back door at GLE and snuck it in the back door at 1:33 to tie it at six apiece. Riptide’s defenseman Tyson Bomberry would get hit with a five-minute major and go to the sin bin. In that time the Swarm would capitalize with two power-play tallies. Jackson found an opening pulled it back and put it over Abrams foot at 4:34 for the go ahead goal; and (L) Thompson fired one straight up the middle and hit five-hole at 6:25 putting them up 8-6 to end the man up. New York would go on their own man up and Saunders would capitalize 19 seconds in firing one over the top halting the run at 6:46. Unfortunately for the ‘Tide that would be it for their scoring in the game as the Swarm would score the final three. Williams would notch his second at 8:22; Miles Thompson (1g, 1a) would get on the board off the rebound on the (L) Thompson shot and quickly put in the back of the net with 5:06 remaining; and Randy Staats (1g, 5a) would score on the empty net with 1:40 left in the frame. Final Score: Swarm 11—Riptide 7.
New York started out extremely strong in the first half; they looked good on their transitions; and Gowah Abrams was extremely strong in between the pipes. If they could have carried the momentum from the first half into the second they would have won this contest as it was clear they had outplayed the Swarm. The question remains…should New York have pulled Alex Buque out of the net sooner in the season and given Abrams the nod?
The loss eliminates the Riptide from the play-offs and even if they had won the chances were a million to one they would have been contenders. So now they need to figure out ways to win the rest of the season and look to next year.
Georgia: 55 SOG; 24 SOFF; 85 LB; 9-22 FO; 2-5 PP; 10 PIM
New York: 46 SOF; 25 SOFF; 66 LB; 13-22 FO; 2-2 PP; 11 PIM
Georgia Mike Poulin: 46 SOF; 39 Saves; 7 GA; .848 Sv%
New York Gowah Abrams: 54 SOG; 44 Saves; 10 GA; .815 Sv%
The New York Riptide (1-12) will head to Philadelphia to face the Wings (7-6) on Sunday March 15, game time 7:00 p.m. EST.
The Georgia Swarm (7-4) will host the Philadelphia Wings (7-6) today Sunday March 8, game time 4:00 p.m. EST. This game is extremely important as this is an East Division match up with the Swarm now sitting in Second place in the division. Georgia leads the series 2-0…can they sweep?
Di Miller, Correspondent New York Riptide
Lacrosse is Awesome©