The Georgia Swarm (12-4) cruised to a 17-10 victory against the San Diego Seals (9-5) on Friday night at Infinite Energy Arena, running their winning streak to five games and currently placing them in a tie for first place in the East Division.
The first-ever game between the two teams included another matchup unique in its own right, with star Swarm forward Randy Staats facing his younger brother Austin for the first time in a National Lacrosse League game.
The two brothers brought the action early and often as both found the back of the net in the first quarter, with Austin Staats’ goal coming on an early power play for the Seals.
The Swarm opened up the scoring in the second quarter as another pair of brothers stole the spotlight. Miles and Lyle Thompson went on a tear, scoring five of the teams six goals in the quarter. The other goal came from defender Adam Wiedemann on a brilliant play in transition.
“Our offense is based on everyone touching the ball and moving their feet and we did that. Everyone scored, in the first few minutes of the game everyone had a shot on goal,” Head Coach Ed Comeau said.
Lyle finished with four goals and two assists, while his brother Miles finished with three goals. The brothers would have ended with four apiece had it not been for a second-quarter challenge from San Diego that reversed a goal Miles had just scored between the legs of the goalie.
After a quiet third quarter by both offenses, the Swarm pulled away for good in the fourth. On a shorthanded play, defender Alex Crepinsek hustled his way to a goal on his first shot of the season following one of Swarm goalie Mike Poulin’s 38 saves on the night. Then Holden Cattoni scored another shorthanded goal, prompting the early pull of the Seals goalie Frank Scigliano.
Cattoni took advantage of backup goalie Tyler Carlson as well and scored twice more, the last coming on a power play. These three Swarm goals in a row — all by Cattoni — gave him a natural hat trick on the night.
“Apparently, that’s the only way I get my hat tricks this year is natural. My two this year, that’s how I’ve got them both, but I’ll take it obviously,” Cattoni said. “It’s a little bit of a monkey off my back and gives me a little bit of confidence as we go play Calgary next week.”
The last away game of the regular season has a special significance to Cattoni, as he was a former member of the Calgary Roughnecks.
“I’m excited to go to Calgary. I have a ton of friends and family that will be at the game and that is my favorite part about playing there. Obviously, I have something to prove going back to the team that traded me away,” Cattoni said. “Hopefully we come out with a good team win. That’s all I’m worried about.”
Coach Comeau praised the team’s efforts over the recent five-game win streak, which now has them tied for first place in the East Division as well.
“One of the things we always talk about is working hard for a teammate, setting picks, setting seals…sometimes just cutting middle gets a teammate an opportunity, and our guys are really committed to doing that, which means great opportunities for other guys,” said Comeau.
The Georgia Swarm have clinched a playoff spot and continue to fight for home field advantage, but you can catch them in action at home one more time this regular season. Support your hometown NLL team in its final home game April 20 at 7:05 p.m. against the Philadelphia Wings.