January 9, 2016
Photo by Paul Sasso/nll.com
Photo by Paul Sasso/nll.com

Swarm Wins Home Opener to Highlight NLL Action

from staff reports

Georgia dominated the second half to come out victorious in its inaugural home game with a 12-7 win over Toronto before a crowd of 9,087 at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Field at Infinite Energy Arena to highlight the National Lacrosse League schedule on Saturday night.

Stephan Leblanc gave Toronto a 6-5 lead just over four minutes into the second quarter, but then the Rock went scoreless for nearly 40 minutes as Georgia took control of the game. Johnny Powless led the Swarm with four goals and rookie Randy Staats continued his hot start with his second straight three-goal, four-assist effort. Leblanc led the Rock with two goals and four assists.

“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.”

Buffalo won its season-opener as Dhane Smith scored with 1:10 remaining in the game to give the Bandits a 10-9 victory over Calgary. 

“That move is usually my go-to move, but I don’t want to tell too many people that,” Smith said. “I obviously have different moves, but that one seems to be one I lean on, and luckily it worked for me tonight.”

Smith finished with two goals and three assists to pace Buffalo’s offense and Anthony Cosmo made 41 saves to earn the win. Dane Dobbie had two goals and five assists for Calgary and Tyler Digby scored three goals.

Colorado erupted for nine goals in the second quarter after falling behind 4-0 after one quarter to Rochester and held on for a 16-14 victory to improve to 2-0 for the season. Adam Jones led the Colorado offense with four goals and four assists, including two goals and three assists during the second quarter explosion. Callum Crawford added three goals and five assists and John Grant Jr. also had five assists. Cody Jamieson had two goals and five assists for Rochester and Dan Dawson had three goals.

Evan Kirk had a dominant night in net with 49 saves to lead New England to a 17-7 victory over Vancouver. New England had a 9-7 lead early in the third quarter and then Kirk held the Stealth scoreless for the final 28 minutes of the game. Pat Saunders and Shawn Evans each had four goals for New England. Rhys Duch had two goals and two assists for Vancouver.

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