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Preview: Albany FireWolves vs Georgia Swarm

Coming off a massive road victory against the Halifax Thunderbirds last weekend, the FireWolves return home for a rubber match against the Georgia Swarm on Saturday at 7 p.m.  The two teams previously met in a home-and-home doubleheader with each team being victorious on their home turfs.  Currently, Georgia sits just one spot ahead of Albany in the Eastern Division standings, with each team having six wins on the season, but the Swarm have one fewer loss.  For full coverage of this Saturday’s matchup against the Swarm, fans can tune into on My4 WNYT and ESPN Plus to watch, or 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio to listen.

The Swarm come into the Capital Region riding a two-game win streak after defeating both the Rochester Knighthawks and the Halifax Thunderbirds in their most recent games. Despite the 6-6 record, Georgia has been a force on offense, ranking second overall in the NLL in goals scored with 140.  The two matchups against Albany this season were both tight, with a combined difference of three goals.

FireWolves Players to Watch:

Joe Resetarits is someone we can write about every week and for good reason.  He turned in a phenomenal two-game weekend against the Swarm earlier this season, leading the team with 19 points on seven goals and 12 assists.  He has been the leader of the Albany offense all season long with 76 total points on 33 goals and 43 assists.  So far, he has followed up his absurd month of February with a strong start to March, racking up 10 points over his last two games.  The FireWolves need Resetarits to stay hot as the look to not only win the season series against the Swarm, but also surpass them in the standings as well. 

Reilly O’Connor has been a leader both on and off the floor for the FireWolves so far this season having scored in every game.  The assistant captain had a nice weekend against the Swarm already this season, tallying 12 points on four goals and eight assists in the two games.  One of those two games he had a hat trick to go along with four assists as the FireWolves took game two of the doubleheader.  The FireWolves offense has been hot lately and though O’Connor has been quiet the past two games, you cannot help but feel he is due for a breakout any weekend now.

Joe Nardella simply dominated at the faceoff dot in the two previous games against the Swarm.  The specialist went 40-58 in the two games and has proven to be one of the best in the business so far on the season.  Through 13 games, Nardella is 217-311 on faceoff attempts, which tops the league.  He has created extra possessions for the FireWolves all season long and will be crucial as Albany looks to take the series against the Swarm.  If Nardella can continue to own the faceoff dot and get extra chances for the FireWolves offense, then Albany should have no problem taking down the Eastern Division foe at home this weekend. 

Opposing Players to Watch:

Lyle Thompson does not require much of a write up for Albany lacrosse fans as he is regarded as one of the best college players to ever play and did so right here in the Capital Region.  To no surprise, Thompson has continued to dominate this season, ranking third in the league with 71 total points and leading the NLL with 34 goals.  There is really no way to stop Thompson, but Albany must find a way to at least make things difficult for him.  So far on the season, he has scored a minimum of three points in every game this year, including eight and five points in the two games against the FireWolves, respectively.  He scored four goals in his return to the 518 in the loss to Albany last time around and you better believe he will be looking to light up the scoreboard again in the rubber match.  If the FireWolves defensive unit can find ways to get the ball out of Thompson’s stick, it will go a long way in Albany winning the game. 

Jordan MacIntosh may be coming off his first scoreless outing of the season, but that does not mean that Albany can sleep on him in this one.  In the two games of the double header against the FireWolves earlier this season, MacIntosh logged ten points on three goals and seven assists.  The forward ranks in the top five in points, goals, and assists for the Swarm and serves as a solid offensive compliment behind Thompson and Shayne Jackson.  Georgia has a ton of firepower on offense, and MacIntosh has already showed Albany that he can be an x-factor.  The FireWolves will have their hands full with the Georgia offense and cannot let MacIntosh find open guys for easy goals in this one. 

Goaltender Mike Poulin has a tough time slowing the FireWolves down in their previous two meetings, allowing 13 goals in each game.  The Swarm have allowed a bunch of goals so far this season, seeing 143 go into their net through their 12 games.  That said, Poulin’s 406 saves ranks fourth overall in the league and cannot go unnoticed.  In the two prior games against Albany, the FireWolves were relatively efficient shooting at Poulin, burying 26 of their 79 shots on goal.  Albany’s offense has been clicking lately and should see plenty of opportunities against a defense that has surrendered the third-most goals in the league to this point in the season. 

This will be the third and final time that the Swarm and FireWolves meet during the regular season.  If the FireWolves are victors this weekend, it would catapult them into the fourth spot in the standings and give them the tiebreaker over Georgia.

Fans can secure their tickets for any of the 2021-22 FireWolves games today!  For more information regarding tickets, visit www.AlbanyFireWolves.com or call/text the FireWolves front office at 518-362-4900.

The Albany FireWolves 2021-22 Inaugural Season is presented by CDPHP.

About Albany FireWolves

The Albany FireWolves is the Capital Region’s very own Professional Box Lacrosse team, playing in the National Lacrosse League out of the MVP Arena in downtown Albany, NY. For more information, contact the Albany FireWolves Front Office at (518) 362-4900 or visit AlbanyFireWolves.com

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