GAME 9 MATCHUP PREVIEW – FIREWOLVES AT SWARM
The Albany FireWolves (2-6) are back on the road this Saturday, February 25, at 7:00 p.m. to face the Georgia Swarm (0-7). Despite the winless record, Georgia is one of five teams in the NLL to have allowed less than 100 goals so far on the season. The Swarm have struggled on offense this season, scoring the fewest goals in the league with only 68 in seven games. The two teams will play each other on back-to-back weekends, with the second matchup being played in Albany on March 4. This weekend’s game can be watched on My4 Albany or ESPN Plus.
FireWolves Players to Watch:
Tanner Thomson has stepped up his game tremendously from year one to year two. The forward has put together a nice first half of the season offensively, tallying 34 total points on 12 goals and 22 assists. The only returning forward remaining on the roster from a season ago has been a dependable piece for the FireWolves offense all season. Last weekend, Thomson scored a game-high four goals, and chipped in two assists as well. Don’t be surprised to see Thomson with multiple points on the stat sheet as Albany looks for a much-needed victory against a winless team.
Ethan Walker has been quietly productive for Albany in his first season with the club. The forward ranks third on the team with 13 goals, and fourth with 24 total points. In last weekend’s loss to Las Vegas, Walker compiled three points on two goals and an assist, including a power play goal that tied that game in the third quarter. Albany’s offense is still gelling, and Walker will no doubt be a key part of the process as the team remains in the playoff hunt just a couple games back in the standings.
John Piatelli may be a rookie in the NLL, but he has already proven that he can be a dangerous offensive weapon. After being the Nation’s leading scorer and breaking Cornell’s 46-year-old program record with 66 goals in a season just last year, Piatelli has settled into the indoor game nicely, ranking fifth on the team with 16 total points on the season. Three of those points came last weekend on one goal and two assists. He is still learning the ropes but has already proven to be a scoring threat and a rising talent. Look out for Piatelli to continue improving week in and week out as he plays out his rookie season.
Opposing Players to Watch:
Lyle Thompson is a name that every single Capital Region lacrosse fan is well aware of. A standout player at the University at Albany, Thompson won the Tewaaraton Trophy in 2014 and 2015 for being the most outstanding college lacrosse player. He has spent his entire accolade-filled NLL career with the Swarm, including a championship and MVP in 2017. Despite the team’s record this season, Thompson has been, well, Lyle Thompson. He leads the club with 17 goals and ranks second on the Swarm with 17 assists and 34 total points. Thompson is coming off a five-point performance last weekend, scoring a hat trick and two assists in the game. His incredible offensive ability paired with the Swarm’s hunger for their first win of the season is a dangerous combination that the FireWolves will have to deal with this weekend.
Andrew Kew should be another familiar name to FireWolves fans as he was one of the team’s top five scorers during its inaugural season. He was drafted by the organization in 2019 and dealt to Georgia this offseason in a trade. He has been a solid one-two punch with Thompson all season, leading the team with 38 total points and 25 assists. Last weekend, Kew turned in a three-point outing with two goals and an assist. He also scooped up a team-high 10 loose balls and caused a turnover in the contest. Hopefully the few years of seeing Kew in practice will be enough for the FireWolves to slow him down in this one.
Both of Georgia’s goaltenders have seen plenty of action this season in all seven games, with Brett Dobson edging out Craig Wende slightly in the minutes department. On the season, the two goalies have been similar statistically. Dobson has allowed 55 goals, saved 150 shots, and has a 13.79 GAA, while Wende has allowed 40 goals, saved 115 shots, and has a 13.29 GAA. It was Dobson who saw the bulk of the action last weekend against Toronto, allowing 10 goals and stopping 25 shots in 42 minutes of game play. Albany has proven that the offense has numerous options to put up points, and odds are they will see both goalies at some point this weekend.
This will be the first of three times that Albany and Georgia face each other in the regular season. The two teams will meet again next weekend in Albany, and one more time in the middle of April.
Fans can secure their tickets now for Albany’s next home game on Saturday, March 4 against the Georgia Swarm! For more information regarding tickets and Indigenous Heritage night, visit www.AlbanyFireWolves.com or call/text the FireWolves front office at 518-362-4900.
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. Follow the team on Facebook at facebook.com/AlbFireWolves, Twitter @AlbFireWolves, and Instagram @AlbFireWolves.
About the National Lacrosse League
The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is North America’s premier professional lacrosse league. Founded in 1986, the NLL ranks third in average attendance for pro indoor sports worldwide, behind only the NHL and NBA. The League is comprised of 15 franchises across the United States and Canada: Albany FireWolves, Buffalo Bandits, Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Georgia Swarm, Halifax Thunderbirds, Las Vegas Desert Dogs, New York Riptide, Panther City Lacrosse Club (TX), Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks, San Diego Seals, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock, and Vancouver Warriors.
For more information, visit NLL.com and find @NLL on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For more information visit NLL.com.
About ASM Global
ASM Global is the world’s leading venue management and services company. The company was formed by the combination of AEG Facilities and SMG, global leaders in venue and event strategy and management. The company’s elite venue network spans five continents, with a portfolio of more than 325 of the world’s most prestigious arenas, stadiums, convention, and exhibition centers, and performing arts venues. From Aberdeen to Anchorage, and Sydney to Stockholm, its venues connect people through the unique power of live experiences. ASM Global’s diverse portfolio of clients benefit from the company’s depth of resources and unparalleled experience, expertise and creative problem solving. Each day, the company’s 61,000 passionate employees around the world deliver locally tailored solutions and cutting-edge technologies to deliver maximum results for venue owners and amazing experiences for guests. By consistently looking for new ways to envision, innovate and empower the spaces and places that bring people together, ASM Global elevates the human spirit while delivering the highest value for all stakeholders. For more information, please visit www.asmglobal.com.
About MVP Arena
MVP Arena is a full-service entertainment and sports facility featuring a wide variety of family shows, sporting events, trade shows and concerts. Owned by Albany County and managed by ASM Global, MVP Arena opened in 1990 and is home to the Albany FireWolves of the National Lacrosse League, the Albany Empire of the National Arena League and the Division I Men’s College Basketball Siena Saints. For more information, please visit https://www.mvparena.com/.