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GAME 16 MATCHUP PREVIEW – FIREWOLVES VS SWARM

The Albany FireWolves (3-12) will play return home this Saturday, April 15, at 7:00 p.m. to face the Georgia Swarm (7-8).  This will be the third time the two teams will meet this season, with the Swarm winning the first two matchups.  Georgia has been one of the hottest teams in the league since starting their season 0-7.  Since then, they are 7-1 and currently sit in fourth in the East, with a shot at the third playoff seed.  Each team is entering the matchup coming off a win as Albany looks to play spoiler for Georgia.  This weekend’s game can be watched on My4 Albany or ESPN Plus.

FireWolves Players to Watch: 

Connor Kelly was simply on fire in last weekend’s win over the Rochester Knighthawks.  He finished with seven total points on five goals and two assists.  He was efficient too, scoring his five goals on just six shots on net.  The FireWolves acquired Kelly to be a scorer, and he’s done just that in his debut season with the club.  He leads the team with 28 goals and is one point shy of the team lead with 54.  While Georgia got the better of Albany in the first two matchups, Kelly still compiled seven points.  The FireWolves will continue to rely on Kelly’s offensive ability to keep up with the high-powered Swarm offense.

Jackson Reid had his coming out party last weekend in the Albany victory.  The young forward recorded three points, including his first and second goals of his career.  Both of his goals came in transition as he showcased his speed and ability to score before the opposing defense got set.  FireWolves fans should be able to get a good look at Reid with the final three games of the season all being at home.  While Albany may be eliminated from playoff contention, the team has a ton of young talent to look forward to for years to come, and Reid is one of those players.

Tanner Thomson has quietly had himself a nice season and has been one of the top scorers on the team.  Playing in all but one game this season, Thomson ranks second on the team with 31 assists, and is also third on the team in goals and total points.  He enjoyed a solid outing last weekend, scoring a hat trick and adding two assists to boot.  He got the party started last weekend by scoring the first goal.  After that, the FireWolves never gave up the lead en route to snapping a 10-game skid.  Like Kelly, Thomson is a guy that the team will rely on to come up with clutch goals and Albany will certainly need him to continue his solid play this weekend.  And remember what we said about Albany having a bunch of young talent? Well, Thomson is just a second-year player and has already established himself as a serious offensive threat. 

Opposing Players to Watch:  

Lyle Thompson doesn’t need a write-up to show any fan just how good he is.  In the two games against Albany this season, he torched the FireWolves, scoring 19 total points on 8 goals and 11 assists.  What makes matters worse is that his 19th point came on a game-winning goal in overtime the last time Georgia traveled to the Capital Region.  He is having another Lyle Thompson-like season as he leads the Swarm and is sixth in the NLL with 41 goals.  The former UAlbany standout enters the weekend coming off an eight-point performance on an even four goals and four assists.  The Swarm have been scorching hot over the past eight games and Thompson has played a huge role in their recent success.  While the team is still fighting for a playoff spot, expect Thompson to come out firing in this one – something the FireWolves defense will need to figure out how to slow down. 

Brendan Bomberry might have flown under the radar in the previous two matchups against the FireWolves, but he still managed to score eight total points in the contests.  He’s another weapon in Georgia’s high-powered arsenal and has put together a respectable 50-point season so far.  He currently ranks fourth across the board on the Swarm in total points, goals, and assists.  He is coming off a six-point outing in which he scored three goals and three assists.  What’s scary is that three other Swarm players scored more than him last weekend.  Albany will certainly have their hands full with the likes of Thompson, Andrew Kew, and Shayne Jackson, but the defensive unit can’t afford to take their eyes off Bomberry.

As easy as it is to look at the offense during Georgia’s hot stretch, goaltender Brett Dobson has been a key factor in the Swarm’s run.  Over the team’s last eight games, opponents have only exceeded double digits twice.  The netminder was lights out in both matchups against Albany this season, allowing just 12 combined goals and racking up 72 saves.  On the year, Dobson has an impressive 10.60 GAA and 78% save percentage.  Albany’s offense looked in-sync last weekend against Rochester and will need that momentum to carry over to this one to score early and often while looking to win two in a row.

Fans can secure their tickets now for Albany’s next home game on Saturday, April 15 against Swarm!  For more information regarding tickets and Union Strong 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/.

Albany FireWolves