Black Wolves fall in OT, suffering first loss
Mohegan — His team possessed a 4-0 record and first place in the National Lacrosse League East Division prior to Sunday's game against the Georgia Swarm.
But don't think that softened the blow any for New England Black Wolves coach Glenn Clark, especially after watching the Wolves give away a three-goal lead down the stretch, falling 11-10 to the Swarm on Sunday in sudden death overtime before 4,737 fans at Mohegan Sun Arena.
"You're always going to get kicked," Clark said. "It doesn't matter if you're 10-0, you never want to lose. I'm not happy. You can look at the five-game set and say we're 4-1, but I'm not happy now. ... You can't turn it on and turn it off.
"I think if we played a little bit more consistently, we could have been on the other end."
Georgia's Miles Thompson scored the game-winning goal 3 minutes, 53 seconds into overtime, getting the repossession of a shot by Zed Williams and striking before New England goalie Doug Jamieson could completely reset himself.
That ended a three-game losing streak for Georgia (3-3), including a 13-12 overtime loss last week to the New York Riptide. High-powered Georgia came into the game two and a half games behind the Black Wolves in the East Division and looking for a victory.
Shayne Jackson finished with three goals and four assists for Georgia, Miles Thompson two goals and three assists, Randy Staats two goals and one assist and Lyle Thompson two goals. Mike Poulin made 37 saves, including three in overtime.
Callum Crawford had two goals and three assists for New England (4-1) and rookie Andrew Kew two goals and two assists. Jamieson faced 55 shots and made 44 saves.
Clark said Jamieson played well enough to keep the team in the game, but called the first half, after which the Wolves trailed 5-4, the worst offensive half the team has played so far this season and "not even close."
"We weren't good enough," Clark said. "(The ball) is dying on the side. It's dying on the stick. We weren't good enough. ... (Georgia is) one of the best (at scoring). Every five-on-five possession is like, 'oh, crap.'"
The Black Wolves outscored Georgia 5-2 in the third quarter to take a 9-7 lead. Stephan LeBlanc scored to make it 8-7 in New England's favor with 2:56 to go in the quarter, with the ball bouncing into the net off the Georgia goalie.
The Wolves were shorthanded when they made it 9-7 with 1:42 left in the third, with Colton Watkinson scoring in transition on an assist from defender Brett Manney. The goal was originally waved off, but Watkinson ran back to the bench waving his arms for Clark to throw the challenge flag. The call was overturned, allowing the goal.
Kew then scored on an assist from Joe Resetarits to push it to 10-7, but just as fast as the offense kicked into gear, it waned, as Georgia scored the last four goals of the game for the victory.
Staats cut into the lead just eight seconds after Kew's goal gave the Wolves' a three-goal edge and the momentum shifted. A goal by Miles Thompson made it 10-9 and Jackson scored in transition to even things at 10-10 with 9:21 remaining.
The Wolves came up empty for the final 18:14 of the game before Miles Thompson sealed the win for Georgia.
"No, that wasn't the play, but you have to go out there and give it your all," Thompson said. "Every game you bring your all. It's never going to be easy. ... (New England is) always a good team. That's just a good match."
The Black Wolves continue their six-game homestand at 7 p.m. Saturday against Vancouver and Clark said his team needs to be ready.
"They're all battles," Clark said. "Every game is so important in this league."