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Bandits take to the road to face Georgia

Buffalo will be on the road for the first time this season as the Bandits travel to the Peach State for a game against the Georgia Swarm at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth, Ga.

It will be the only scheduled meeting between the two teams in the regular season.

Both teams are nursing losses; Buffalo (1-1) fell to Halifax, 15-10, on Dec. 28 while Georgia (2-1) lost to Colorado 13-11 that same night.

The Swarm feature a ferocious defense that limited the team’s first two opponents to four and six points. However, Colorado was able to find success on the power play.

The Mammoth scored on three of their five man-advantage opportunities while handing Georgia its first loss of the season.

The Swarm’s defensive success comes from clogging shooting lanes with players such as Jason Noble and Alex Crepinsek, who have caused four turnovers each this

Connor Sellars also leads Georgia with 20 loose balls as a defensive playmaker.

Look for Mike Poulin to be in net for the Swarm; he holds a 7.38 goals-against average and a .844 save percentage through three starts this season.

Lyle Thompson is a name to watch when Georgia has the ball. He leads the team with 19 points, nine goals and 10 assists.

Right behind Thompson is veteran Shayne Jackson with nine goals and nine assists for 18 points.

Buffalo has traditionally had offensive success at the Infinite Energy Arena, averaging 16.8 goals per game historically on the Swarm’s home

Dhane Smith had a team-high 11 assists in a 19-9 Bandits victory over Georgia on the road last season, while Corey Small had five goals.

Both players will be active and looking to avenge a lackluster performance against Halifax.

The Bandits will also get captain Steve Priolo back from injury for Saturday’s game. Keep an eye on goalie Matt Vinc, who was pulled from the Bandits’ bout with the Thunderbirds after allowing 13 goals on 40 shots.

After Saturday’s game, Buffalo will return to host rival Toronto on Jan. 18 at the KeyBank Center at 7 p.m.

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