IceGators Fall To Pensacola; Lose SPHL Lead
The Cardiac Crocodilians are in need of CPR. For the third straight game, the Louisiana IceGators fell into a hole early. Despite a comeback in which they tied the game, the Pensacola IceFlyers skated out of the Pensacola Civic Center with a 6-3 victory. Jeremiah Ketts led the IceFlyers with two goals.
The loss drops the IceGators out of the first place in the SPHL standings. The Fayetteville FireAntz are the new league leaders, while the IceGators sit one point behind them in second place. The IceGators can reclaim the top spot in the standings with a win Sunday against the Mississippi Surge. That game will be played at 3:05 P. M. in the Cajundome.
“We shot ourselves in the foot too many times,” said IceGators coach Kevin Kaminski. “Once again, we decided to spot a team three goals before deciding to turn on the switch. Our penalty kill was awful. We missed assignments on key pressure points and lost one-on-one battles. We gave up 24 shots in the first period. That tells me we weren’t ready.”
The IceGator penalty kill unit allowed two goals in the first period. Mike McIntyre and Tyler Soehner scored in the first half of the frame during man advantages. Ketts added his first goal later in the period.
The IceGators bounced back with less than two minutes in the first. Jeremy Boyer scored on a powerplay, and Troy Ofukany scored off a Greg Brown feed to make it a 3-2 game going into the first intermission. Shawn McNeil tied the game eight minutes into the second frame.
Pensacola recovered and scored three more goals to seal the win. Ryan Raven converted Pensacola’s third powerplay of the night with less than a minute left in the second period to give the IceFlyers a 4-3 lead heading into the second intermission. Ketts and Steve Bergin tacked on two insurance goals in the third period.
In addition to allowing three IceFlyer powerplay goals, Louisiana’s special teams unit converted only one powerplay out of six opportunities.
“I talk about the six “P”s all the time,” Kaminski said. “That’s proper preparation prevents p— poor performance. We have to prepare and commit ourselves to making great starts. We have to have pride in playing stingy defense, we have to play with intensity, and we have to be hungry for a full 60 minutes. The playoffs are around the corner. This is where we start to show our true colors.”