IceFlyers Hold Off IceGators
LAFAYETTE, La.--The Pensacola IceFlyers still have the Louisiana IceGators’ number.
The IceFlyers scored three second-period goals--two of them on a power play--en route to a 3-2 victory over the Louisiana IceGators. Corey Banfield led the team with a goal and an assist.
The IceGators begin a month-long road trip next weekend by traveling to play the Mississippi RiverKings next Saturday. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m.
“We played only 25 minutes of solid hockey and battled at the end.,” IceGators head coach Drew Omicioli said. “I don’t know where we were for the first 35 minutes. The fact that the team as a whole said that they played solid hockey for 25 minutes shows that they know what’s wrong. They acknowledged it.
“We’re still taking too many penalties, and we’re inconsistent. That’s our biggest issue right now. We have guys who are phenomenal one night and average the next. We have to find a way for everyone to come together to play for 60 minutes. Until that happens, we won’t have success.
The IceGators jumped out to a 1-0 lead 77 seconds into the second period when Dan Cornell scored on a wrap-around rebound off assists from Brad Bourke and Alex Hudson.
Later in the period, the IceFlyers took command of the game. Joe Caveney, whose goal came on a power play, and Stephen Buco scored within a minute of each other to put Pensacola ahead 2-1. Corey Banfield tacked on another power play goal to give the IceFlyers a 3-1 lead going into the second intermission.
The IceGators remained competitive in the third period. Jake Hauswirth scored on a close-range shot with 8:35 remaining in the game off assists from Bourke and John Daniels. Despite a mad rush in the waning minutes of the contest, the IceGators could not complete the comeback.
Omicioli took umbrage with some of the calls made against his team, but he acknowledges that his players determined the outcome of the game.
“Unfortunately, a penalty was called on a clean, beautiful hit,” Omicioli said. “That resulted in a five-on-three, and that led to the game-winner. One of our players gets slew-footed at the end of the game, and we get no call. Every game, it feels like we’re playing against our opponent and the refs, and we’re always going to lose the battle against the refs.
“Still, we didn’t deserve to win the game. We used the same sticks as Pensacola, and they’re handling pucks well, while we’re bobbling them. We had more turnovers than they did, and they scored on their power plays. It’s not difficult to analyze.”
Omicioli says he’ll be taking the next week to evaluate his team to figure out what adjustments need to be made before Saturday’s game in Southaven.
“I don’t know what type of spark (the team) needs to get motivated, but something has to change,” Omicioli said. “Obviously, this team isn’t winning at home, and we have to win at home to make the playoffs and be a championship team.”