Biloxi, Mississippi--It’s easy for teams to fall into a slump after clinching a playoff berth.  Unfortunately for the Louisiana IceGators, their current slump comes during the midst of a fight for home-ice advantage.  The IceGators fell deeper into that slump Friday night by stumbling to a 5-0 shut out loss to the Mississippi Surge.

Louisiana IceGators/Chimaera Photography

“Turnovers cost us the game,” IceGators coach Kevin Kaminski said.  “They capitalized on our mistakes.  We got frustrated and committed bad penalties.  When you lose your composure, it means you’re getting outworked.  It’s not that we played bad, but they wanted it more than we did.”

The IceGators trailed 1-0 after the first period.  Adam Stuart scored a powerplay goal midway through the period to give the Surge the early lead.

Mississippi pulled away in the second period.  Despite being outshot by the IceGators 17-11 in the period, four different Surge players scored in the frame.  Reid Edmondson, Nathan Oke, Kyle VanderMale, and Matt Gordon each recorded a goal--all in the first nine minutes of the frame.

The IceGators can clinch the number-one seed in the playoffs this weekend through one of several means.  Louisiana would clinch home-ice advantage Saturday with losses by both Pensacola and Fayetteville.  Of course, the IceGators would clinch with a victory Sunday in the season finale against the Pensacola IceFlyers.

According to Kaminski, his team needs to play with more passion to wrap up home-ice advantage.

“We need to have more urgency and desperation with every shift,” Kaminski said.  “When you’re at the top, you need to work ten times harder to stay there.  Everyone is gunning for you.”

Kaminski also broke down the areas of play where his team needs to improve before Sunday.

“We’re being too selfish and trying to do too much with the puck,” Kaminski said.  “We’re trying to make chicken salad out of chicken [expletive].  You can’t put your teammates in jeopardy.  Just get the puck deep.  We have to sacrifice the body to score goals.  The bottom line is:  We need to win a game to be where we want to be.”