IceGators Top Surge In Season Opener
Biloxi, Miss.—The Louisiana IceGators kicked off their season on a high note Friday night thanks in part to the efforts of a couple of rookies.
Jason Cohen scored twice while goalie Matt Zenzola stopped 35 shots to lead the IceGators to a 4-2 victory against the Mississippi Surge. Both of Cohen’s goals were scored on powerplays.
The IceGators will now make a five-hour drive north to Southaven for a Saturday night contest against the Mississippi Riverkings. That match will begin at 7:05 P. M.
“It was a solid 60 minutes and a solid road win,” said IceGators head coach Kevin Kaminski. “We did enough to get the win, but I know we can be a lot crisper. We dusted off the cobwebs tonight, and I know we’ll build on this win.”
The cobwebs and dust were visible very early in the contest. The IceGators gave up a goal to Kyle Kurdoch only 35 seconds into the game.
However, the IceGators soon cleaned up their act and capitalized on the opportunities presented to them.
Cohen scored his first goal nine minutes into the first period after Mississippi’s Mike Looby was called for an illegal check to the head. Two minutes later, Jeremy Boyer tacked on another goal off assists from Cohen and Kirk Byczynski.
Cohen gave the IceGators a 3-1 lead at the halfway mark of the second period on another powerplay goal. Another new IceGator, Chris Wilson, made it a 4-1 game less than two minutes later.
The Surge tacked on one final goal near the 14-minute mark of the second period thanks to a Mitch Bruijstein score.
The IceGator defense and special teams units were on fire, killing three Surge powerplays and converting on two of their six extra-man chances.
Kaminski sang the praises of his new defenseman and goalie after the game.
“Jason Cohen was solid on defense and led the way offensively. Zenzola responded very well after the first goal. It shows that he has mental toughness.”
Kaminski did pinpoint a few skills that his team needs to improve upon in the coming days and weeks.
“We need to do a better job of communicating and making better puck decisions,” Kaminski said. “That will come with more time and confidence.”