Nov 9, 2013 12:23 AM by Ian Auzenne
Biloxi, Miss.--A five-goal third period and a Justin MacDonald hat trick pushed the Mississippi Surge to a 7-4 victory over the Louisiana IceGators. The IceGators held a 3-2 lead entering the third period of Friday night's game, but turnovers fed a Surge scoring frenzy in the third period.
The IceGators and the Surge face each other again Saturday night in the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m.
"It wasn't the road warrior effort I was expecting from the guys," said IceGators head coach Kevin Kaminski. "It was a turnover festival, which led to multiple odd man rushes. We lost a lot of one-on-one battles tonight. We cheated all over the ice.
"We had too many passengers tonight. When you have one guy not on the same page, it doesn't work. Tonight, we had about a dozen guys off the page."
Early on, the game was a see-saw battle. Louisiana took a 1-0 lead 8:17 into the game when Jake Trask scored on a power play. One minute later, the Surge responded with a Mitch Bruijsten goal. Mississippi took a 2-1 lead early in the second period when McDonald scored his first goal of the night at the 7:08 mark.
The IceGators seemed to gain control of the momentum when Matt Robertson scored two goals in the final eight minutes of the second period. The first came at 12:25 in the frame off an assist from Tyler Lyon. The second came with two minutes remaining off assists from Lyon and Jason Cohen.
Then the bottom dropped from under the IceGators.
MacDonald, Chapen LeBlond, and Reid Edmondson all scored within the first 8:30 of the third period. Chris Wilson stopped the bleeding temporarily, scoring an unassisted goal with 7:47 left in the period to cut the IceGators deficit to one. However, the Surge quickly re-opened the IceGators wounds. Matt Gordon scored an unassisted goal with four minutes remaining, while MacDonald capped off his hat trick with an empty-netter with 1:16 left in regulation.
Kaminski says the key to victory Saturday is not as complicated as some of his players believe.
"We just need to get back to playing smart, simple, relentless, greasy hockey," Kaminski said. "It's a game of will--not a game of skill. We played a game of skill tonight."