Posted: Feb 7, 2013 10:36 PM by IceGators Media Relations
The second verse was the same as the first. For the second consecutive game, Riley Gill shut out the Mississippi Surge. This time, he did it in front of a home crowd in the Cajundome, leading the Louisiana IceGators to a 2-0 victory.
This shutout was Gill's fifth of the season. He stopped 29 Surge shots during the match. Over the last two games, Gill has made 55 saves.
"Gill was great again tonight," IceGator coach Kevin Kaminski said. "He was so calm and composed. It's good to know you have that last line of defense if you have a breakdown."
"He's going to give you an opportunity to make the save. He loves the challenge, and he usually rises to the occasion."
Matt Robertson scored the first goal on a powerplay with 10 seconds remaining in the first period. Matt Miller added an empty net score with 2.5 seconds remaining in the game.
The lone highlight for the Surge this evening was their goaltending. B. J. O'Brien, a former IceGator, stopped 33 shots before being pulled with one minute left in regulation.
The IceGators will now travel for a two-game road trip. They take on the Mississippi RiverKings in Southaven Friday night before heading to Huntsville for a Saturday night contest against the Havoc.
Despite the win, the IceGators were sluggish out of the gate. They were outshot 12-11 in the opening frame and played the first several minutes on defense in their own zone.
"We weren't prepared or focused in the first period," Kaminski said. "Before the game, we talked about how they would respond and play aggressive hockey after we beat them in their own barn. We didn't move our feet and stood around in the first."
"After the first, we settled down and played hockey. [Robertson's] goal lit a spark under us, and it gave us a little momentum. We started skating better, established our forecheck, and played better defense."
With a road trip on the horizon, Kaminski says he wants his team to play with what he calls "smart energy."
"Everyone has to pick their game up a notch," he said. "I want our guys to go hard and finish checks. If we can't establish the forecheck, we'll have to back out, clog up the neutral zone, and take what is given to us. When we get an offensive opportunity, we need to take it."