Feb 24, 2013 7:28 PM by IceGators
Lafayette, Louisiana--The Louisiana IceGators are playoff bound. One night after suffering one of their worst loses of the season in Pensacola, the IceGators bounced back with one of their best defensive efforts of the year to beat the Mississippi Surge 3-2. Matt Robertson led the team in scoring with two goals.
The victory also puts the IceGators back in first place in the SPHL standings with 12 games left on their schedule. Fayetteville and Pensacola trail the IceGators by one point and two points respectively.
"The boys responded to last night's loss," said IceGators head coach Kevin Kaminski. "They had a much better start, and it was a very solid 60 minutes of Gator hockey. Our special teams were back to normal again. I thought our puck and track pressure were excellent today. We finished our checks and created a lot of turnovers."
Louisiana's special teams were indeed back to normal. One day after the IceGators were 0-for-3 on penalty kills and 1-for-6 on powerplays, they rebounded by killing all four of the Surge's powerplays and scoring during two of their five man advantages.
Kaminski also quoted a statistic IceGator General Manager Louis Dumont discovered after to the game. "Louis found out when we are up or tied after the first, we are 11-0-1," Kaminski explained. "Now that we know this, we have to be prepared and ready to go to war for each other from the very beginning. We can't afford a bad start during a playoff game."
Matt Ridley gave the Surge a 1-0 lead nine minutes into the contest. It was the only lead the Surge would have. Robertson scored his first goal only 42 seconds later to tie the game. He scored another on a powerplay early in the second period. Jeremy Boyer scored the eventual game-winner on a powerplay halfway through the frame. The Surge cut the IceGators lead to a goal when Kyle Kurdoch scored with just under three minutes remaining in the second.
The IceGators return to action Tuesday when they travel to Biloxi for a rematch against the Surge. They return to the Cajundome Thursday for a game against the Columbus Cottonmouths. Both games are scheduled to begin at 7:05 P. M.
"We've got to stay focused and mentally tough," Kaminski said. "We'll be playing four games in six nights. We want to stay in first place and stay on pace for home-ice advantage. Home-ice has been very generous to us this season, and it will be crucial for us in a best-of-three series."