Feb 8, 2014 11:44 PM by IceGators Media Relations
Lafayette, La.--A win is a win is a win.
That's what the Louisiana IceGators are saying after edging out a 4-3 overtime victory against the Mississippi Surge.
The Surge scored twice in the waning minutes of the contest to force the overtime period. Bret Peppler played the role of hero, scoring his second goal of the night in the extra frame to secure the victory.
The IceGators return to action next Saturday when they face the Columbus Cottonmouths in Georgia. Game time for that contest is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST.
"We went from playing an unbelievable game last night to looking like a disinterested team tonight," said IceGators coach Kevin Kaminski. "Give the Surge a lot of credit. We talked about how they were going to respond, and they definitely did. They probably deserved to win this game.
"[Goalie Matt] Zenzola was solid for us tonight. We got timely goals, and we did enough to get the win. We stole one tonight."
The Surge jumped out to a 1-0 lead 44 seconds into the game on an Ian Boots goal. Brad Barber and Brett Vandehogen assisted on the play.
Louisiana bounced back with two goals of their own in the first period.
Ron Cramer scored his first goal as an IceGator at the 11:07 mark of the frame. Jeff Grant tacked on a power play goal 67 seconds later to give Louisiana the lead heading into the first intermission.
Peppler's first goal came at the 6:07 mark of the third period, giving Louisiana a 3-1 lead at that point.
Mississippi's offense then came alive.
Chapen LeBlond responded one minute later with a goal of his own to cut the IceGator lead to a goal.
Kyle Kudroch tied the game with 1:12 remaining in regulation off assists from Jordan Peddle and Dean Moore.
Peppler's game-winner came with a bit of controversy.
Replays showed that the puck went off Peppler's skates and into the net. The officials ruled that Peppler did not make a distinct kicking motion towards the puck and allowed the goal to stand despite the protests of members of the Surge.
Kaminski says his team will begin preparing for next weekend's road trip by enjoying some time away the ice and allowing his players to heal from their injuries.
"We've played a lot of hockey and won eight out of our last nine to stay in first place," Kaminski said. "Our bodies and brains need a break. We need to rest and get away from hockey for a few days and get some rest."
Kaminski adds that he may need to arrange for a few special guests of the team to stay in Lafayette for another eight weeks.
"We might have to keep Peppler's parents here for the rest of the season and the playoffs. He's been on fire since they've been in town."