Posted: Feb 2, 2013 8:52 AM by IceGators Media Relations
Updated: Feb 2, 2013 9:44 AM
Losing is one of the most bitter feelings in all of sports. A loss resulting from lack of effort leaves an even worse taste in the mouths of those who experience it.
The Louisiana IceGators are trying to rinse their mouths of what possibly was their worst effort of the year, losing to the Augusta RiverHawks 4-2. Louisiana blew a late lead by allowing three consecutive goals to close the game.
The IceGators (20-10-4) and the RiverHawks (12-22-3) square off again Saturday night at 7:05 in the Cajundome.
"We weren't prepared or focused," said IceGators coach Kevin Kaminski. " [The first period] was the worst period of hockey we've played in a long time, and there's no excuse for it. We had a complete two days off and a great team function, and then we came out and laid an egg. That does not sit well with me. You reward the guys with going 9-0-3 last month, and then they give you nothing."
The IceGators were lethargic in the opening frame, posting only four shots on goal and allowing Augusta to score on a penalty kill. Kyle Watson picked up the short-handed goal at the 4:40 mark off an assist from Taylor McReynolds.
The IceGators responded with a dominating second period. Cody Zubko tied the score 1:49 into the frame off of a rebound from a Kirk Byzcynski shot. Louisiana outshot the RiverHawks 13-5 in the period.
Louisiana also showed its dominance early in the third period, as Tyler Lyon scored through the five-hole at the 1:41 mark.
After that, it was all downhill for the IceGators. Casey Mignone, Mike Switzer, and McReynolds scored three unanswered goals to lead the RiverHawks to victory. Two late penalties forced the IceGators to play shorthanded for the final three minutes of the contest.
Kaminski says simplicity was the difference between the performances in the second and third periods.
"We got the puck deep," he said. "We hit, we cycled, and we got pucks to the net. Our offense and penalty play was great. Late in the game, we got too fancy. We played side-to-side instead of north-south."
"In the third, we took the foot off the gas," Kaminski added. "We lost wall battles, netfront battles, and we were undisciplined. They were more hungry than we were. I warned the guys coming into the game that they were desperate and that we couldn't take them lightly."
When asked about the Saturday rematch, Kaminski responded with tongue firmly planted in cheek.
"We played only 25 minutes tonight," he said. "We should be fresh."