Jan 23, 2013 11:43 PM by IceGators Media Relations
If the IceGators were a steam engine, its offense would be the coal heating it. The IceGators ran out of coal Wednesday night, blowing a two-goal lead late in the game and falling to the Mississippi Surge 4-3 in a shootout.
Jay Silvia and Joe Harcharik scored the game winners, and goalie Kiefer Smiley shut down all four Louisiana shooters in the tiebreaker.
The IceGators, who are still in first place in the league standings, return home for a Friday night contest against the Pensacola IceFlyers. Game time is 7:05 P. M. in the Cajundome.
"We had them down and forgot to keep kicking," remarked IceGators coach Kevin Kaminski. "We thought we could play an easy pond hockey game. We have to learn to be greedy and want more."
The IceGators took an early two-goal lead thanks to powerplay goals from Jordan Foreman and Tyler Lyon following a double minor high-sticking penalty called against Kyle Kurdoch. Kurdoch got his revenge with nine seconds left in the opening frame by scoring an unassisted goal to cut the Surge's deficit in half.
The IceGators offense stalled after the first period. Mississippi outshot Louisiana 18-2 in the second period and 28-8 in the final 40 minutes of regulation. Despite this, the IceGators did manage to score a goal six minutes into the second, when Matt Robertson posted an unassisted goal.
It was all Surge after that. Jarko Leppanen scored with one second remaining in the second period to cut the IceGators' lead to one. Adam Stuart tied the game with nine minutes remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime.
"We gave them momentum all night," Kaminski said. "We gave up goals in the closing seconds of the first two periods, and we gave up those two late goals to let them back in. We have to have urgency, get pucks out, and know how much time is on the clock. We also need to find our killer instinct and rip other teams' hearts out."
Kaminski adds his team will need to regroup for the big weekend ahead. "The guys can't afford to take a night off," he said. "They have to earn it on every shift. They have to check their egos at the door and stay humble and play like its the last game to get into the playoffs. We need to take more pride in the little things."