Feb 5, 2014 10:10 AM by IceGators Media Relations
Pensacola, Fla.--The top two teams in the Southern Professional Hockey League battled Tuesday night in a test of defensive will.
The Louisiana IceGators' defense held up longer.
Brett Peppler scored with 1:33 remaining in overtime to give the IceGators a 3-2 victory over the Pensacola IceFlyers. Shawn McNeil assisted on the play, extending his point streak to 18 games.
Louisiana and Pensacola are now tied atop the SPHL standings with identical 23-13-3 records and 49 points. Both teams have 17 games remaining on their regular season schedules.
The IceGators return to the Cajundome Friday night to take Friday night to open a two-game weekend series against the Mississippi Surge. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m.
"It was a great road victory for us tonight," IceGators head coach Kevin Kaminski said. "The guys were warriors and stayed hungry for 60 minutes. They wanted this win badly and sacrificed their bodies by blocking a lot of shots
"We prided the little things. Everyone did their part to get the win. [Goalie Matt] Zenzola was very solid. Defensively, we had good gaps and took away time and space."
Pensacola took a 1-0 lead eight minutes into the game when Corey Banfield registered a power play goal in traffic. John Dunbar and Joshua Turnbull assisted on the play.
Louisiana tied the game five minutes into the second period when Tyler Barr took advantage of a breakaway and scored. Clark Byczynski and Peppler assisted on the goal.
Malcolm Lyles scored on a power play with 2:27 remaining in the second period off assists from Joe Caveney and Joshua Turnbull to give Pensacola a 2-1 lead heading into the second intermission.
Byczynski tied the game with 14 minutes remaining in regulation off an assist from Jordan Braid.
The two teams were relatively even in terms of offensive output in the third period and overtime, as Louisiana recorded ten shots to Pensacola's nine.
Kaminski says his team left everything on the ice in order to claim the victory.
"Their care factor, relentlessness, and second effort were absolutely outstanding," Kaminski said. " I'm very proud of this group because they dug deep to earn the win and a day off."