Mar 30, 2013 10:49 AM
Just when you thought the Louisiana IceGators had moved past their problems, they took a huge step back Friday night in their quest for the SPHL President's Cup. The Mississippi RiverKings scored the first four goals en route to a 5-2 decision against the IceGators. Darrell Stoddard recorded a goal and two assists, while Matt Whitehead picked up a goal and one assist. Tom Craig and Kyle Lundale each recorded two assists
The RiverKings' victory ties the quarterfinal series at one game apiece, forcing a deciding third game in the opening round. That contest will take place Saturday night at 7:05 P. M. in the Lafayette Cajundome.
"It's pretty simple," said IceGators coach Kevin Kaminski. "We got outworked big time, and turnovers cost us big time. Our focus and preparation were no good. We didn't come flying out of the gates, and we didn't initiate the forecheck."
In fact, it was the RiverKings who came flying out of the gate early. Kevin Willer scored two minutes into the game to give Mississippi a 1-0 lead. Mike MacDonald, Stoddard, and Matt Harrington scored three consecutive goals in the second period to give the RiverKings a 4-0 lead late in the second period.
The IceGators ended the shutout when Troy Ofukany scored with 2:25 left in the second. Whitehead and Ofukany traded goals late in the third period.
Kaminski says with the season on the line, his team must refocus and play with desperation Saturday night on their home ice.
"I don't care if it comes on offense or defense, but we need to play a full 60 minutes," Kaminski said. "We have to be disciplined and accountable with the puck. It all comes down to who wants it more and who has a willingness to play the systems and execute. We can't have any passengers."