Mar 15, 2014 3:38 AM by Ian Auzenne
Fayetteville, N.C.--The Louisiana IceGators were looking to make a statement after going 1-2 during their final home stand of the season last weekend.
They made that statement Friday night.
Adam Stuart scored twice as the IceGators dominated the Fayetteville FireAntz in a 6-2 romp. Kirk Byczynski and Matt Robertson each contributed a goal and an assist.
The IceGators and the FireAntz face each other in a rematch Saturday night in Fayetteville. Game time is 7:05 p.m. EDT.
"This was a good solid road win to start our trip off right," IceGators head coach Kevin Kaminski said. "Obviously, we played well enough to win, but when you're up three or four goals, you have to have the mental toughness to stay focused and intense to keep doing things right.
"Every line chipped in offensively, which was good to see. [Goalie Keifer] Smiley was excellent between the pipes. Both goals were bad bounces."
Stuart scored the only goal of the first period at the 5:51 mark of the frame. Mitchell Stretch and Shawn McNeil assisted on the play.
Clark Byczynski gave Louisiana a 2-0 lead at the 1:41 mark of the second period by scoring off assists from Robertson and Chris Wilson.
Nick Craven put the FireAntz on the board two minutes later, scoring off a feed from Corey Tamblyn.
The IceGators then took firm control of the game.
Stuart scored again near the five minute mark to give Louisiana a two-goal lead. Kirk Byczynski recorded a power play goal with 37 seconds left in the frame to put Louisiana ahead 4-1 heading into the second intermission.
Fayetteville attempted to turn the tide early in the third period. Kyle McNeil scored a power play goal 93 seconds into the frame.
The IceGators, however, maintained their grip on the game. Robertson scored 13 seconds after McNeil to give Louisiana a 5-2 lead. Brett Peppler tacked on another score midway through the frame to give the IceGators a four-goal advantage.
While Kaminski is pleased with his team's performance, he says he expects them to continue improving as the playoffs get nearer.
"It's easy to cheat offensively, but you have to demand commitment to team defense first and foremost," Kaminski said. "We have to keep pushing to get better and finish on a high going into the playoffs. We have to get better and more consistent for 60 minutes [Saturday] and keep the winning streak alive."
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