Lafayette, Louisiana--Two seconds may not seem like a long time for most people. For the Louisiana IceGators, two seconds made the difference between a loss and overtime. Patrick Gaul scored the game-winning goal with two seconds remaining in regulation to give the Mississippi RiverKings a 4-3 victory over the IceGators. Darrell Stoddard assisted on the score.
The IceGators (7-4-1) continue their home stand Friday and Saturday with two games against the Knoxville Ice Bears. Both games begin at 7:05 P. M.
“Overall, I thought we were good for a lot of the game,” said IceGators forward Shawn McNeil. “It’s the same story again where we have part of the game where we don’t play up to par, and it bit us in the butt again tonight.”
“We need to be more consistent,” opined Louisiana forward Robert Short. “ We came out strong last night and kept it simple. Tonight, we got away from that and tried to do too much individually and made it hard on ourselves to win.”
The IceGators and RiverKings traded goals in the first period. Andrew Randazzo gave Mississippi the 1-0 midway through the first period. Minutes later, the IceGators’ Matt Robertson responded with a powerplay goal to tie the game. The River Kings regained the lead on a Matt Whitehead score to take the 2-1 lead, which they held throughout the second period.
Mississippi took a two-goal lead four minutes into the third thanks to Gaul’s first goal of the night. The IceGators bounced back, scoring two straight to tie the game midway through the frame. Clark Byzynski and Shawn McNeil posted two goals within two minutes of each other to make the score 3-3. A late blocked shot allowed Gaul to skate up ice and score the game-winner after making a move on goalie Riley Gill.
McNeil says he and his teammates must stop trying to play outside of Coach Kevin Kaminski’s schemes and play according to his game plan. “When we play that system, we all know what we have to do,” he said. “We have a couple of guys that think they have better ideas and they do what they want. We get in a funk when guys want to do too much. It’s evident.” He continued, “I think we have everything we need to win. We just have to focus on how we play. We’re going to lose some games even when we play our best, and that’s fine. But losing like this is unacceptable.”