IceGators wrap up sweep of Ice Bears
For the second night in a row, the Louisiana IceGators scored four consecutive goals en route to a 4-2 victory over the Knoxville Ice Bears.
The IceGators (10-4-1) dominated the second period, scoring three goals on 11 shots while holding the IceBears to only seven shots on goal. Louisiana also improved upon its league-best penalty kill percentage by shutting down all five of Knoxville's power-play opportunities.
The IceGators will hit the road next weekend for games in Pensacola, Fla., and Columbus, Ga.
"I thought it was another solid, consistent 60-minute effort," IceGators Head Coach Kevin Kaminski said. "We were down early, but we bounced back and picked up momentum. In the second, we had some good entries. We created havoc crashing the net, and the guys with the puck made some great plays."
Mark Van Vliet gave Knoxville that early lead 10:37 into the first period. He scored in traffic off of assists from Eric Satim and John Higgins. Fifty seconds later, Matt Robertson tied the score off of feeds from Denny Kearney and Kirk Byczynski. Goals from Jordan Foreman and Kearney gave Louisiana a 3-1 lead midway through the second period.
Shawn McNeil capped off the frame with a highlight-reel goal. McNeil skated coast-to-coast and through several defenders before launching a wrist shot from the slot and above Knoxville goalie Connor Toomey's shoulder to give the IceGators a 4-1 lead heading into the second intermission. The Ice Bears' Jeremy Klaver cut the lead to two with a goal early in the third period. Riley Gill stopped the other 10 Ice Bear shots in the period.
Kaminski found two areas he thinks his team needs to improve upon, but overall he is pleased with the team's progress thus far.
"We have to work on is communication and stronger puck decisions," he said. "I feel our game has improved as guys have continued to buy into the system. We just have to continue to work on what makes us a better team."