IceGators Fall to Rivermen in OT
LAFAYETTE, La.--The IceGators had a chance to continue their rise in the SPHL standings with a win over the Peoria Rivermen Thursday night.
They squandered that opportunity.
A sluggish, sloppy performance in the second half of the game by the IceGators allowed the Rivermen to steal a 4-3 overtime victory in the Cajundome. Former IceGator Jake Trask scored the game-winner with a breakaway backhander off an IceGator turnover.
The IceGators and the Rivermen meet again Friday night in the Cajundome. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m.
"We gave away two points at home tonight," said IceGators head coach Drew Omicioli. "I thought we played 15 minutes of solid hockey and 45 minutes of sheer chaos. We were trying things that we've never practiced all year and got completely away from our systems.
"Overall, other than (Jake) Hauswirth's line, everybody else was puck-watching and had zero execution."
Despite the lack of execution, Louisiana kept the game competitive throughout.
Garrett Vermeersch opened the scoring with a power play goal 2:42 into the game.
Louisiana tied the score five minutes later off a Chris Wilson shot from blue line on the right wing.
Hauswirth gave the IceGators the lead 96 seconds into the second period with a shot from the right point off a pass from Benjamin Rubin. Tanner Burton also assisted on the play.
The Rivermen reclaimed the lead at the 14:08 mark of the frame. Christian Weidauer and Alec Hagaman scored 71 seconds apart to put Peoria ahead 3-2.
Louisiana tied the score again with 3:41 left in the second when Jeremy Boyer tipped in a Hauswirth shot. Rubin also assisted on the play.
Omicioli attributes the IceGators' late sloppy play to unnecessary penalties that his team took in the waning minutes of the contest.
"We gave them four power plays at the end of the game," Omicioli said. "The best players on our team killed the penalties, and they ran out of gas at the end of the game. It happens all the time with us. Undisciplined hockey leads to fatigue. With the penalties we take, we give them eight to ten shots a period. -We need to figure out how we can turn the 15 to 20 minutes of hard-nosed, solid, and disciplined hockey we play into a solid game."
Omicioi says he will return to the drawing board and reshuffle some lines to see if he can find other successful shift combinations.
"We've got (the Hauswirth) line going. Now, I need to go back and find other combinations to get us a win (Friday) night. This league is too good to rely on only one line to win. We aren't far off. We just need some tweaking."
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- Rivermen Grab OT Win at Louisiana - Peoria Rivermen
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