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IceGators Stumble at Home to Columbus

December 12, 2013 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Louisiana IceGators News Release

Lafayette, La.--The Louisiana IceGators were snakebit Thursday night.

The Columbus Cottonmouths scored six goals in the second period en route to an 8-6 victory over the IceGators. Steve Mele recorded four goals for Columbus. Matt Robertson and Shawn McNeil both registered two goals.

"We had too many penalties, and we couldn't get into a rhythm," McNeil, the IceGators' captain, said. "Six goals in a period obviously puts you in a hole.

"I don't think we underestimated them. There is a fine line from between the top and the bottom in hockey. We killed ourselves on a few mental things tonight. It's not a lack of will, but a lack of thinking."

The IceGators jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after scoring twice in the first 3:13 of the game.

Robertson picked up his first goal of the night only 13 seconds into the contest. Wilson tacked on a power play goal three minutes later.

The two teams traded goals to open the second period.

Dan Bremner made it a 2-1 game 2:20 into the frame. Jeremy Boyer gave Louisiana a two-goal lead on an unassisted short-handed goal at the 6:59 mark.

The bottom then dropped from under the IceGators.

The Cottonmouths scored five goals in the 13-and-a-half minutes of play. Tom Maldonado (power play), Neilsson Arcibal (short-handed), Mele (twice on power plays), and Matt Gingera all scored during that run to make it a 6-3 game.

McNeil ended the Cottonmouths' streak, scoring his first goal with eight seconds left in the period to cut the Cottonmouths' lead to two. McNeil scored again with 14:29 remaining in regulation--this time on a deflection--to bring the score to 6-5.

Louisiana tied the game 25 seconds later when Robertson capitalized on a major Columbus error. Cottonmouth goalie Andrew Loewen was playing the puck in the trapezoid when Robertson stole it and scored before Loewen could get back to the crease.

However, the IceGators' comeback was nixed by Mele, who scored the game winner with 5:26 left in the game. Mele added an empty net insurance goal with 20 seconds remaining.

"We were where we wanted to be, but by the time we got to the third, we were out of our rhythm," McNeil said. "We couldn't stop the bleeding for some reason in the second."

McNeil says he and his teammates need to understand what their roles on the ice are and begin to take them seriously.

"We need more attention to detail, and we need to focus on what our jobs are," McNeil said. "We need to know what to do if we wind up in a situation like we were in tonight."

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