Pensacola, Fla.--One night after coughing up a lead late and giving away a victory, the Louisiana IceGators dug deep to hold on to a lead until the final horn.

The IceGators scored a goal in each of the first two periods en route to a 2-1 victory over the Pensacola IceFlyers.  Shawn McNeil led the team with two assists, while goalie Scott Diebold, in his professional debut, picked up the win by stopping 44 of 45 Pensacola shots.

The IceGators now return home for their final home stand of the season.  The first game of that set, against the Columbus Cottonmouths, is set for Thursday at 7:05 p.m.

“We played a solid overall game,” said IceGators head coach Drew Omicioli.  “I thought we played average in the first period and very well in the last two.  Granted, once again, we had to kill a ton of penalties, but we overcame that, and we still came out victorious.

“Scott Diebold played incredibly.  He came in for his first pro game and stole the show.  It’s never easy when you face that many shots, but again, when you have to kill six penalties, the opposition is going to get a bunch of shots.”

Brett Peppler put the IceGators ahead 1-0 with 9:10 left in the first period off an assist from McNeil.

Adam Stuart tacked on a power play goal with 3:58 left in the second period off assists from McNeil and Jeremy Boyer.

Pensacola rallied in the third period.  Brett Beebe scored with 6:31 left in the game off assists from Nick McParland and Keegan Flaherty.  However, Pensacola failed to capitalize on three power play opportunities in the final period.

Omicioli says his team’s special teams play was key to winning this game and is key to the IceGators’ future success.

“Our penalty kill was great, and out power play chipped in a big-time goal from Stuart on a beautiful tic-tac-toe feed,” Omicioli said.  “Hopefully, we can feed off of our play and off of this win.  If we can maintain this level of play, we’ll be difficult to beat next week and in the playoffs.”