IceGators Stumble In Loss To RiverKings
Southaven, Miss.-- Everything that could go wrong Friday for the Louisiana IceGators went wrong.
A bus breakdown stalled the IceGators on their trek to the Landers Center, delaying the game by an hour and forty minutes. When the IceGators finally took to the rink, their hosts, the Mississippi RiverKings, were less than hospitable, scoring three goals in each of the first two periods en route to a 7-2 victory.
Matt Whitehead led the RiverKings with two goals and an assist.
The two teams will meet again Tuesday for a late-morning affair in the Landers Center. The puck will drop at 10:35 a.m.
“We suffered a tough loss tonight,” said IceGators head coach Drew Omicioli. “The guys were flat from the get go. We faced some tough circumstances. We were stranded for two-and-a-half hours after the bus broke down, and we were given only 10 minutes to get dressed and stretched and five minutes to warm up before the puck drop.
“Either way, we need to battle adversity better than we did tonight.”
Matt Harrington put the RiverKings ahead with a goal 26 seconds into the first period.
The IceGators responded five minutes later when Tanner Burton scored to tie the game.
It was all Mississippi after that.
Whitehead and Bryon Paulazzo both scored prior to the 10-minute mark to give the RiverKings a 3-1 lead going into the first intermission. The RiverKings outscored the IceGators 3-1 in the second period as well, with Paul Ciarelli, Sean Jones, and Whitehead scoring. Jason Cohen gave the IceGators their only score of the frame. Justin Gvora tacked on an insurance goal for Mississippi with less than four minutes left in the game.
Despite the disaster of a day, Omicioli found some silver lining.
“The only positive is that we get to play them again on Tuesday morning,” he said.”