LAFAYETTE — When the IceGators gave Ben Oskroba a bit of space, he sent the Peoria Rivermen to a series sweep Saturday night.
Oskroba scored a tie-breaking goal on a slap shot from the slot with 6:22 left in the game to lift Peoria to a 3-2 victory at the Cajundome.
“We outplayed them up until that point in the third-period and then we take a penalty and it results in losing the game,” IceGators coach Drew Omicioli said.“We had three mental errors that resulted in goals. We let a guy come out of the penalty box and score, we had a horrible line change and we take a penalty and put them on a power play with eight minutes left.”
Peoria (4-2) scored the first goal thanks to Brandon Greenside, who made amends for being called for slashing by bouncing out of the penalty box and converting a breakaway opportunity.
Greenside’s backhand shot trickled past IceGators goalie Adam Courchaine to make it 1-0 nearly four minutes into the game.
The IceGators (1-3-1) evened the score midway through the second period when Dylan Hood found the back of the net with assists going to Travis Armstrong and Mitch Stretch.
Peoria converted a power play chance into another goal to retake the lead, but the IceGators’ Alex Hudson responded 28 seconds later by zipping the puck past Peoria goalie Francois Brassard with 1:03 remaining in the second period.
“We battled back because we keep putting ourselves in positions where we have to battle back,” Omicioli said. “We have to find guys who are ready to go when the puck drops at the beginning.”
Part of the battle for the IceGators was being down a man when defenseman Anthony Pisano was handed a five-minute major and a game misconduct for boarding.
“The guys are frustrated, and they should be,” Omicioli said. “This is supposed to be a rivalry and they come in here and beat us for 183 minutes of total hockey.”
The IceGators will resume their five-game homestand Saturday when they welcome the Fayetteville FireAntz to the Cajundome for a two-game series.
“We have two guys who will be coming off the injured reserve and two guys who will be leaving (to make room on the roster),” Omicioli said. “Dylan Hood looked good in his debut, too.”