LAFAYETTE — The Louisiana IceGators’ chance to make a move against the Macon Mayhem evaporated in a matter of a minute.
The Mayhem snapped a 1-1 tie with a couple of third-period goals 46 seconds apart to send the IceGators to their third straight loss, a 4-1 defeat Sunday at the Cajundome.
“We played physical in the first two periods, but we have a set group of guys who are playing a full 60 minutes, and we have a lot of guys where inconsistency is killing us,” IceGators coach Drew Omicioli said.
Matt Robertson broke the tie on an unassisted goal with 8:04 left in the game when he skated down the right side and let a wrist shot go that put Macon on top 2-1. After IceGator Alex Hudson got slapped with a two-minute minor penalty for kneeing. The Mayhem quickly widened the gap thanks to a power play goal by Ryan Michel at the 7:18 mark.
“When we allow a goal, it’s a goal ... it happens,” Omicioli said. “We have guys that are getting so deflated. You can see the momentum go in our opponent’s favor. They should harness that and come back that much stronger, but it is not happening.”
A day after they fell into a 4-0 hole against Macon, the IceGators got the upper hand this time around thanks to a wrist shot from the slot by Geordie Wudrick that beat Macon goaltender Garrett Bartus with 15:47 on the clock in the opening period.
“Get puck retrieval and look for the high (position) guy,” Omicioli said. “It was perfection. We had it, and then it goes away in the third period. Where does it go? If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”
The Mayhem (8-10-3) had a great chance to even the score during the second half of the second period when a pair of slashing penalties on Luke Sandler and Blake Hietala nearly two minutes apart gave them a brief 5-on-3 advantage. The IceGators were able to weather that situation and return to full strength, but the Mayhem quickly made their move as Lucas LaBelle scored to tie the game with 2:58 left.
After their third-period surge, the Mayhem closed out the scoring with an empty net goal by Jake Trask with 33.4 seconds left.
The IceGators (7-11-3) will face the Mayhem again in Macon on New Year’s Day at 7:30 p.m. before following that with a game Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. against the Mississippi RiverKings.