KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Louisiana IceGators’ roller-coaster ride of a season reached an end, thanks to a former member of the team.
Dennis Sicard scored off a Jason Price feed with 8:10 remaining in the second overtime period to give the Knoxville IceBears a 4-3 victory, a 2-0 series win and a berth in the President’s Cup Finals against the Mississippi RiverKings.
The IceGators offense gave one of its most potent performances of the year, launching 53 shots on goal, including 40 in regulation. But IceBears goalie Bryan Hince provided his team a much-needed boost through his spectacular play, especially in overtime.
“This is tough night for us,” IceGators coach Drew Omicioli said. “We were the better team, but unfortunately, they scored the last goal of the series. Hince played out of his mind. We had so many opportunities, and you have to give him credit because he played incredibly.”
Friday night’s game in the Knoxville Civic Center mirrored the IceGators season: up and down, high and low and full of dramatic moments.
The IceGators and the IceBears entered the first intermission tied at 1 after Ben Power and Jeremy Boyer traded goals.
The teams traded goals again midway through the second period off goals from Jake Hauswirth and Sy Nutkevitch. Louisiana took a 3-2 lead going into the second intermission thanks to a Chris Wilson score with 3:45 left.
Knoxville tied the score with 11:54 left in regulation when Eric Satim scored off a Power assist. Louisiana regained the lead when Chris Wilson went top shelf unassisted with 9:08 left in the third. Knoxville knotted the score at 4 with 1:09 left when Berkeley Scott, who recently returned to the IceBears from a call-up to ECHL’s Quad City Mallards, put the puck past IceGators goalie Scott Diebold.