LAFAYETTE — New IceGators coach Drew Omicioli’s home debut was not a happy one.
His team lost 3-0 to visiting Peoria to drop to 2-2, but it wasn’t the IceGators’ play that had Omicioli fuming.
The IceGators served 51 minutes in the penalty box for 17 infractions compared with Peoria’s 25 minutes for eight infractions.
Nine of those Louisiana penalties came in the third period, which Omicioli thought to be too far skewed in Peoria’s favor.
“I’ve never seen a third period like that,” Omicioli said. “I’m disgusted. It’s something that we’re going to send the tape in.”
The missed calls, Omicioli said, were “blatant.”
“I’ve got guys with their mouths ripped open. No penalties,” Omicioli said.
Playing shorthanded for much of the third period, the IceGators were never able to mount a serious attempt at overcoming a poor second period.
The IceGators had a 10-4 shooting advantage in the first period, but they were unable to convert on any of their chances.
The Rivermen made Louisiana pay for those missed opportunities in the second period.
They scored a pair of goals in a span of 1:38 midway through the second period to take a 2-0 lead, the first of which was on a penalty shot, and the second on a power play.
Peoria added another goal in the third period, again on a power play, when defenseman Cole Ruwe took a cross-net pass from Garrett Vermeersch and snuck it past goaltender Andrew Flemming.
“We didn’t play for one period, and we lost the game,” Omicioli said. “That’s the game of hockey.
“Sometimes you can weather the storm if your goaltender stands on his head and those two goals don’t go in. I thought our goaltender played well. We took the period off.
“The first period, we could’ve been up 4-0 if we capitalized on our chances. Unfortunately we didn’t execute.”