LAFAYETTE — The Louisiana IceGators’ push for a breakthrough against Pensacola succumbed to some quick strikes.
Pensacola put four goals on the board in an 8-minute span in the third period to turn a 2-1 lead into a 6-2 victory over the Gators on Wednesday night at the Cajundome.
“They have a solid team and extremely talented forwards,” IceGators coach Drew Omicioli said. “(Corey) Banfield had two assists and (Adam) Pawlick had a 4-point night. Their depth and tenacity showed in the third period.”
With 11:56 left in the third period, Josh Cousineau scored on his own rebound to put Pensacola ahead 3-1. A 2-on-1 opportunity a few minutes later got cashed in by defenseman Tyler Amburgey to push Pensacola to a 4-1 advantage with 8:54 on the clock.
“We were in that game at 2-1 and it was a weak performance in the third period,” Omicioli said. “They turned it on. A defenseman scored on a 2-on-1. Guys missed their assignments.”
Meanwhile, Pensacola goalie John McLean used his 6-foot-9 frame to stop 31 of 33 Gators shots.
“Their goaltender made some big saves when we peppered him early,” Omicioli said.
Despite those 2-way accomplishments from Pensacola, the contest was knotted at 1-1 in the second period before a goal by Jeremy Gates late in the period gave Pensacola the lead for good.
“They drove the net, worked hard, got some rebounds and it ended up in the back of the net,” Omicioli said.
The IceFlyers got an early jump ahead of the Gators with 3:33 remaining in the opening period when Drew Baker let loose a one-timer from the high slot that snuck past Gators goalie Adam Courchaine to make it 1-0.
Jeremy Boyer scored for the Gators to even the score before Pensacola made its push. After the IceFlyers had built a 6-1 cushion, Luke Sandler accounted for the last goal when he banged in a rebound on a shot by Zac Frischmon to make it 6-2.
The IceGators (21-21-4) will be heading to Fayetteville for a pair of games this weekend. Fayetteville stands one point behind the Gators. “That is an enormous four points coming up that is in reality like an 8-point swing,” Omicioli said.