LAFAYETTE — Better late than never.
After nine previous losses to the Pensacola IceFlyers, the Louisiana IceGators finally notched a victory over their Interstate 10 rivals, earning a 4-2 victory in the Cajundome on Saturday night to prevent a season series sweep.
Massimo Lamacchia and Jordan Ciccarello each scored their first professional goals to help lead the IceGators to the win.
The IceGators return to action next Saturday when they travel to play the Columbus Cottonmouths. Game time is set for 6:30 p.m.
“Obviously, this is an overall great team win for us,” said IceGators coach Drew Omicioli. “We had two guys score their first-ever professional goals. Tyler Prendergast had a phenomenal game with his goal and assist and plus 3 ratio. (Jake) Hauswirth came up with a big-time goal in the second to give us new life.
“Overall, we played well, but we’re still struggling on the power play. It’s great to see us put up four goals against one of the best teams in the league without a power play goal, especially against a goalie like John McLean. On our end, Barone stood on his head and won the game with his 30 saves.”
Lamacchia opened the scoring 70 seconds into the second period when he launched a one-timer from the right wing past McLean off a pass from Ben Kramer. Zac Frishmon also assisted on the play.
Pensacola tied the score at the 7:49 mark of the middle period when Joe Caveney took a Corey Banfield pass and buried a shot in the IceGators net.
Louisiana rebounded in the third period with Hauswirth and Prendergast each scoring in the first eight minutes. The pair also assisted on each other’s goals.
Adam Pawlick cut the IceGator lead to a goal with 3:10 left in regulation when he scored with a wrist shot from the slot on a power play.
Ciccarello iced the game with 41 seconds left when he scored an empty net goal off a face-off in his own zone.
“This is the kind of game I want to see more consistently,” Omicioli said “We played like wrecking balls tonight. To have several guys come in and play the way they did without ever practicing with us makes me feel even better. We stuck to the systems and played great hockey.”
Omicioli said his team will get some much needed rest and relaxation over the Easter weekend before gearing up for their upcoming road trip.
“The guys are in great shape, but they’re banged up,” Omicioli said. “We need to win at Columbus. It’s a four-point game that would help us solidify our playoff standing. We just need to keep grinding and move up in the standings.”