PENSACOLA, Fla. — Everything that could wrong for the Louisiana IceGators did go wrong for them Friday.
The team bus broke down en route to the Pensacola Civic Center, extending a four-hour road trip to 10 hours.
The IceGators then gave up five first-period goals in a 6-3 loss to the Pensacola IceFlyers. Adam Pawlick led the IceFlyers with two goals.
“When we got to Pensacola, we only had 20 minutes to unload and get dressed,” IceGators coach Drew Omicioli said. “We were then given seven minutes to warm up. Half the team made it out onto the ice with four minutes left in the warm-up, and we picked up the pucks and played. (Pensacola) took advantage of the situation.”
Stephen Buco drew first blood two minutes into the game to put the IceFlyers ahead 1-0. Pawlick and Joe Caveney tacked on power-play goals within two minutes of each other midway through the period to make the score 3-0. Pawlick scored again at the 16:47 mark to put Pensacola ahead 4-0. Fifty-seven seconds later, Sean Rudy scored to make it 5-0.
The IceGators finally found their stride late in the first period. Luke Sandler scored with 56 seconds left in the frame to make the score 5-1 going into the first intermission.
Jeremy Boyer added a power-play goal with 44 seconds remaining in the second period to cut the Pensacola lead to three goals. Sandler scored again 3:22 into the third period to put the IceGators within two.
Pensacola sealed the victory with a David Segal empty-net goal with 1:27 left.
The IceGators return to action Saturday when they host the Columbus Cottonmouths in the Cajundome. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m.
The IceGators will attempt to break the SPHL attendance record during Saturday’s game. A portion of the ticket proceeds will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.