LAFAYETTE — After Brad Barone enabled the Louisiana IceGators to hang around on Thursday night, his pay back came in the form of two quick shots before an overtime sendoff.
Barone stopped 45-of-47 Mississippi shots and the IceGators scored a pair of third-period goals a minute apart as part of a 3-2 overtime win at the Cajundome.
“It was a sloppy win, but we have had a lot of games where we have been on the opposite end of that,” IceGators coach Drew Omicioli said. “We have faced goaltenders who stood on their head. Mississippi outplayed us, no doubt, but we had a spectacular performance (by Barone).”
Matt Robertson’s overtime goal won the game with 3:15 left in the period. Even though it secured two points for the Gators, Omicioli had a few points to make in victory.
“Our neutral zone and defensive zone play was very sloppy,” Omicioli said. “Those are two things that have been giving us success, so we have to get back on the right path with our systems.”
The Gators (25-25-4) faced a 1-0 deficit through two periods, as the RiverKings ramped up their attack to the tune of a 33-16 shot advantage through the first 40 minutes. However, Jake Hauswirth and Luke Sandler scored back-to-back goals for Louisiana to switch the momentum and put the Gators on top 2-1. Hauswirth’s goal came at the 17:38 mark of the third period, and Sandler’s goal came 60 seconds later on a chip shot through the 5-hole on RiverKing goalie Peter DiSalvo
“Sandler had a beautiful goal, and then we had a letdown on a backdoor goal by Mississippi before Robertson had a big goal in overtime,” Omicioli said/
Neither team broke through on the scoreboard in the first 20 minutes. The Gators had a couple of shots ring off the posts, and the RiverKings finished the period with a 14-8 shots on goal advantage. The Gators kept it scoreless until the RiverKings drew first blood with 15:44 left when Charles Mosey found the back of the net to make it 1-0.
The Gators will take on the Knoxville Ice Bears at 7:05 p.m. Friday in their next to last game of the regular season.