By : Ron Valerino — 12/31/01
The IceGators dropped two of three games last week, but still enter this week 15 points clear of second-place Pensacola in the Southwest Division.
Saturday, Louisiana’s attempt for back-to-back wins was foiled by a third-period comeback by Mississippi. The IceGators held a 4-2 lead early in the second after a power play goal by Steve Aronson. Nick Greenough scored just 1:03 later for Mississippi, and Brent Gauvreau notched two goals in the third period. His first tally, at the 5:21 mark, knotted the score at 4-4. He then won a face off and put in a rebound off the stick of Jim Baxter with 33 seconds remaining to put an end to Louisiana’s 17-game (15-0-2) home unbeaten streak.
Friday, the IceGators scored the game’s final three goals to regain their winning ways with a 5-2 win over the Brass at New Orleans Arena. Konstantin Kalmikov had his second two-goal game of the season and Shawn McNeil’s third-period goal was the game-winner, while Jay Murphy and Cory Cyrenne each added a goal and an assist. Marc Magliarditi stopped 34 shots in his 150th professional game for his ninth straight victory and 15th overall.
Jeff Lazaro capitalized on a 5-on-3 early in the third to knot the score at 2-2. McNeil answered back just more than two minutes later at the 8:29 mark to put Louisiana up for good. Cyrenne took a nice pass from Randy Perry on a 3-on-2 break with 6:24 remaining to put the IceGators up 4-2. Just more than a minute later, Kalmikov put in his second score of the game.
Thursday, the IceGators gave up a pair of first-period goals to Baton Rouge and never recovered, with the Kingfish earning a 4-1 victory. Murphy scored Louisiana’s lone goal in the loss. Baton Rouge goaltender Brian Leitza was outstanding in the victory, stopping 43 shots.
WHATS COMING UP:
Friday, the IceGators try to avenge one of four regulation losses this season with a Hibernia Cup matchup with Baton Rouge.
Saturday, Louisiana again faces a team that beat the IceGators earlier this season in Mobile.
Sunday, the high-scoring second-place Pensacola Ice Pilots invade the Cajundome for the first time this season. Former IceGator Louis Dumont leads the Ice Pilots, who are looking for revenge after a 3-2 home loss to Louisiana December 19.
–IceGators defenseman Chris Valicevic played in his 550th ECHL game Thursday, moving him past Darryl Noren for third place on the league’s all-time list. At week’s end, Valicevic has played in 552 games — 47 shy of Bob Woods for second on the list. The ECHL’s all-time leader is Richmond’s Rod Taylor, who has played in 617 league contests. Taylor passed Woods earlier this season.
–Saturday’s loss when leading after two periods was indeed a rare occurence. The IceGators dropped to 21-1-0 this season, and 143-10-8 when leading after 40 minutes since the 1997-98 season.
–The IceGators have scored at least one power play goal in six straight games. Louisiana also has a goal with the man advantage in nine of the last 10 games. In the last four contests, the IceGators are 11-for-27 (40.7 percent) on the power play; in the last 10 games, they are 16-for-44 (36.4 percent). These numbers have helped Louisiana move up from 29th in the league in the power play to its current place of 9th (19.2 percent).
–The IceGators are 6th in the ECHL in attendance averaging 4860.
–The goaltending tandem of Frederick Cloutier and Marc Magliarditi continue lead the ECHL in goals against average. Cloutier’s 1.80 GAA is followed closely by Magliarditi’s 1.99 GAA.
Thanks to Ryan Stanzel – Louisiana IceGators for his contribution.