Last Night’s Games
(3) Mississippi RiverKings 5, (6) Louisiana IceGators 2
Mississippi wins series, 2-0.
The Louisiana IceGators’ season ended last night at the Cajundome as the Mississippi RiverKings scored four unanswered goals in the first two periods. RiverKings forward Todd Hosmer plunged the knife into the IceGators’ hopes with a short-handed marker at the end of a three minute long penalty kill.
The second period, usually the time when Louisiana does the most damage, turned out to be disastrous for the IceGators. Reid Campbell and Devin Mantha capitalized on Louisiana defensive breakdowns to give the RiverKings a 3-0 lead by the 9:42 mark of the second period. Three minutes later, Louisiana coach Drew Omicioli pulled starting goaltender Brad Barone in favor of Adam Courchaine. One minute later, RiverKings center Leo Thomas beat Courchaine with a slap shot from the right circle to put the game out of reach for Louisiana.
The IceGators would begin a comeback attempt with a short-handed goal of their own, as rookie Johnny Daniels got a speedy breakaway, then dangled RiverKings goaltender Peter Di Salvo to get Louisiana on the board with 5:21 remaining in the middle frame. Louisiana would close their deficit to two on Anton Lennartsson‘s tally from the left side of the crease with 8:35 remaining in the third period. The RiverKings then clamped down defensively, and Thomas would bang home an empty net goal for his second score of the night with 15 seconds remaining to send the Gators home for the summer.
(2) Pensacola Ice Flyers 3, (7) Huntsville Havoc 1
In their home playoff opener, the Pensacola Ice Flyers threw everything they had at Huntsville Havoc goalie Ryan de Melo. The Havoc netminder made 48 saves on 50 Pensacola shots, and the Huntsville defense held Pensacola’s vaunted Banfield-Pawlick-Caveney line to a single assist. However, the Ice Flyers depth at forward made the difference in the game. Paul Rodrigues, Charlie Adams, and Stephen Buco lit the lamp at the Pensacola Bay Center to give the Ice Flyers the win in game one of their first-round series against the Huntsville Havoc.
Matt Zenzola, recently returned from the ECHL Evansville IceMen, got the playoff assignment from Ice Flyers coach Rod Aldoff. Zenzola was sporadically tested last night, making 20 of 21 saves. SPHL Rookie of the Year candidate John Lidgett gave Huntsville their only goal with a third period power play marker. The series moves to Huntsville for game two on Saturday night.
(5) Knoxville Ice Bears at (4) Fayetteville FireAntz – Game 1 – 7:30 ET
(8) Macon Mayhem at (1) Peoria Rivermen – Game 2- 8:00 CT
Macon leads the series, 1-0.