The Louisiana IceGators play their first game this season in the Cajundome as the Peoria Rivermen make their first trip to Louisiana since the double-overtime playoff classic back in April. The three game/three night series will cap off a four game/five night road trip for the Rivermen. Peoria’s trip to the deep south got off on a sour note as the 1-2-0 Rivs lost on Tuesday night to the Mississippi RiverKings, 2-1.
Drew Omicioli’s 1-1-0 IceGators are looking to rebound from a 5-4 loss at the hands of the Pensacola Ice Flyers. The Gators will be aiming to reverse the early-season trend of slow starts against a team which has outscored opponents 4-0 in the first period this season.  Coach Jean-Guy Trudel’s Rivermen will be motivated to avoid a second consecutive loss and a 1-3 start.
Tonight’s game will be the first of a three game series between the teams. All games will start at 7:05pm.

IceGators Keys to Victory

  • Establish the forecheck early. The Rivermen are a fast-starting team, so the Gators will have to get pucks deep in the Peoria zone and forecheck effectively and withstand the early Peoria attack.
  • Score, and get the crowd into the game. The IceGators haven’t scored a goal on opening night in three years. The Gators last goal (and win) on their home opener was on October 26, 2012 against Huntsville.
  • Work the body. The IceGators’ physical play during their first two games paid off with dominating third periods.

Peoria’s Keys to Victory

  • Finish strong. The Rivermen were outscored 3-0 during the third period in their two losses. Jean-Guy Trudel will have to make sure his players don’t let off the gas late in the game.
  • Get Adam Stuart involved down low. Stuart has struggled to find his game in Peoria’s offensive zone. Look for Peoria to establish Stuart by the goalie crease and get pucks in from the outside.
  • Make the IceGators shoot from the outside. Louisiana has out-shot opponents in both of their games. Peoria will try to keep them shooting low-percentage shots from the perimeter and keep goalies Kyle Rank and Francois Brassard unscreened.

Fast Facts

  • Tonight’s game commemorates the 20th anniversary of professional hockey in Lafayette. On this date in 1995, the then-ECHL Louisiana IceGators beat the Mobile Mysticks, 3-1, in their inaugural home opener.
  • Both teams have struggled on the power play, as neither team has scored this season. The IceGators are 0/7 on the man advantage, and the Rivermen are 0/18.
  • The Rivermen like to come out firing. Peoria has out-shot opponents 40-24 in the first period this season.
  • The IceGators’ physical play wears teams down. Louisiana has out-shot opponents 30-12 and outscoring teams 3-0 in the final frame.
  • Louisiana forwards Jake Hauswirth and Blake Hietala are on two-game goal scoring streaks.
  • Peoria forward Dan Bremner will miss the first two games of the series as he finishes a three-game suspension for an elbowing incident during the October 24th game against Pensacola.
  • The IceGators last beat the Rivermen at home in regulation with a 4-1 victory on February 23rd, 2014.

Tonight’s Rosters

Louisiana IceGators
1    G    Courchaine, Adam
35 G    Imoo, Jonah
2    D    Armstrong, Travis
3    D    Kuqali, Nicholas
4    D    Cornell, Dan
5    D    Ciccarello, Jordan
6    C    Buco, Stephen
9    LW    Kasteel, Luke
11    LW    Wudrick, Geordie
15    C    Ruffolo, Trent
19    C    Hauswirth, Jake
20    RW    Hietala, Blake
22    LW    Wilson, Chris
27    LW    Barr, Tyler
33    D    Pisano, Anthony
39    C    Boyer, Jeremy
72    D    Stretch, Mitch
96    C    Hudson, Alex
Peoria Rivermen
30 G    Brassard, Francois
​31 G    Rank, Kyle
3    D    Weidauer, Christian
4    D    Slowikowski, Michael
7    D    Greenside, Brandon
10    RW    Wallin, Terrence
11    C    Hall, Tim
12    RW    Gurtler, Mike
13    C    Vermeersch, Garrett
17    RW    Hagaman, Alec
19    LW    Summers, Matt
21    D    Donnellan, Mike
24    D    Oskroba, Ben
25    LW    Sandler, Luke
29    RW    Trask, Jake
45    C    Stuart, Adam
88    D    Woodley, Ben

Follow along with the action with us on Twitter! We will be tweeting @SinBinIceGators using the hashtag #LOUvsPEO for all three games this weekend.

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