First Period Deficit Dooms RiverKings in Louisiana

By: David Schmoll
January 24, 2014

LAFAYETTE, La. -- The Mississsippi RiverKings (19-10-3) scored three unanswered goals in the third period, but could not overcome a five goal deficit as they fell 5-4 to the Louisiana IceGators (18-12-3) in Lafayette on Friday night.

The IceGators jumped out to a 4-0 advantage in the first. Shawn McNeil got the offense started just 2:52 into the opening frame after taking an Adam Stuart pass and beating Dan McWhinney over the glove to put Louisiana on top 1-0. Jordan Braid and Jeremy Boyer gave the IceGators a 3-0 lead with goals one minute apart before McNeil added his second goal of the period 11:44 into the period on a pass from behind the net to send the 'Gators into the first intermission ahead 4-0.

After a slower start to the second period, Louisiana extended their lead. Brett Peppler took a Chris Wilson pass and beat McWhinney on a shot from the high slot 12:37 into the middle frame to take a 5-0 lead. But the RiverKings battled back as Lucas LaBelle's backhander beat Kiefer Smiley as he tallied his first goal as a RiverKing to cut the deficit to 5-1.

In the third, the RiverKings battled back. Matt Harrington picked up a rebound in front of Smiley and beat the IceGator netminder to cut the IceGator lead to three. Four minutes later, Phil Bronner found LaBelle in front who lifted the puck over Smiley's glove to push the score to 5-3. Five minutes later, Matt Whitehead took an outlet pass and beat Smiley on a breakaway to bring the score within one with just over nine minutes remaining in regulation. But with McWhinney on the bench and an extra attacker on the ice late in the game, the IceGator defense held the RiverKings back to had the visitors their first regulation loss in their last five games.

Dan McWhinney (10-7-0) took the loss after stopping 36 of 41 shots against. Kiefer Smiley (8-6-2) stopped 21 of 25 shots against in the win.

The RiverKings travel to Pensacola tomorrow night to take on the Ice Flyers at 7:05 p.m. Be sure to be at Old Style BBQ, the Official Away Game Watch Party Headquarters to catch all the action.

About the Mississippi RiverKings
The Mississippi RiverKings are supported by their community partners, season ticket holders, fans, and by program-related investments of the Maddox Foundation, an independent private foundation based in Hernando, Miss. To find out more about the RiverKings, call 662-342-1755 or visit www.riverkings.com. 

Posted by David Schmoll at 9:24 PM

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