19 October, 2011

Roster set for 2011-2012

Coach Killer Kaminski has assembled his team and they are now on their way to Fayetteville, North Carolina for their first game of the season, which is on Friday night. The team consists of 7 returning core players from last season, along with many new faces. Coach has raved about the relentless work ethic that the guys showed in training camp.

Here is a look at your 2011-2012 Louisiana IceGators (* indicates returning player):

On Offense:

*Shawn McNeil  (Center)- The 33 year old IceGators legend was a big signing in the offseason.  He puts up big numbers on the ice and is a great leader off of it. He is the first line center and his line showcased their skills at training camp.

*Jason Hill- (Left Wing)-  Hill came to the Gators in the middle of the season last year and provided instant offense. Hill will be flanked to the left of McNeil on the first line and should have a breakout season. He is not afraid to drop the gloves if the situation calls for it.
*Rob Short (Right Wing)- Short is another returning forward who made his way to the Gators via trade last season when we had 15 games left of the season. He brings a tough, hard nose style to the team and could see time on the penalty kill.
Nick Petriello (Forward) – Petriello is a newcomer to the league but finished his college career at Buffalo State as the all time leading scorer in school history. In 100 college games played, he scored 133 points. Hopefully he can keep up his scoring ways in the SPHL.
Brayden Metz (Center)- Metz comes highly recommended from the WHL and SJHL younger leagues in Canada.  He put up big numbers the last two seasons and also stays out of the penalty box. The sky is the limit for this youngster.
Willie Boyle (Forward)- Boyle is a smaller guy at 5’8”, which you would never guess by looking at his numbers. He has averaged well above a point a game in the Nor-Pac and the AAHL.
Todd Collins (Center) – Comes from Marian University. He played in 107 games and scored 87 points.
Kevin Beauregard (Forward)-  Big forward at 6’3” & 225 pounds. Played his college hockey at RPI.
Josh Duplantis (Forward)- Josh is from the Lafayette area and looking to make a name for himself in SPHL hockey.
David Simoes – Will be a fan favorite because of his entertaining style of play and fighting ability. Simoes enters  the SPHL coming from the higher CHL where he won the “toughest player” award multiple times.
*Tobias Carlsson- The only player to have spent the last two full seasons with the Gators. Coach Kaminski has said that Carlsson vastly improved since last season.
*Tanner Hlookoff- Played in 20 games for the Gators last year after being traded from the Mississippi Surge. His second season in the SPHL should be his best season so far.
*Eric Tallent – Another returning defenseman for the Gators. Tallent adds a physical style of play to the blue line.
Clark Byczynski- Has spent last 4 seasons playing junior hockey in the SJHL and the MJHL.
Phil Crea – Crea also has junior hockey experience in the MHJL.
Sean Murray- Another player from Buffalo State. His 50 games of college experience should help him be ready for pro action.
Terry Watt- Newcomer, Watt played a few seasons in the FHL and the AAHL.
*Mike Brown – Maybe the best goalie in the league. Has experience in big leagues: AHL, ECHL, CHL. Brown puts the Gators in a position to win game in and game out.
Dan Earles – Played last year for the champions, the Mississippi Surge. Will be a great backup to Brown.
Hopefully Coach Killer has found the right players to buy into his system and have a successful season. Their first two games will be Friday and Saturday night in Fayetteville, NC against the Fayetteville FireAntz. We wish them the best of luck!

10 October, 2011

2011-12 Season Soon to be Underway

 Picture from: http://icegators.com/
Like many other 'Gator fans out there, we too are anxiously awaiting the 2011-12 SPHL season.

(Frozen Chomp) Today is the first day of IceGators training camp! Before we get this season underway, let's look at what has happened during the off-season.


One of the most talked about things to happen during the off-season is the emergence of the new Federal Hockey League (FHL). Like the SPHL, the FHL is a Single-A hockey league. Therefore, there will be a never ending fight between the two leagues over players in hopes that one of the teams can emerge as the premier Single-A league.

In order to safeguard their better players, the SPHL introduced a new league-wide ruling which prevents any player on the protected list, as of the end of last season, from returning to the SPHL if they appear in as little as one FHL game.

Even though the SPHL has been around since 2004 and is a well established Single-A league, former SPHL players have signed with FHL teams because the league is offering the players more money than the SPHL teams are. One important thing to note is that the FHL team arenas, on average, are significantly smaller than the SPHL arenas. This raises the question: Will the FHL make enough money to compensate the players as promised? Only time will tell.


Tim Kerr, the owner of the Ice Flyers,  acquired the defending SPHL Champions, the Mississippi Surge in the off-season. Kerr's first move as the owner of the Surge was to fire the championship coach/GM/part-owner, Stephan Walby. Many of Walby's former players have decided not to return to the Surge, many of them deciding to test the waters of the FHL.

The SPHL gained its 9th franchise, the Mississippi Riverkings, formerly of the CHL. This team is very stable, having been around for almost two decades. This team was once the home of the IceGators coach, Killer Kaminski  and General Manager, Louis Dumont, so this should be an instant rivalry for the 'Gators. With its rich history, the Riverkings bring much to the SPHL. Like the Surge, they too have also fired their head coach and appointed longtime veteran defenseman, Derek Landmesser as their new leader. Their training camp roster has six IceGators from the 2010-11 season; Scott Darling (Goalie), Paul D'Agostino (D), Gentry Zollars (D), Ryan Ramage (D), Trevor Kraz (Veteran Center), and Nick Vandenbeld (F).

This week opens the IceGators training camp. We'll outline the training camp roster later in the week.

22 January, 2011

Say Goodbye to one of the longest losing streaks in professional sports history!

Coach Killer Kaminski had been working around the clock frantically trying to find players to fit his system and to stop the 20 game losing streak. His moves finally paid off. In the last 2 weeks he has brought in some new faces and the team has looked much improved:

On offense:
#11 Jason Hill - Hill came to the Gators from Fayetteville and has proven to be a great pickup. He has great puck control and has scored 7 points in 5 games. His linemates are Beau McLaughlin and Shawn McNeil, and the line has been on fire.

#4 Marc Rechlicz - A 6'4 winger who will become a fan favorite. He makes his big presence known and his not afraid to drop the gloves. He picked up a goal and assist in the big win on Friday night.

#19 Ryan Howarth - Great player against the boards behind the net and has good puck control.

#26 Brad Townsend - Comes from the same team as Howarth from a lower league, Lapeer Loggers. He is a player who is following in the footsteps of Dennis Sicard, he is a smaller player who loves to check and has 4 fights in 5 games.

On Defense:

#5 Tanner Hlookoff - Came to the Gators in a trade from Mississippi.

#36 Ryan Ramage - Stay at home defensemen who was picked up after being released from Knoxville. Great pickup.

Coach Kaminksi had the guys working extremely hard at practice, even skating and doing drills with them and the work finally paid off. After coming off an extremely disappointing loss on Thursday night, after leading 2-0, the Gators finally snapped the streak on Friday. However, the win didn't come without much stress in the last minute.

Up 5-3, the Gators were playing great defensive hockey for the last 4 minutes of play, clearing the puck and getting quick line changes. With around a minute to play, Mississippi pulled their goalie and a shot from the point was deflected in to make the score 5-4 with 30 seconds remaining. Suddenly the sure win was now being questioned. After a controversial icing call, the Surge got the face off next to Gator goalie Scott Darling with 13 seconds left. Three desperation scrums in front of the net, and a few clutch saves by Darling later, the Gators threw their arms up in victory. The streak has been difficult on the fans but give credit to the Gators for playing their hearts out last night. Time to start a win streak!

22 December, 2010

MacIsaac Dismissed; Valicevic returns to bench tonight

Coach Dave MacIsaac has been relieved from his duties as the head coach of the Louisiana IceGators. MacIsaac took over the coaching position last season and improved a bad Gators team, eventually falling a few points shy of the playoffs. However, this season has been a struggle and he was released after the IceGators fell to 7-15, last place in the SPHL.

IceGator legend, Chris Valicevic, will coach the next few games and try to give much needed energy to a team that desperately needs wins to break their losing streak. Valicevic is only a temporary replacement and a permanent coach will be named at the end of the weekend. In the hockey coaching world, the Mississippi Riverkings fired their coach, Kevin "Killer" Kaminski last week, and he would be a huge pickup for the Louisiana IceGators. Kaminski has a good record in the CHL, and has won coach of the year honors. Although he may not stick for the long term, bringing in a coach of his caliber could definitely turn the season around. With half of the season still left to be played, there is still plenty of time to make the playoffs.

With all of the commotion surrounding the IceGators this week, it is very important that the players stay focused and try to come away with some huge wins this week against two top three teams. The Gators take on Pensacola tonight and Mississippi on Saturday and Sunday. The IceGators will have their hands full tonight at the Cajundome against Pensacola. In 6 meetings this year the Gators have only won once, but all 5 losses have been by one goal. Another Gator legend, Rob McCaig, was supposed to take the ice tonight but recent rumors are that complications with the league office will not allow McCaig to play tonight. McCaig is in his late thirties and has not played in years so the move would have been mind-boggling.

There is a lot of big news and big changes surrounding the Louisiana IceGators, which makes for an exciting time. Come out to the Cajundome and support the IceGators as they try to put the pieces together for a big second half of the season.

20 December, 2010

Sellitto recalled -Hill acquired; Latest fights/incidents

Mike Sellitto, who was on assignment from the AHL was recalled today. Sellitto played in 20 games and scored 11 points. Recently, the IceGators have had 18 available players but can only dress 17, and Sellitto has been the one sitting out. He did play Friday night when Sicard was suspended.

Jason Hill was acquired in a trade with Fayetteville for future considerations. Hill has 16 points in 15 games so it looks like this is an upgrade for the IceGators. It is always good to upgrade on offense but the defense needs some big time adjustments. Hopefully there will be some changes on defense in the near future.

A look at the defense:

Jeff Bieber +9  2 points
Gentry Zollars even  1 point (only 8 games)
Ryan Fultz -1  7 points
Paul D'Agostino -1 (only 8 games)
Tobias Carlsson -11 4 points
Eric Tallent -13 4 points

With a team that has let up so many more goals than goals scored, a rating of +9 is amazing, and even and -1 is not bad. But being in negative double figures is not good.

In other news, check out the Frozen Fights section for the latest incidents. Sicard's fight with the Huntsville goalie and the post game altercation are available.

19 December, 2010

Mouth of the South; Week 9

Grade: D-
Player of the Week: CJ Tozzo (1G, 2A)
 (FROZEN CHOMP) It is time for a change in Louisiana. The Gators hit the road trying to end a losing skid but failed to win once again, dropping to 7-15 on the year. The IceGators started the season slow but kept most of the roster in place, looking for the team to gel together instead of having a revolving door of players. However, it is nearing the halfway point of the season and the situation is as bad as it has ever been and it is time for something to be done. Whether the change will be aimed towards coaching or an overhaul of players is yet to be seen, but it is nearing panic time. I think there are about 7 sure roster spots that will not change this year, but it is time to start looking at the bottom half of the roster.

Friday night the IceGators took on the league-leading Huntsville Havoc. Usually the first place team is not the team you would like to be facing to snap a losing streak, but the Gators have had success against the Havoc this year. However, they embarrassed themselves at times and lost 4-1. The lone goal on the night for the Gators was by Nick Vandenbeld who put home a loose puck after CJ Tozzo lured the Havoc goalie out of the net.

The Gators then traveled to Knoxville to take on the Ice Bears for the first time this year, and saved themselves from an F rating for the week. The Gators did not play very bad and actually outshot an opponent for a change 42-27. CJ Tozzo scored early in the game to take the 1-0 lead and later Dennis Sicard scored to tie the game at 2-2. However, in overtime Emery Olauson scored for Knoxville to give them the victory.

The Player of the Week this week is CJ Tozzo. Tozzo was involved in the only three goals this week, once scoring and twice assisting. The Gators' offense has been solid all year so it was surprising that they only scored three goals in two games. At the beginning of the year we said the strong point of the team was offense and the weak link was defense, which for the most part has proven to be true throughout the year, but neither played very well this week.

The next few weeks are going to be crucial if the IceGators want to salvage the season. The two teams with 8 wins, Knoxville and Columbus, are on the IceGators schedule many times in the upcoming weeks. It is very likely that only one of these three teams make the playoffs so it is very important for the IceGators to take care of business against Columbus and Knoxville. A few upset wins against the I-10 rivals, Mississippi and Pensacola this week and the upcoming weeks would be helpful as well. There is still a little over half a season to be played so if the Gators can figure things out right now, they can turn this ship around.

16 December, 2010

Gators look to regroup on the road; Sicard suspended

After a week of three tough losses, sending them falling to last in the standings, the IceGators hit the road to take on Huntsville and Knoxville. They will do so without fan favorite Dennis Sicard against Huntsville on Friday night. Sicard has been suspended for one game for his actions in last Saturday's game against Fayetteville. Sicard was involved in two post game fights where he left the bench to partake in.

Last week was a very disappointing week for the Gators because they did not play bad but were left with the sour taste of three losses. On Thursday night the Gators suffered a loss to Mississippi because they could not find the back of the net due to an extremely hot goaltender Dan Earles. It was the first time all season that the IceGators did not score. Gator goalie, Darling, also played very well only letting up 2 late goals. Friday night was by far the toughest loss all season. Up by one with under a minute it seemed that the Gators were going to be victorious, but with only 4 seconds left the Fireantz scored to force overtime. Eventually the Antz won in the 6th round of a shootout. The same teams faced off again the next night, Saturday, and the Gators again played solid hockey but lost 5-3 due to a late empty net goal.

Lately the puck has not bounced the IceGator's way but if they continue to play hard it eventually will. They are now 7-13 but could easily be close to .500. The team is progressing even if the standings do not show it. There are 36 games to turn things around and get into a playoff spot, and there would be no better way to begin a hot streak than a win tomorrow night against the first place Hunstville Havoc.

05 December, 2010

Mouth of the South: Week 7; Games 15,16,17

Grade: A
Players of the Week: Goaltenders (Darling & Dekker)

(FROZEN CHOMP) Thanks to the tremendous effort by netminders Scott Darling and Adam Dekker, the IceGators have lifted themselves to the middle of the league standings in week 7.

With a third of the season gone in a blink of an eye, the IceGators have taken their fans on a rollercoaster ride because of their inconsistent play. Going into the week, big question marks surrounded the IceGators. We were down a few injured players, had new additions plugged into the lineup, and faced two of the top three teams in the league. Week 7 was quite a test for us but we played hard and prevailed.

The Gators suffered a tough blow by losing the first game of the week to Pensacola, but did not have anything to feel bad about. They played with tremendous effort and outshot the Ice Flyers but were defeated on the scoreboard, thanks to a brilliant effort by Ice Flyers' goalie Thomas Lee. It would have been easy to shut down mentally due to the tough loss, but the Gators rebounded even stronger against the then top ranked Huntsville Havoc.

In many instances in Friday's game, it looked like the IceGators were going to have another heartbreaking loss. Even though the Gators had many scoring opporunities, the oposing goalie kept them from winning in regulation. It was IceGators' goalie, Scott Darling, however, that would steal the show. Late in overtime, the Havoc were awarded a penalty shot and Darling came up huge with a save to force a shootout. In the shootout, Fultz and McLaughlin scored for the Gators. Tension was at an all-time high with one shooter to go for the Havoc. The shooter needed to score to send the game into another set of shots. With much goalie controversy talk before the week started, Darling once again proved why he is the starting goalie with another huge save.

The IceGators entered Saturday night's game with all the momentum, and it showed from start to finish. They played a complete game which ended 6-3. The crowd was awarded with great hockey and even a fight between Louisiana's Sicard and the Havoc goalie. View Goalie Fight

We look forward to defeating Pensacola on Thursday night. The games on Friday and Saturday will both be played at the Cajundome. The games this weekend mark the end of the Fall semester, meaning our writers will have time to write our usual full-length articles. As college students this is a busy time for us. We apologize for our short articles over the last two weeks.

28 November, 2010

Mouth of the South: Week 6: Games 11-14

Grade: F
Player of the Week: Trevor Karasiewicz (2g, 6a)

Week 6 consisted of fights, penalty kills, 4 consecutive losses, and even a power outage.

Because of the IceGators' current record of 5-9, many fans are asking that Coach Dave MacIsaac be fired prior to game 15. Gator Forum is currently conducting a fan poll concerning this issue. Gator Forum Poll.

Because there is so much to discuss at this point in the season, we will do something different this week; We will break Mouth of the South into four parts.

Part One Topic: Coaching
Part Two Topic: Defense
Part Three Topic: Goaltending
Part Four Topic: Attendance
We will release these articles between Monday and Thursday. Have a great week.

26 November, 2010

Inconsistency in Game 12 results in Gators’ loss

The Louisiana IceGators are inconsistent in their game play. As a result, the Gators’ record is spiraling downwards once again, leaving fans disheartened.
In week 5, the IceGators won two away games in a row against Fayetteville, lifting them back to .500 for the second time this season. With the record back on track, fans were eager for their team to pick up a few wins this week in order to increase their winning percentage. Unfortunately, the teams we played so far this week are among the best teams in the league.

On Tuesday, the Gators played the Mississippi Surge. Despite the Surge’s solid record this season, many believed this game would favor the Gators due to Mike Brown (goaltender) of Mississippi being recruited to play in the ECHL earlier this week.

Simply put, game 11 was a devastating loss for the Gators. Thanks to the outstanding work of the Surge’s new netminder, Jeremie Dupont, the final score of the game 11 was 8-3. With this loss, the Gators moved down to .455 in terms of league standings.   

On Thanksgiving, the IceGators took on the Pensacola Ice Flyers. 1,378 fans watched as the Gators let up two goals very early in the first period. A third goal in the second period put up the Ice Flyers 3-0. Just as soon as the game looked like it was getting away from them, the number one powerplay in the league set up a Shawn McNeil goal and rejuvenated the players and fans. With the new found energy, the Gators quickly responded with a goal by Tobias Carlsson and later Kirill Kitsyn took an errant pass by the Ice Flyer goalie and found Mike Silletto in front of the net to tie the game. The small crowd now sounded much larger and were excited for the final period. The Gators came out with good intensity and played well but 7 minutes into the period the Ice Flyers scored to take the lead 4-3. Eventually, the Gators were forced to pull their goalie in the waning minutes of the game, leaving the spectators on edge. However, Pensacola did not crack under the pressure and held off the late Gator attack, and a long half ice shot sailed wide as time expired. 

The Gators now find themselves in an all-too-familiar position, two games under .500, fighting to get back into the middle of the standings. Tonight they will face the first place Hunstville Havoc at the Cajundome and it will take three complete periods to come away with the victory. 

Remember to wear black clothes tonight. The IceGators will be "Blacking out the Dome" tonight for Black Friday.

23 November, 2010

IceGators get dominated 8-3

Absolutely embarrassing. Nothing more to say.

21 November, 2010

Mouth of the South: Week 5; Games 9, 10

Grade: A
Player of the Week: Scott Darling (.956 save percentage)

Following the bittersweet weekend that consisted of games 6 through 8, the IceGators rightfully found themselves dwelling at the near-bottom of the league standings. Fans were irate following the conclusion of game 8 and wanted to know why their beloved IceGators played so poorly. They demanded answers. Some fans even wanted Coach MacIsaac’s head for such a humiliating loss in game 8
MacIsaac’s calm manner of coaching set off nearly every fan, especially during the third period of game 8 when his team was down by 5 goals and he remained calm and collected. Fans would turn their heads in disgust of the Gators, only to see Head Coach Tommy Stewart of the Fayetteville FireAntz continuing to be very active in the game and not letting up—despite his team being up by such a large margin.
Rumors also began to circulate that binge-drinking on nights before the next game was the reason for the team’s poor game play.
In order to turn things around in week 5, the Gators needed to come out strong, stop Rob Sich (Fayetteville’s leading  goal scorer), and take shots galore. Luckily, our Gators aren’t bottom dwellers. With two amazing wins against the FireAntz this weekend, the IceGators are back at .500 for the second time this season.

The Gators started off both games with energy and purpose. In game 9, the Gators scored 4 first period goals, which is all they needed to secure a victory. The final two periods were not a great showing by the Gators, but their solid defense and goaltending gave them a 4-2 victory. In game 10, the Gators stuck to the same game plan. They scored the first three goals of the game, and the defense and goaltending played great again, resulting in a 3-1 win. In fact, the game should have been a shutout for goalie Scott Darling, but he was on the unfortunate end of a few missed calls. Before the goal, there was a few roughing penalties that should have been called on Fayetteville. There were a few times in the game that Fayetteville's players were taking shots at IceGators after the whistle, mainly on Mike Silletto. After the no call, a Gator defensemen was clearly tripped in his own zone, which resulted in an easy breakaway and goal by the FireAntz. How those strings of penalties were missed, I am not sure. Eventually Mike Silletto had enough of the extracurricular activities and dropped the gloves with Fayettville's Salvis. Silletto may have lost the fight, but it was Salvis that was carried off on the stretcher. Salvis apparently hit his head on the ice at the conclusion of the fight, knocking him unconscious. Hockey teams are usually bitter rivals on the ice, but nobody wants to see another player get seriously injured. We hope Salvis makes a speedy recovery and gets back to the ice soon.

The IceGators played extremely well this weekend and deserve their first "A" of the season. They looked like a completely different team, mainly on defense. They came out strong, took many early shots pressuring St. Vincent, and closed out the games. Despite Fayetteville being at the bottom of the standings, winning two straight away games in the SPHL is difficult and the Gators need to be commended for it.

Frozen Chomp's Player of the Week is Scott Darling. He faced 68 shots and only allowed 3 goals (one of which shouldn't have counted). Hopefully the defense can keep helping him out and he can continue to make big saves. Shawn McNeil also has a big week, racking up 4 assists and 1 goal. McNeil and Karasiewicz's effort on the power play have led them to the #1 rated power play in the league.

The Gators have three straight home games this week: Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. If you buy a ticket on Thanksgiving (Thursday), you receive a free ticket to Friday's game. We would like to wish everyone a very safe and happy Thanksgiving.

19 November, 2010

Dominating first period lifts Gators to victory in game 9

Wow, what a great first period of play for the Louisiana IceGators! It was said that the IceGators needed to get out to a quick start and pressure the Fayetteville goalie early; and that is exactly what they did. Off of the opening faceoff, the Gators let a few shots rip and drew a penalty against the FireAntz. The Gators came into the game ranked 1st in powerplay success and they showed the North Carolina fans why. Three times in the first period, Trevor Karasiewicz and Shawn McNeil set up teammates on the powerplay. It only took 41 seconds for the duo to find McLaughlin for the first score, then they later found Fimiani and Sicard. Leading 3-0, with all the momentum, the Gators were not done yet. Don Melnyk set up McNeil who scored on a very nice looking wrist shot in the slot. The period ended with the Gators leading 4-0, and the shots on goal were 18-8.

The IceGators would not find the scoreboard again for the rest of the game, and did not play great in the final two periods, but did a great job of not making costly mistakes. The defense did not allow nearly the scoring opportunities that were allowed the first two times these teams played. Karasiewicz had 3 assists on the night, and Shawn McNeil had 1 goal and 3 assists. There were two fights in the game, Melnyk beat Versteeg-Lytwyn and Tallent vs Reed (stay tuned for videos). These two teams will faceoff again tomorrow night, for the fourth straight game, and the IceGators need to follow the same game plan - come out with shots and intensity to start the game, and don't let up. The Gators still have 5 games in 8 days, but we could not ask for a better start to the long string of games.

17 November, 2010

Gators to play 6 games in 9 days

In the sport of hockey, it is hard to call a regular season game, or week, a ‘make or break’ week because the season is so long. But this week for the Louisiana IceGators may come close to an early ‘make or break’ week and can set the tone for the remainder of the season; and what a tough week it will be. The IceGators will play 6 games in 9 days, which will be a big test of character and heart. There is no doubt the Gators will be tired toward the back end of the week but it is important for them to find a way to compete. They will first travel to Fayetteville for a Friday and Saturday night contest, where they seek revenge for Sunday’s embarrassing performance. They will then return home for home games Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Then on Saturday, they will make the drive to Pensacola to finish the long week. A good week can put the IceGators back into the center of the standings, but a string of losses could put the Gators with the worst winning percentage in the league and into an up-hill battle for the rest of the season. A 4-2 week would be a success. 
It is important for a team to not look to far into the future so here are some keys to this weekend's games against Fayetteville.
Come out Strong. In the two games against the FireAntz, the Antz have scored on their first shot, less than two minutes into the game. The Gators have done a good job of responding to the first goal, but it is never good to be playing from behind. Set the tone early, and don’t let up.
Stop Rob Sich. Even slowing him down would be nice. Rob Sich and his line have been on fire as of late, with Sich earning player of the week honors with his hat trick on Sunday. Sich led the league in goals last season...by 15. He started off slow this year but used the Gators to kick-start his goal scoring spree. He now has 11 goals in 11 games and his linemate, Chris Leveille has 17 points in 11 games. 
Take Shots. Fayetteville goalie St. Vincent proved to falter under pressure which allowed the Gators to score 4 goals in the third period of Saturday’s game. In Sunday’s game he seemed more comfortable because he was not pressured with many shots. The Gators have been a little pass-happy in the offensive zone, especially on the power play. If you have a shooting lane, take a shot. The Gators have had some nice goals but screens, deflections, and rebounds can only happen with shots. Shoot early and often.
There have been two hot topics this week that some fans are saying may be to blame for the slow start to the season - coaching and drinking.
Some fans are frustrated with what they say was a lack of coaching in Sunday’s disappointing 7-2 performance. Even being up by a large margin the coach for Fayetteville was giving instructions to his team while some fans say the Gators coach was doing nothing. On the other side of the debate, some fans say the coach tells the players what to do in practice and they should know what to do.....Our take: It is important to understand that some coaches have different ways of coaching. Some are very animated in games and some rather to just manage games and instruct in practices. Neither is wrong, the coaching philosophy is just a characteristic of the coach. With that being said, the coach is responsible for the play on the ice and ultimately the team’s record. I do understand that some things a coach can not control, but I think blaming just the players is wrong as well. If it is always the players fault then no coach in any sport would have ever lost his job. In conclusion, both are to blame for different aspects, but I think the coach talk is very premature.
The second hot topic this week was drinking. Fans have heard rumors of hangovers being the reason for Sunday’s disaster. Some say it should not matter - they are adults and the old IceGators did it...Our take: People handle situations differently, and drinking is no different. Some players may play different after a night of drinking and some may not. I personally don’t agree with the adult excuse, most fans are adults but they can not show up to their job with a hangover, especially if it is hurting their job performance. I really do not know if that was the reason for Sunday’s loss, I think we just got outplayed. Only the players and coaches know the truth, and hopefully they make the right decisions to win games. 
In terms of talent, I believe the IceGators are better than a 3-5 team and hopefully they set the tone this week for the remainder of the season. Please come out and support the Gators at home next Tuesday the 23rd, Thursday the 25th and Friday the 26th.

14 November, 2010

Mouth of the South: Week 4; Games 6,7,8

Grade: D
Player of the Week: Trevor Karasiewicz (2g, 5a)

As 3,258 IceGators fans looked on, the Gators managed to erupt for 4 goals in the final period of game 7, securing their badly needed win at the home opener.  With a final score of 7-5, IceGators fans could excuse their team's loss on Friday and looked forward to reaching 4-4 in game 8, which was held on Sunday afternoon. The Fire Antz, however, weren't going to lay down lightly and take two losses in one weekend. Sunday's game was by far the worst game of the season, which is inexcusable due to the thrilling win on Saturday evening. Defensive breakdowns, bad passes, and lack of shots made the game almost unbearable to watch.

Game 7
Your Louisiana IceGators returned home to the Cajundome for the first time in five years on Saturday for their much-anticipated home opener. The night opened with John Spoltore's family and former teammates taking to the ice. Spoltore's brother thanked the IceGators Organization for their dedication of their 2010-2011 season to his brother, "Spotty." Following the moving statements, fans watched a video-tribute to Spoltore, which featured highlights of his gameplay during the Gators' ECHL days. After the video-tribute, John Spoltore's jersey was retired and hanged in the rafters of the Cajundome.

The first period opened with explosive gamplay from both teams, resulting in an early tie of 1-1. By the end of the second period, Fayetteville was up, 5-3. As fans led the infamous Gator Chomp in the third period, the IceGators scored two goals in the first five minutes of the period. As soon as it looked as the game may go into overtime, the Gators took advantage of a powerplay opportunity, putting them up 6-5. Fayetteville's gamble of pulling their goalie, to get an extra attacker resulted in the IceGators scoring an empty-net goal, putting them up by 2 points. With a 7-5 victory, Friday night's loss seemed to be insignificant. Fans left the Cajundome, astonished at the amazing comeback and ready to watch their team take on Fayetteville the following afternoon.

Game 8
In short, Fayetteville scored, scored, and scored another five times. The Gators' defense decided not to show up and could do nothing right. Thanks to the defense's piss-poor perfomance, the offense did not possess the puck long enough to score but two goals. I wish there were more positives to highlight on for game 8, but none exist.
Frozen Chomp's Player of the Week is Trevor Karasiewicz. Even though he was dealing with a nagging upper-body injury, he managed to score 2 goals and put up 5 assists during the three game weekend. He has continued to show great puck-control, especially on the powerplay, where he is the apparent quarterback. Most players play at full speed, rushing the play, which usually results in a lack of awareness. But Karasiewicz often slows down and executes great passes to get his team mates involved. If anything, he should have probably had more assists this weekend.

On Friday, November 19, the IceGators will face Fayetteville once again. Hopefully, the IceGators will decide to bring a little defense and effort on the trip and come away with a win.

12 November, 2010

IceGators drop winnable contest at Pensacola

New game, same story. The IceGators are familiar with the Pensacola Ice Flyers, having played them three times in the first six games, but they are also familiar with building an early lead and blowing it. The first time these two teams met, the Gators blew an early first period 3 goal lead and the last time they faced off they barely held on to an early two goal lead.

Tonight, the Gators jumped out to a two goal lead, with goals from Tobias Carlsson and Beau McLaughlin. The game changed drastically when the Ice Flyers managed to score two goals with under two minutes left in the second period. The third period began like a whole new game, knotted at 2, but the Ice Flyers were able to outscore the Gators 2-1 in the period, to win 4-3.

Beau McLaughlin and Shawn McNeil had great games. McLaughlin scored twice and added an assist, while McNeil assisted on all three goals. Dekker started his first game of the season in net and played well for the most part, but saw over 40 shots. Other players to see their first action of the season were newcomers Eric Tallent and Kirill Kitsyn. Eric Tallent is solid defensemen that was signed to fill in for the injured Paul D'Agostino. Kitsyn is a young Russian forward on a three game contract to fill in for injured CJ Tozzo.

Note: Tallent will wear #2, Kitsyn will wear #5, Clay Lewis has taken #22, Fimiani moved to #9, and Nick Vandenbeld is now #26.

The IceGators are now 2-4. This is not the record the Gators saw themselves having, but I believe they are a better team than the record indicates. One thing we have to remember is they have not had a home game yet. In most sports, especially SPHL hockey, road records are usually a lot worse than home records. This is because of crowds, familiarity, and the last chance to line change. With that being said, it is important to not let winnable games slip away. The Gators could easily be 4-2 but will have to keep working hard to get over .500. Tomorrow night they will be home in the Dome, in what is sure to be an amazing night. Two straight wins in front of a fired up crowd would put them at 4-4, in a solid position to have a successful season.

07 November, 2010

Mouth of the South: Week 3; Games 4,5

Grade: C-
Player of the Week: Shawn McNeil (2g)

The IceGators proved to be bipolar this weekend, playing the best game of the season on Friday night and then turning around and playing the worst game of the season on Saturday night. The Gators traveled to Pensacola on Friday night looking to become .500 for the first time since being in the ECHL, and they played a very solid game. The Gators jumped out to the 2-0 lead with goals by McLaughlin and Fimiani, but knew they did not have a safe lead because the first time these teams met, the Ice Flyers came back to win after being down 3-0. After the Ice Flyers closed the gap to 2-1, Karasiewicz found McNeil on a well designed play which ended up being the game winning goal. The Ice Flyers fired off many shots in the last period but only managed to end the game 3-2.

The Gators then made the short trip to Biloxi to move up in the standings but left their effort on the bus. The Gators looked lackadaisical from the opening faceoff and allowed a goal just 33 seconds into the game. McNeil answered back with a quick goal to knot the game at 1-1 but the Gators continued their sloppy play. After another Surge goal, physical play picked up. After an injury to CJ Tozzo, Nick Klaren of Mississippi received a Deliberate Injury Match Penalty and Don Melnyk and Dennis Sicard took matters into their own hands. Watch altercation. The Gators failed to take advantage of the 5 minute power play and eventually started creating penalties on their own. The next 3 goals for the Surge were on the powerplay. The game seemed to be coming to an end 5-3 but the Surge managed to score 2 goals in the last minute of play to win a whopping 7-3. Not only were the Gators outscored, they were out hustled.

The IceGators get a C- for this week. After winning a great game Friday night it looked like they were headed to a great weekly grade. However, Saturday night's beating dropped their grade tremendously. Overall, splitting a pair of games is not bad, but the Gators are better than a 4 goal loss.

Frozen Chomp's Player of the Week this week is Shawn McNeil. Captain McNeil has returned to the Gators this season, looking to build them into a powerhouse like they were years ago when he played with the Gators in the ECHL. McNeil scored the game winning goal Friday night on the power play. He also scored 2 minutes into the game on Saturday night but the Gators were unable to build on the momentum.

Other News: Zech Klann was placed on the season ending IR and was replaced in the lineup by 6'4 defenseman Clay Lewis. Also Jason Harding was released for Nick Vandenbeld, who scored his first career goal Saturday night.

The Gators will wrap up their 6 game early season roadtrip Friday night against Pensacola. Hopefully the Gators can pull out a win and come home to the Dome Saturday night 3-3 in front of a huge crowd for John Spoltore.

05 November, 2010

IceGators reach .500 for the first time in the SPHL

As time winded down Friday night the IceGators found themselves in a difficult and all too familiar situation, down a man on a penalty and facing an extra attacker against a goalie-less Ice Flyer's powerplay. The Ice Flyers fired shot after shot in the final minute of play but Scott Darling came out with big saves to give the Gators their second win on the season. Darling came up with a few huge saves on garbage plays infront of the net to keep the IceGators alive. The Ice Flyers made a valiant effort in the last period, outshooting the Gators 21-7. This win makes the IceGators 2-2 on the season, which is the first time they have been .500 since their ECHL years.

In a slow dump and chase, pretty uneventful, hockey game the Gators found themselves on the better end of a stat that they have had a trouble with - penalites. The Gators only commited 3 penalties in the contest but failed to kill them off, letting in two goals shorthanded.  The IceGators started the scoring after Don Melyk stole the puck in the Gators end and passed it up ice to Trevor Karasiewicz, who let the 2 on 1 break with Beau McLaughlin. Karasiewicz slid the puck across to McLaughlin and he managed to do the same thing that he did against Ice Flyer goalie Ryan Scott that he did in their first meeting- banked the shot off the post then off of Scott's back for the score. In the second period, Dj Fimiani made a very heads up play after a scramble infront of the Ice Flyer's net. Even though Fimiani was at a bad angle, he knew Ryan Scott was laying down out of postition, so he threw a backhander on net that found its way into the goal for the 2-0 lead. After the Ice Flyers scored a power play goal, Karasiewicz sent a beautiful pass to McNeil infront of the net that put it home to go up 3-1. The IceFlyers fought back in the third period but only managed to score one, and the game ended 3-2 on a flurry of shots.

The IceGators will travel to Biloxi tommorow night to take on the Surge once again and they look to be above .500 for the first time in the SPHL.

31 October, 2010

Mouth of the South: Week 2; Game 3

Grade: C+
Player of the Week: Trevor Karasiewicz (3g, 1 a)

In the game on Friday night against the Surge, CJ Tozzo smashed home a rebound in overtime, giving the IceGators their first win of the season.  The Gators needed overtime heroics to get the victory after squandering a 3-1 lead for the second straight game. In this game, the IceGators showed how potentially explosive their offense can be this season but failed to correct their disciplinary mistakes from games one and two.

The Mississippi Surge took an early 1-0 lead off of a wrister by Matt Zultek over the shoulder of Scott Darling. The IceGators quickly responded with a shot by Don Melnyk that was set up behind the net by Karasiewicz and Beau Mclaughlin. This line had a huge offensive night, teaming up for almost all of the IceGators’ goals. Karasiewicz then scored two quick goals to take a commanding 3-1 lead, with the Gators looking like the better team. However, after a change in goaltending the Gators decided to go back to their old ways of committing penalties and letting the opposition fight their way back into a game that they had no business being in. Mississippi’s last three goals were on the powerplay, two of which were 5 on 3 goals. Shawn McNeil scored his first goal as an SPHL Gator and Trevor Karasiewicz finished off his hat trick before regulation, which ended at 5 a piece. The IceGators did do a great job in overtime of getting 7 shots on net compared to none for the Surge and eventually CJ Tozzo put home the game winner.

The Gators deserve a grade of a C+ for their efforts this week. They did an amazing job of putting pucks in the net but gave up a lead and almost let a sure win slip away. The objective of a hockey game is to win, so give credit to the IceGators for pulling out their first win of the season. However, they have not yet learned from their mistakes and are failing to put away opponents, mainly by their lack of discipline. On a good note, the team chemistry is quickly coming along and the Gators may score many goals this season, if they can cut down on defensive and disciplinary mistakes. If they cut down on these mistakes, they can without a doubt finish high in the standings.

Our Player of the Week for Week 2 goes to Trevor Karasiewicz. Karasiewicz netted a hat trick and also got an assist on the night. He sees action on the penalty kill and powerplay and his line played exceptionally well at full strength. Coming into the game, Karasiewicz only had one assist in two games, but did have a few laser slapshots hit the post. Look for him to have a great season.

The IceGators are on the road next weekend to take on Pensacola and Mississippi once again. The Gators would love to pick up some wins in order to come back to the Dome with a solid record. Check Frozen Chomp and Frozen Chomp’s facebook for news and game updates. We would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Halloween.

29 October, 2010

IceGators win in overtime against Surge

The Louisiana IceGators traveled to Biloxi to avenge their opening night loss against the Mississippi Surge and managed to pull out a 6-5 overtime win. Fans watching on B2 networks were blessed with possibly the worst broadcast in the history of sports. There were no commentators, two cameras that could not follow the puck, and no scoreboard views whatsoever - so viewers had to keep score but had no clue how much time was left. 

The pros of the game for the Gators was an explosion of offense, led by a hat trick by Trevor Karasiewicz (he also added an assist). The line of Karasiewicz, McLaughlin, and Melnyk played great all night. Karasiewicz  had a 4 point night (3 goals, 1 assist). Melnyk also attained  4 points (1 goal and 3 assists). McLaughlin had a 2 point night (both assists).

Also, the Gators were 3 of 5 on the power play and came close to scoring the other two times. CJ Tozzo scored the overtime game winner on the power play. Shawn McNeil scored his first goal as an SPHL Gator. 

The cons of the game were the same as it has been, PENALTIES. The Gators had the lead at 3-1, allowed two goals - one a power play goal, to tie the game at 3-3. Then the Gators led 4-3 and let up another power play goal. Of course, after they took the 5-4 lead they committed a late penalty and let in yet another power play goal with a minute left in the game. 

Scott Darling played the first period, stopping 19 of 20 shots but was replaced with Adam Dekker, who did not look very good, stopping 21 of 25 shots. In Dekker’s defense, he was put in two inexcusable situations (two shorthanded goals while 5 on 3). There were also two fights in the game - Sicard vs McPhee and Silletto vs Cacaro, the Gators did not fair very well in either. 

The IceGators should be thankful to get out of the game with a win after blowing another lead and committing the same mistakes that cost them in the first two games of the year. At the same time, they do deserve credit for putting the puck into the net and getting the job done in overtime. It is very apparent that the chemistry is getting better and the team is very talented. The IceGators will have a full week off to get ready for another two games on the road. 

IceGators searching for first win

The Lousiana IceGators(0-2) travel to Biloxi for the second time this season to take on the Surge (2-0), this time looking for their first win of the season. In their first meeting, the Gators hung in and only lost 3-2 but were outshot and shorthanded on 9 different occasions.

The Surge have been playing well, beating the Gators 3-2 then Columbus 3-0. Surge goalie Mike Brown, was named SPHL player of the week, but to the delight of IceGator fans his backup Dan Earles will be in net tonight. Winger Michael Richard has 3 points in 2 games. 6'4" standout, Matt Zultek is coming off of a 2 goal performance.

The IceGators made a small lineup change this week by releasing Luke Frey and signing Jason Harding. Harding is 5'10 173 pounds and last played hockey at Mount Royal College. Coach MacIsaac is hoping that this change will decrease the amount of shots that goalie Scott Darling has been seeing.

24 October, 2010

Mouth of the South: Week 1; Games 1, 2

Grade: C-
Player of the Week: Beau Mclaughlin (2g, 1a)
The Louisiana IceGators started the first weekend of the 2010-2011 just as they did last season - out-shot, out-disciplined, and winless. The IceGators started the season on the road against both I-10 rivals, first at Mississippi then at Pensacola. With an apparent loaded roster, primarily offensively, Gator fans expected to see great passing, many shots, and plenty goals. Instead, fans saw sloppy play, penalties, and many saves from their rookie goalie. 

Friday night was the first game of the season against familiar foe, the Mississippi Surge. For the majority of the game the IceGators were out-played and out-disciplined. Mississippi received a gift from the Gators -nine powerplays compared to only two for Louisiana. The large amount of powerplays for the Surge led to 46 shots on goal. Even though the Gators only managed 27 shots on goal, they only lost 3-2, thanks largely to the play of Dennis Sicard and goalie Scott Darling. Sicard scored both of the goals for the Gators, both thanks to his great positioning in front of the net.

Saturday night, the IceGators made the two hour trip from Biloxi to Pensacola to try to break even for opening weekend. They came out of the locker room on fire, scoring 3 quick goals to take an early first period lead 3-0. Mclaughlin was credited with 2 goals and Fimiani with the other. From that point on they went back to their old ways, committing penalties and turning the puck over. Pensacola fought their way back and eventually tied the game at 3 and the IceGators put themselves in the bad position of killing a penalty in the last minute of regulation and started the overtime period 4 on 3. After killing the penalty, now 3 on 3 in overtime, the IceGators failed to cash in on a few chances in their offensive zone, eventually letting up an Ice Flyer goal to end the game.
The IceGators deserve the grade of a C- for opening weekend, mainly because it is the very beginning of the season and the problems are fixable. The rules of hockey are pretty simple- no tripping, no holding, no high sticking, no roughing after the play, and a team can only have 5 skaters and a goalie on the ice at one time. However for some reason, all of last season and now the start of this season, the IceGators have refused to follow them. Of course penalties are going to happen from time to time, but as soon as the IceGators can learn to not commit them on a regular basis, the sooner they will be successful. The talent is there, and at times this weekend it showed, but no matter how talented, that big of a difference in penalties will only hurt. With a little discipline and a little more on ice time for players to jell together, I think the IceGators will start to win games.
Three players stood out this weekend far above the rest of the team - Scott Darling, Dennis Sicard, and Beau Mclaughlin. Darling saw an astonishing 100+ shots on the weekend and saved all but 7. Sicard was a very close second for Frozen Chomp’s Player of the Week, scoring the first two goals of the season. He also played well in the second game, often looking like the fastest player on the ice, and did a great job of not losing his temper. Beau Mclaughlin also had a great weekend, recording an assist in the first game and two quick early goals in the second game. Mclaughlin has a very hard shot and great offensive awareness, often playing at the point on the power play, and will be very valuable this season. Beau Mclaughlin is Frozen Chomp’s Player of the Week.
The IceGators will take this week to practice hard and improve for the 2-0 Mississippi Surge next Friday night. Fans remember, hockey is a fast game of inches, most games can go either way, which is why the season is 56 games long. Nobody likes to be 0-2 but in those two losses the Gators did show signs of promise, and there is plenty of enough time to get the ship pointed in the right direction.

23 October, 2010

IceGators can't defend early 3-0 lead; lose 4-3 in OT

The IceGators took the ice inside of "The Hanger" in Pensacola looking like a completely different team in the second game of the season. Early in the first period Beau McLaughlin took a hard wrist shot on the left side of the net that clanked off the post then hit the back of Ice Flyer goalie Ryan Scott then slid into the goal. A few minutes later McLaughlin received a pass from Mike Silletto on the right side of the net and beat Scott again for his second goal of the night. Later in the first period CJ Tozzo showed off great moves around the defender and crossed a pass to DJ Fimiani, who easily tapped the puck into open net. Just 11 minutes into the game the Gators were up 3-0, but that's the last time they would find the back of the net.   

The first period ended 3-2 with the Gators controlling the game, largely inpart to 0 penalties. However, for the rest of the game, the IceGators became acquainted too many times with the penalty box.   

Even though the Gators did not add to the scoreboard again there were a few close calls. Karasiewicz hit the post for the second straight night. There was a beautiful 2 on 1 with Kraz and Sicard (identical to last night's goal) almost found its way into the goal. Melynk was taken down on a breakaway and received a penalty shot but tripped on the penalty shot. Silletto missed two great chances late when the game was tied at 3. McNeil missed a great chance in overtime.    

Give credit to Pensacola for fighting back into the game but the IceGators must learn to keep a lead and most importantly- Stay out of penalty box! The Gators drop to 0-2 (no point for overtime loss this season) and will have a long week of practice before next Friday's game at Mississippi.

22 October, 2010

IceGators get outshot and out-disciplined in opener; Fall 3-2

IceGators got outshot tremendously by the Surge in the opener in Biloxi mostly due to a staggering 9 penalty kills resulting in a fall of 3-2. The game opened up with an early penalty by Mississippi but the IceGators couldn't convert. From there, the IceGators failed to lead in the shot department, eventually ending the game outshot 46-27. On the positive side, Dennis Sicard chose opening night to have his coming out party in an IceGators jersey. He had the only two Gator goals on the night, both of which were beautifully assisted. For the first goal, McLaughlin found Dean Moore at the point that threw it to the crease where Sicard was waiting with the deflection. The second goal was a beautifully executed 2-on-1 break with Trevor Karasiewicz crossing the puck to a sliding Sicard that put it past goalie Mike Brown. The Gators did manage to make the end of the game interesting, hitting the post twice in the last few minutes, one on a laser shot by Karasiewicz with a few minutes left. The other by Moore with under a minute left in the game, on the penalty kill with Gator goalie, Darling, skating to the bench for an extra attacker. The IceGators make a 2 hour trip to Pensacola to face the Ice Flyers tommorow night where they look to get their first win of the new season. The season is young-much more hockey to be played.

Hockey season is back: Icegators @ Surge

Hockey season is here again. Frozen Chomp is on its way to the Power Plant to see the great rivals duke it out. Tonight the IceGators take on the Mississippi Surge in hopefully a thrilling opening night. Last season the Surge beat the Gators in the home opener in Blackham so revenge is on the mind of IceGators fans. The Surge also beat the Gators in the preseason exhibition game, but this game will have a different feel due to the return of key players for both teams that sat out the preseason matchup. Last season the Surge were regular season champs, thanks largely inpart to their prolific power play. The IceGators' key to winning tonight's game will be to stay out of the penalty  box to keep Steve Wiedlich and Matt Zultek from having huge nights. After tonight's game we will post a game summary. Geaux Gators!

21 October, 2010

Brandon Broussard named biggest IceGators fan!

Brandon Broussard comes out ahead in Frozen Chomp's biggest IceGators fan contest by ontaining 73% of all votes cast!

1. Why do you believe you are the biggest IceGators fan?

I am the biggest fan because I have been going to the games since 1995. I have gotten to know alot of the players on and off the ice. I have been there for the good moments and also the bad moments. Being the biggest fan means u have to support the team...Win or Lose !!

2. If you could bring any former player from any season of the IceGators, who would it be and why?

It isn't fair just to bring back one former IceGator. There should be a team put together of the All-Time IceGator Greats. How can anyone just bring back one player from any season. My All-Time IceGator Team would be.... Chris Valicevic, John Spoltore, Jay Murphy, Rob Weingartner, Ron Handy and Doug Bonner.

3. What is your most memorable IceGators moment?

I actually have 2. The first one happened in 1997 against Peoria. It was in OT and Jack Williams stole the puck and had a break away. He scored the game winning goal that sent the IceGators to their 1st of 2 appearances in the Kelly Cup Finals. The second one happened last year during the 2009-2010 season. I won a fan appreciation trip in March. I got to ride on the Gators bus to Pensacola. Coach Dave Macisaac told me I would be coaching the defense on the bench with him. I was shocked !! During the 1st period..coach got thrown out the game. I was know the Head Coach of the Louisiana IceGators.....THAT WAS A DREAM COME TRUE !!!!!!

19 October, 2010

New Wrinkle in Roster

The IceGators may make an improvement to an already solid roster before Friday night's first game in Mississippi. Defenseman Dean Moore may suit up in an IceGator's jersey for for the second straight season. Moore recently was released after spending time in the CHL with the Mississippi River Kings. Moore is a young talented defenseman, which is why he got the chance to play at the CHL level and will more than likely get more looks from higher leagues. He played in 29 games for the Gators last season, scoring 7 points and showing great discipline with only 20 penalty minutes. This singing will help the Gator's young, unproven defense if the transaction does happen. In the SPHL rulebook, it states that a team is "composed of 18 players - 16 skaters and 2 goalkeepers". If Moore does report to the team the roster will have 19 players, including three goalies. Coach MacIsaac will have a tough decision on which two goalies to keep.

18 October, 2010

Final Roster set for IceGators

The biggest surprise of the final roster is the decision to keep 3 goalies. The goalie race was a tight one and with the new rules for this season, this may turn out to be a great decision. This season a team may sign 18 players but can only dress 17 players, so my guess is the inactive player will rotate between goalies. This means the Gators will always have a fresh netminder. Possibly sometime in the season one or two goalies will stand out and the team will decide to cut a goalie to bring in another position player that is needed for whatever reason - injuries, poor performance of another player, suspensions, etc.

Here's a look at the roster:

G #1 Nevin Hamilton
D #2 Luke Frey
D #4 Josh Vanderbreggen
F #5 Zech Klann
F #7 Shawn McNeil
F #8 Beau McLauglin
D #10 Ryan Fultz
F #11 Mike Silletto
F #14 Trevor Karasiewicz
D #16 Jeff Bieber
F #18 Dennis Sicard
F #19 Don Melnyk
F #21 CJ Tozzo
F #22 DJ Fimiani
G #29 Adam Dekker
G #31 Scott Darling
D #52 Paul D'Agostino
D #59 Tobias Carlsson

The roster has 9 forwards and 6 defensemen, which will make 3 full lines. It is loaded with talent and should bring a great season to the Cajun Dome.

16 October, 2010

Icegators take on Pensacola in exhibiton after a night of brawling

The IceGators take on the Ice Flyers at 3:00 today in Pensacola in the second exhibition. The Ice Flyers may be a little bruised and beaten after 7 fights in last night's game against Columbus. There were 109 penalty minutes in the game and P-cola managed to win 6-3.

Speaking of brawling, in the Fayetteville-Augusta game last night, a 4 on 4 brawl in the third period resulted in 6 ejections. The game had 141 penalty minutes and Fayetteville won 6-3 after being up 5-0 in the first period.

The crazy night of fights in only exhibition games is a wild way to start the season. The IceGators are looking to improve on their loss against Mississippi on Thursday night and beat Pensacola up on the scoreboard.

15 October, 2010

Louisiana IceGators Booster Club Meeting

Come join us at the monthly Booster Club meeting on Wednesday, October 20th. Members & potential members are invited to attend. The meeting starts at 6:00 PM, but you can go early if you would like to eat beforehand, starting at 5:00 PM. You must RSVP to attend. Send your RSVP to icegatorsboosterclub@gmail.com by Monday, October 18th.

Come join the "Team Behind the Team"!

14 October, 2010

IceGators Fall in First Exhibition 5-3

The IceGators took the ice tonight in new green jerseys ready to get the season started. The Gators looked in control of the game in the opening minutes, possessing the puck for the majority of the time. Things turned sloppy in the second half of the first period, resulting in a Mississippi goal at the 17:12 mark on a turnover in front of the net. Although down, the Gators seemed to be the more physical of the two teams - Dennis Sicard and Josh Vanderbreggen each picked up a fighting major in the first period.

The second period showed a little more inconsitant play by the Gators and 5 minutes into the period Mississppi took the 2-0 lead. 5 minutes later, Luc Boisssonneault took off out of the penalty box and received the puck and put it past goalie Mike Brown to cut the deficit to 2-1. 

The majority of the third period showed a lot of promise for the IceGators season. They came out of the locker room looking like a brand new team. Just 45 seconds into the game the IceGators got a goal by Zech Klann. A few minutes later Sicard continued his physical play and got another apponent to fight. The great play continued and the Gators took the lead in shot totals. Eventually Beau McLaughlin found the back of the net on a wrister in the slot to take the lead 3-2. Things turned around drastically from that point on, with Mississippi scoring 3 goals in the last 5 minutes, one an empty netter. 

Overall the IceGators were inconsitent - showing times of domination and other times of sloppy play. Even though they were outscored in the 3rd period 3-2 they seemed to play their best period. They had a couple of lose pucks in front of the net that they couldn’t finish and eventually were forced to pull their goalie and let up an empty net goal. If the Gators can play the majority of their games anywhere close to the way they played the first 15 minutes of the third period they can have a successful season.

13 October, 2010

Talking Pensacola Ice Flyers with Palm Trees and Pucks

Mr. Nichols with the Palm Trees and Pucks blog in Pensacola contacted us with a great idea to exchange questions/answers about the IceGators and Pensacola Ice Flyers prior to the game on Saturday. View Palm Trees and Pucks and see our answers.

These are the answers he provided to our questions.

Frozen Chomp: Lorne Misita, Chris Rebernik, and Rob Campbell (all of whom were the three leading scorers last season for the Ice Flyers) are not in training camp. How big of a loss is it that they are not returning and are there players in camp that have the ability to fill these big holes?

Whenever you lose your top 3 forwards, it is a big deal.  It's not just the number those three put up but Misita and Rebernik both wore letters on their chests and Campbell never stopped working while on the ice.

Matt Whitehead could be poised for a great year, he averaged a point per game in his 36 games last season and had 4 points in the 3 playoff games last season.  Jason Hill put up 23 points in 24 SPHL games (HSV/PEN) last season and could play on one of the wings of the top line.  I'm really interested to see how Cameron Sault does if he makes the team, last season he had 87 points in 48 AAHL games (Madison/West Michigan) and had 15 points in 9 playoff games, and see how AAHL success transfers to the SPHL. 

Frozen Chomp: Last season the Ice Flyers won over 50% of their games and made the playoffs, but only four players are returning that spent the majority of the season in Pensacola. Do you think this is Coach Gordon’s way of saying we have to be even better?

Maybe but I think it is mainly a testament of Gordon's commitment to youth.  Of the returning players, none are older than 27 with the oldest being goalie Ryan Scott.

Frozen Chomp: Last year the IceGators had a pair of twins, Mike and Matt Roberto. They are a package deal: where one plays, the other plays. I see that the IceFlyers have two players with the last name of Goodenough and two players with the last name of Huddick. Twins, brothers, cousins? Do they have a shot of making the team and if so, are they package deals as well?

The Goodenoughs are brothers and, from what I can find, they're not twins.  They're both tough guys and haven't played competitive hockey in a while so I'm pretty sure they won't beat out Tyler Barr for the fighter spot.  The Hudicks are twins and both have some skills but didn't play professionally last year (they both played in the AAHL in 08-09).  However, they are both dealing with injuries right now (one an arm/shoulder and the other a leg issue) and might not make the team because of it.

Frozen Chomp: There are a lot of unknowns about the Ice Flyers roster from outsiders. Do you think Coach Gordon has done a good job assembling the roster? Any idea of where this team will finish at the end of the season?

I don't think we'll know the answer to that until about 10 or 15 games into the season.  There are a lot of unknowns but when I watch the guys out on the ice, there's a ton of speed, grit, intensity, big hits (Gordon actually stopped play during today's scrimmage to give the players the "Play hard but don't kill you own teammate" speech), and skill.  If the team, goalies included, play their game and play their game tough, they could be a top 4 team I think.