Pensacola, Fla - The Pensacola Ice Flyers and Louisiana IceGators battled for first place in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) Friday night in Lafayette, La. The IceGators came out on top tonight by a score of 3-2 in a shootout, which created a three-way tie for first place between the Ice Flyers, IceGators and the Fayetteville FireAntz.
Pensacola came out strong, despite having no practice ice all week long due to an event in the Pensacola Bay Center and losing six players to the ECHL and Central Hockey League after the NHL lockout ended.
Just 2:23 into the game, rookie John Dunbar found a loose puck and beat IceGators' goalie Riley Gill high over his glove. Only 40 seconds later, Jeremiah Ketts, who was one of the new players signed by the Ice Flyers, made it 2-0 early in the first.
Pensacola outshot Louisiana 14-8 in the first, but that was reversed in the second frame, as it was the IceGators that scored twice and outshot the Ice Flyers 17-4. Kirk Byczynski buried his own rebound to cut Pensacola's lead in half. With 1:27 remaining in the second, IceGators leading scorer, Robert Short scored to tie the game at 2 after numerous attempts from both teams failed to control the bouncing puck in front of Pensacola netminder, Gerry Festa.
Both teams had power play opportunities in the third period, but neither team was able to get that go-ahead goal. The shots on goal in the third favored Pensacola, 8-6.
With no scoring in the third and through the five minutes of 3-on-3 overtime, the game went into a shootout. The first four shooters from both teams failed to score. Mike MacIntyre of the Ice Flyers scored, but then so did Jordan Foreman of the IceGators to keep the shootout going. Jordan Chong was then up for Pensacola but was stopped by Gill. Jeremy Boyer was up next for Louisiana and made no mistake, beating Festa stick side to win the game.
Both teams, together with Fayetteville, now sit atop of the SPHL standings with 37 points apiece as the IceGators gets two points for the win and the Ice Flyers gets one for the overtime loss.
Louisiana travels to Huntsville Saturday night to take on the Havoc at 7:30 p.m. CST. This was the only action for Pensacola this weekend. The next games for them is next Friday and Saturday night at home: Friday is Faith and Family Night, and Saturday is Race Night with $1 hot dogs, wiener dog races on ice and a specialty race jersey auction following the game.
For further information about the Pensacola Ice Flyers, visit www.PensacolaIceFlyers.comor call (850) 466-3111.You can also stay informed on Ice Flyers' news throughwww.Facebook.com/PcolaIceFlyers or @PcolaIceFlyers.