By Michael Krieg
©The Lafayette Daily Advertiser
LAFAYETTE, La. – The Louisiana IceGators enjoyed so much success with “College Night” last year, the ECHL club decided to do it again this season.
Only this time the IceGators are taking it a step further and adding a different twist.
The IceGators (19-27-4) host the Mississippi Sea Wolves (25-19-4) at 7:05 Friday in the Cajundome on “Ragin’ Cajun Night” and Louisiana will wear special UL jerseys. The team will auction off the jerseys after the game with all net proceeds going to the UL general scholarship fund.
College and high school students with valid ID’s can purchase $5 tickets and there will be $2 beer for everyone 21 and over. There also will be special performances by the Ragin Jazz and Alumni Band.
“Last year was such a great atmosphere,” said Bruce LeVine, Louisiana’s vice president of communications.
“As I recall there were lines out to the street. It was a really good atmosphere and fun night with the rowdy fans. This year we’re adding the UL jerseys which will give it a different look. It should be a fun night, better than last year.”
It will be the first time Louisiana has had a “Ragin’ Cajun Night.”
“Because of our proximity to the university it just seemed to make sense to give this a shot,” LeVine said. “Why would we not invite them over here?”
Arch-rival Mississippi should only add to the fun. The IceGators currently trail Mississippi by 12 points with 22 games remaining for the final playoff spot.
Louisiana leads the season series 4-2-0, but will see a new-look Sea Wolves club.
Mississippi has added NHL veteran Bates Battaglia since it has last played Louisiana. Battaglia has played eight seasons in the NHL and was a member of the Carolina Hurricanes’ Stanley Cup Finals team. He is the older brother of current Sea Wolf Anthony Battaglia.
IceGator fans also may get a look at another NHL player, Phil Sauve, should coach Bob Woods give him the start between the pipes. Sauve was 7-7-3 in 17 games with the Colorado Avalanche last year.
With the IceGators in a must-win situation and hated rival Mississippi in town with two NHL players, LeVine said the Cajundome is a good place to kick off tonight’s weekend plans.
“It’s not just for college students,” he said. “We’re hoping everybody comes out. We’re looking for a big crowd since we’ve been on the road for a while. It’s a chance to come and see what you haven’t seen yet this year. It will be a fun, nasty game and hopefully people will get kick started about the IceGators again.”