by Joseph Furtado

Baton Rouge, LA, -  Wednesday night hockey in the Bayou, as the Baton Rouge Zydeco face-off in another three-game series at home against the Columbus River Dragons. After losing four straight games, the Zydeco entered tonight’s contest still in search of their first win in franchise history.

For the River Dragons, they have not played a game since Saturday, October 28, 2023, which was the last time these two teams met. After an 11-day break, Columbus looked to get their high-powered offense rolling again, who netted 16 goals against the Zydeco in their first three games of the season.

Opening up the first 20 minutes of play, the Zydeco pushed the pace for most of the period, leading 14-11 in shots. Their best scoring opportunity came 15 seconds in, on a chance from Curtis Hanson who found himself behind the defense, but Columbus goaltender Breandan Colgan pushed it away with the pad. 

As the period progressed, the teams would trade scoring chances, but remain scoreless after the opening period. 

Entering the 2nd period with the scored tied, both teams took to the ice and traded off scoring chances. Though it would be the Zydeco who were able to capitalize with David Asselin scoring his first goal of the season from the point at 15:31 of the 2nd period. Noah Robinson would then add to the lead later in the period to make it 2-0 Zydeco. 

The teams continued to trade chances, though the River Dragons wouldn’t go away, adding a goal from Josh Pietrantonio to make 2-1, 16:49 into the period. With the period winding down, the Zydeco 

would see their first power play chance of the night late. They entered the game 0/15 on the power play and would see their first power play goal of the year on another goal from Noah Robinson, making it 3-1 at 19:18.

20 minutes of hockey separated the Zydeco from their first win in franchise history. Columbus opened the 3rd with a goal from Justin McDonald, extending his point streak to 11 games, cutting the Zydeco lead to one (3-2). Despite only putting up three shots in the 3rd period, the Zydeco snuck two behind Breandan Colgan with goals from M.J. Graham and Curtis Hanson making it 5-2 late. 

Though the River Dragons offense began to wake up in the final minutes of the 3rd period, finding the back of the net twice. They saw goals from Alexander Jmaeff and Justin McDonald to bring it to a 5-4 deficit, but their effort would not be enough.

The clocks hit triple zeros and the Zydeco escaped with three points, picking up their first win in franchise history. With the win, Baton Rouge improves to 1-3-0, while Columbus drops to 3-1-0. 

“It was just a well heart-felt effort by all the boys. It wouldn't have happened if we all didn't buy in and listen to the system coach (Paul MacLean) put in.” said Noah Robinson, the first star of the game. “All pulling on the same rope. I am happy to be a part of this team and get the first win…Everyone is doing their part, doing the little things, everyone is getting their chances. When everyone is playing well and doing their job, it is a team effort…always like a family. We are all just excited to get the first win under the belt.”

Game two is slated tomorrow at 7:30pm.