SHREVEPORT, La (KMSS/KTAL) -In the midst of their best start in team history, the Shreveport Mudbugs returned from their Christmas break, hoping to carry the momentum of a series win over the Amarillo Bulls into the Lone Star State as they rang in the new year against fellow South Division rival Odessa.
After a series-opening loss, in which the team gave up six goals in a 6-3 defeat. The ‘Bugs rebounded with two wins to close out the series, taking Friday night’s contest 5-3 behind a two-point performance from Dawson Sciarrino. From there, the team parlayed the victory into a series-winning victory on Sunday 4-3. Logan Gotinsky netted his first goal of the season as the ‘Bugs clawed back for a win which Head Coach Jason “Soupy” Campbell was happy with the way his team responded.
“We didn’t get the first one and we ended up coming away with two again really big wins,” said Coach Campbell. “Two out of three wins on the road against a really good hockey team. you should be pretty happy with that.”
Despite the victories, the trend of slow starts continued against the Jackalopes, as Shreveport fell behind in 2 of the 3 contests. Forward Connor Gatto believes this is something the team can overcome.
“We have had a few bad starts lately. I just think we need to get a little more focused before the game” said Gatto, who scored a goal in Sunday’s matchup to give the Jacksonville native five points on the season.
Forward Joe Mack believes that despite the team’s hot start, winning eleven of their first fifteen contests, the Mudbugs’ best hockey is still ahead of them.
“Every week you’ve got to get better. I feel like we definitely have room to get better.”
This weekend the team returns home to take on the Wichita Falls Warriors. The Warriors currently sit in fifth place in the NAHL’s South Division with a record of 6-5-1, taking two of three from Amarillo last weekend. Coach Campbell says the key to success against Wichita Falls is pretty simple.
“The key again, can we bring our A-game? can we play a physical, skilled, fast brand of hockey and keep it together as a team, stay disciplined, stay out of the box?”
Campbell did praise the Wichita Falls power play, which has scored seven goals this season.
“Wichita Falls has a great power play so we need to stay out of the box and just play 5 on 5 hockey.”
Despite their impressive start, which has been well-documented as the team’s best start in franchise history. The Mudbugs still sit in second place in the NAHL South Division, trailing first-place Lone Star by 7 points for the Division’s top spot. The short two-game series will take place Friday and Saturday at George’s Pond with both games beginning at 7:11.