SHREVEPORT, La (KMSS/KTAL) – Up to this point, it’s been a year of dissapointment for the Shreveport Mudbugs.
The team saw their championship hopes slip away a season ago due to the pandemic, but things are beginning to look up for the 2018 Robertson Cup Champions.
The ‘Bugs are off to the greatest 8 game start in franchise history with a 6-1-1 mark with wins over the Wichita Falls Warriors, Odessa Jackalopes, New Mexico Ice Wolves, and Lone Star Brahmas. Shreveport has lost only one game in regulation this year, and their lone overtime loss came against a Lone Star squad which is off to an 8-3 start.
With all this excitement, the Mudbugs were eager to return to George’s Pond for the first time since their season was cut short abrubtly when the COVID-19 pandemic began. That’s when the dissapointment returned to the franchise, one they are familiar with.
The team’s home opening contests against Odessa which were scheduled for December 4th and 5th have now been pushed back to December 11th and 12th. Head Coach Jason Campbell who is now in his third season at the helm of the franchise is dissapointed the team won’t get to play for the hometown crowd this Friday.
“They were pretty fired up about that, so that was really the biggest letdown, they were just excited to be at home after an eight-game road swing.”
Pacing the ‘Bugs thus far has been second year player Giovanni Procopio who was named NAHL South Division Player of the Week for the week of November 23-29th with 4 goals, and 6 assists. Procopio says the time between now and the new home opener gives the team more time to prepare.
“Just got to be ready for next week, it’s another week to develop and get better as a team and grow as a team so I’m excited for that.”
Shreveport posted a 19-7 record at Hirsch Coliseum a season ago, which was third best in the NAHL-South Division, one of the league’s toughest. The team will need a similar performance on home ice in 2020-21 if they look to make a fifth consecutive playoff appearence.
Now that the ‘Bugs are on the ice, the word disappointment can finally be replaced with excitement. Excitement for the return of hockey to Shreveport, excitement for an opportunity to capture another championship, and the excitement of finishing what they began in March.