The Shreveport Mudbugs (29-14) dominated the game and worked through some home rust to nip the Springfield Jr. Blues, 4-3 Friday night at George’s Pond in Hirsch Coliseum.
Shreveport grabbed the opening goal at 3:27 of the 1st period when Matt Weber rifled home his 10th goal of the season from the LW circle to give the Bugs the early 1-0 edge. Matt Hutton and Gio Procopio earned the assists. Springfield came back late in the opening period at 17:05 when Hunter Longhi snuck in a tally from the near circle for a PP goal tying the game, 1-1. Shreveport led in SOG, 13-7 after one period of play.
The Bugs regained the lead at 6:02 of the 2nd period as Alexis Girard flipped in his sixth goal of the year from behind the net to give Shreveport a lead again, 2-1. The puck caromed off the back of the Blues goalie as Warren Natyshak and Ryan Waltman earned the assists. Later in the period, Maiszon Balboa made a big save on a penalty shot from Leo Bacallao with a nice left pad save. Shreveport led in SOG, 25-12 through two periods of play.
The Bugs extended their lead early in the 3rd period when Warren Natyshak redirected home his eighth goal of the year at 1:41 to make it a 3-1 lead for the home team. David Breazeale and Ryan Dickinson earned the assists. After Springfield scored a goal at 7:27 to make it a 3-2 contest, Jacob Smith responded less than a minute later at 8:20 with a thunderous blast through the slot for his 12th tally of the year to give the Bugs a two-goal lead again at 4-2. Smith’s goal would be the game-winner which was assisted by Tim Khokhlachev. The Blues would net a goal at the 20 minute mark as Shreveport won the game, 4-3.
Balboa earned his 15th win in net making just 14 saves on the night.
The Bugs and Blues will conclude their two-game series and Mardi Gras themed weekend tomorrow night at
George’s Pond in Hirsch Coliseum. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:11 p.m.