The Shreveport Mudbugs (4-1) used a three-goal second period to be enough to upend the surging Wichita Falls Warriors, 4-3 to win game 1 of the South Divisional Final Friday night at George’s Pond in Hirsch Coliseum.
The Warriors struck first in the opening period as Ryan Robinson got the puck in front and fore-handed in his first tally of the playoffs at 11:15 to give Wichita Falls a 1-0 lead. The Bugs responded late in the period when Connor Gatto was falling down in front, but was able to nudge in his first goal of the playoffs along the short side to make it a 1-1 contest. Davis Goukler and Chris Hedden earned the assists on Gatto’s tally at 14:40. The Warriors led in SOG, 13-8 after one.
The Bugs took their first lead of the series at 12:35 of the 2nd period as Aidan Metcalfe wired a shot from the left point and it was Austin Brimmer who shoveled home his first goal of these playoffs to give Shreveport a 2-1 lead. Metcalfe and Adam Kolcon earned the helpers. Then just 1:16 later, it was Billy Feczko who fired home his 2nd tally of this post-season top shelf off the initial faceoff win from Braiden Dorfman to give Shreveport a sudden 3-1 edge. The Bugs would put the icing on the cake of this 2nd period as Gio Procopio poked home a rebound for his 2nd tally of the playoffs for a PP goal assisted by Joe Mack and Kolcon to stretch out the lead to 4-1. The Bugs led in SOG, 15-7 in the middle period.
The Warriors came on strong in the third period out-shooting the Bugs, 15-6 in the final period. Wichita Falls scored goals at 17:17 and 19:37 from Drake Usher and Drew Vieten respectively to cut the deficit to 4-3 and make the contest a bit too interesting for Shreveport to allow. With that said, Cole Hudson made a nice stop in the reigning seconds from the center ice blast from Carter Korpi to preserve the 4-3 victory.
Hudson made 26 saves to earn his fourth straight win in these playoffs.
The Bugs and Warriors will play game two of this best-of-five series tomorrow night from George’s Pond in Hirsch Coliseum. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:11 p.m.