The Shreveport Mudbugs (36-16-7) stumbled out of the gates and had a late rally fall short as they dropped a tough one to the El Paso Rhinos, 4-2 at El Paso County Coliseum Friday night.
El Paso got off to a hot start as E.J. Janda scored goals at 3:53 and 5:43 of the opening period to give the Rhinos a 2-0 lead. The quick pair of goals prompted Coach Soupy to pull Simon Bucheler in favor of Nikola Goich in net. Ryan Gingher then added another for ELP as he banged in his eighth goal in front off a scrappy play to make it a 3-0 contest.
After a scoreless second period, the Bugs started a rally midway through the third and it started w/ Jake Mack punching in his 14th tally of the year in front to cut the deficit to 3-1 at 9:36 to give SHV some life in the game. Alex Park and Brent Litchard earned the helpers on Shreveport’s first goal of the game. The two-time Robby Cup Champs fed off that momentum and scored again just 28 seconds later and Nick Marino found Drake Morse along the short side who wired home his team-leading 21st goal of the year to make it a 3-2 ballgame. The late comeback attempt would fall short though as E.J. Janda completed the hat trick as he rifled home the EN goal at 19:39 to help the Rhinos seal up a 4-2 victory over the Shreveport Mudbugs.
The Bugs and Rhinos will conclude their two-game series and regular season schedule tomorrow night. Puck drop is scheduled for 8 p.m. CT from El Paso County Coliseum.