The Shreveport Mudbugs (4-2) got big goals from their big player and got a big performance from their goalie to ground the Amarillo Bulls, 3-1 and grab a 1-0 lead in the best of five South Divisional Final Thursday night at the Amarillo Civic Center.
Shreveport lit up the scoreboard first just 90 seconds into the game when Ethan Harrison found a wide open Timmy Clifton in the slot and he went top shelf for his second goal of these playoffs giving the Bugs the early 1-0 lead. Amarillo came back with pressure, but Leo Chuard stood tall in net. Mudbugs led in SOG after one period, 11-10.
The Bugs extended their lead at 7:27 of the 2nd period when C.J. Regula took a pass from Jack Jaunich and drilled home his first of the postseason top shelf to give Shreveport a 2-0 lead. Amarillo responded at 9:12 when Cooper Fensterstock flipped a puck off of Chuard and into the net from the near side to cut the Bugs’ lead to 2-1. The Bulls put lots of pressure on the Bugs leading in SOG, 24-18 after two periods of play.
The Bugs had to be survival mode in the first five minutes of the 3rd period, but at 13:02 it was Jack Jaunich who powered home his first goal of the playoffs with a blistering shot through the slot to make it a 3-1 Shreveport edge. Matt Weber and Timmy Clifton set it up with the work down low and earned the assists.
After Jaunich’s tally, Shreveport put Amarillo asleep as Leo Chuard shut the door and made 31 saves to earn his fourth win of these playoffs.
The Bugs lead the best-of-five series, 1-0.
The Bugs and Bulls will resume their best-of-five South Divisional Final series with Game 2 tomorrow night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. from the Amarillo Civic Center.