The Shreveport Mudbugs (14-14-5) dramatically tied the game up with one second left in regulation only to come up short, 4-3 in the shootout to the NAHL-South’s best New Mexico Ice Wolves in front of a sold out crowd at Outpost Ice Arenas Friday night.
The Wolves grabbed the game’s first goal at 5:56 of the opening period when Blayde Pogreba redirected home his fourth goal of the season in the slot to give New Mexico the early 1-0 edge. The Bugs couldn’t get much going in the 1st period as it looked like an uphill battle despite only getting out-shot 7-3 after one.
The Wolves got off to a good start in the 2nd period at 3:28 when Tony Leahy off a transitional play poked home his sixth tally of the year to make it a 2-0 contest. The Bugs responded when Jake Mack grinded toward the net and slapped home a rebound for his seventh goal of the season at 6:12 to make it a 2-1 Wolves lead. Nik Miller and Logan Gotinsky earned the assists as they set up the play. Shreveport would then tie the game off an odd-man rush when Tim Khokhlachev would slide a puck back door to Gotinsky who rifled home his fifth to make it a 2-2 contest at 15:13. New Mexico would get scrappy in the last minute of the period and it was William Howard squeezing a puck through the short side just getting across the goal line by an inch to give the Wolves a 3-2 at 19:48. NM led in SOG, 20-9 after two.
The Bugs appeared dead in the water as they put the last desperation push at the end as they pulled Devon Bobak for the extra attacker. Shreveport would miraculously find the equalizer as Brimmer flipped the puck in front and it was Connor Gatto shoveling home his sixth goal of the season at 19:59 to dramatically tie the game, 3-3.
The game would stay tied going into a shootout session. The game-winning shootout tally was scored from Wilmer Svensson who beat Bobak blocker side in the fourth round to lift the Ice Wolves to a 4-3 victory over the Mudbugs.
Shreveport earns one point for their efforts.
The Bugs and Wolves will conclude their series tomorrow night from Outpost Ice Arenas. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.