The Shreveport Mudbugs (8-11-4) got more blue-line production and great goaltending to lead the way to a 4-2 win over the El Paso Rhinos at El Paso County Coliseum Friday night.
The Bugs grabbed the game’s first goal on an odd-man rush as it was Tyler Behl taking a perfect feed through the slot and drilling home his first goal of the season at 15:02 of the first period to make it a 1-0 contest. Davis Goukler and Garrett Steele earned the assists. Shreveport led 1-0 after one.
Shreveport continued to get production from their blue line as Davis Goukler fired a shot from the point which found its way through for his second goal in as many games at 8:47 of the middle period to push the Bugs lead to 2-0. Drake Morse and Logan Valkama set up the play and earned the helpers. The reigning champs added to their lead on the PP as Timofei Khokhlachev redirected home his fifth of the season off a shot from Billy Feczko from the high slot to make it a 3-0 game at 16:30. Steele picked up the secondary helper and his second point of the game on Khoklachev’s PP tally. El Paso responded at 19:49 when Donovan O’ Neil raced through the right side and roofed in his first goal of the season to cut the Shreveport lead to 3-1. The Rhinos’ goal was the first tally given up from Bugs netminder Devon Bobak who went almost 187 minutes without allowing a goal.
The Rhinos creeped closer at 14:05 of the 3rd period on the PP as Matt Johnson threw a puck towards the net from the left point which got deflected in front and trickled past Bobak to make it a 3-2 contest. El Paso would put a late push towards the end of the game, but Austin Brimmer was able to blast in an EN goal at 19:17 for his eighth tally of the year and seal up a 4-2 victory for the Bugs.
Devon Bobak earned his third straight win between the pipes and Shreveport grabbed their first win on the road since Oct. 30th.
The Bugs and Rhinos will conclude their two-game series tomorrow night from El Paso County Coliseum. Puck drop is scheduled for 8 p.m. CT.