The Shreveport Mudbugs (12-10-4) battled hard, but fell late to the Amarillo Wranglers, 5-4 at the Amarillo Civic Center Saturday night.
Shreveport got off to a fast start as at 1:53, Eric Vitale got in front and punched in his third tally of the year to give the Bugs a very early 1-0 lead. Jaden Goldie and Drake Morse earned the assists on a very “greasy” type of opening goal in front. The Bugs quickly added to their lead just 26 seconds later at 2:19 as Nick Marino got a little space from the left circle and fired home his first goal of the season to push the lead to 2-0. Jake Mack and Liam Fleet earned the helpers on Marino’s goal. Amarillo responded at 12:00 when Kyle DeMarco shot in his third goal of the season from the right point to make it a 2-1 contest.
Amarillo exploded in the second period w/ goals from Jack Mcdonald, Ryan Gingher, and Jack Ivey at 4:44, 11:59, and 12:41 respectively to prompt Coach Soupy to switch goalies. Simon Bucheler would come in to relieve Tommy Aitken as SHV trailed the game, 4-2. The goalie change found a spark for the Bugs as Jaden Goldie centered Drake Morse who drilled home a shorthanded tally at 16:18 to make it a 4-3 contest. Amarillo led in SOG, 23-19 after two.
The Bugs clawed back at 3:49 of the third period when Ryan Burke put a charge into one and smoked in his third goal of the season to tie the game up, 4-4. Hayden Nichol won the faceoff and earned the only assist. Amarillo would break the tie at 17:03 as Chase Davis banged in a rebound in front for his eighth tally of the season to make it a 5-4 contest. Shreveport would pull their goalie for the extra attacker, but couldn’t find the equalizing goal late as their win streak is snapped at five games.
The Bugs will return home to host a two-game series against the Corpus Christi IceRays in George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum. Game one will be next Friday night w/ puck drop scheduled for 7:11.