The Shreveport Mudbugs (5-4) couldn’t hold onto a 3-0 lead going into the 3rd period and lost 4-3 in OT to the Amarillo Bulls in Game 3 Wednesday night at George’s Pond in Hirsch Coliseum.
The Bugs opened up the scoring early at 3:13 of the 1st period when Warren Natyshak raced up the right side and made a nifty move on the backhand to put in his third goal of these playoffs giving Shreveport the early 1-0 lead. David Breazeale and Ethan Harrison earned the assists on the tally. The Bugs added to their lead when Matt Weber stole the puck on the penalty kill and fired home his second goal of the postseason from the left circle for a shorthanded goal at 14:24 to give Shreveport a 2-0 lead. The Bugs out-shot Amarillo, 20-11 in a high octane opening period.
Shreveport carried the momentum they had in the 1st period and carried it into the 2nd when Anton Rubstov redirected a great shot from Jacob Skolnik from the point for his second goal of the playoffs at 14:20 giving the Bugs a 3-0 edge/ Carson Nichols earned the secondary helper on Rubstov’s tally. Shreveport led in SOG, 34-24 after two periods of play.
The Bulls rallied in the 3rd period without Logan Jenuwine and the Bugs had trouble stopping them. Amarillo would get goals from Alex Peterson and Brett Abdelnour at 2″21 and 6:41 respectively that suddenly cut the Shreveport lead to 3-2. The Bugs were then trying to hang on for dear life, but it was Jason Brancheau who threw a wrister in traffic from the left wing circle and the puck tucked in along the far post and in to tie the game, 3-3 at 19:37. Shot totals after three periods of play was 39-37 in favor of the Bugs.
At 4:18 of OT, it was David Ojamae who roofed in his third goal of the playoffs from the left circle lifting Amarillo to an improbable 4-3 victory over Shreveport.
The Mudbugs drop a gut-wrenching contest and now will have to stage off elimination tomorrow night in game 4 back at The George.
Shreveport and Amarillo will resume their series tomorrow night with Game 4. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:11 p.m. from Georges Pond In Hirsch Coliseum.