The Shreveport Mudbugs (30-7-5) squeezed out the game-winning goal from Garrett Steele late in the game to lift themselves to a 4-2 victory over the Odessa Jackalopes for their seventh straight win Friday night at George’s Pond in Hirsch Coliseum.
Odessa opened up the scoring at 10:50 on the PP when Tyler German shot in his sixth tally of the season off a perfect pass to make it a 1-0 lead for the Jacks. Shreveport responded at 14:45 when David Breazeale threw a shot wide of the net, but took a fortunate bounce along the short side which was rifled home from Matt Vermaeten evening the score, 1-1. Breazeale earned the only assist on Vermaeten’s sixth goal of the year. Odessa led in SOG, 9-6 after one.
The Jacks regained the lead in the 2nd period on a wraparound goal from Jack Musa along the short side to make it a 2-1 contest in favor of Odessa at 11:25. The Bugs responded again on the PP when they capitalized on a busted 2 on 0 rush and it was Gio Procopio tapping his 15th goal of the season off a give and go with Joe Mack to tie the game, 2-2 at 16:00. Odessa led in SOG, 11-9 in the middle frame.
The game stayed tied until the hottest line for Shreveport struck late in the 3rd period. It was Connor Gatto and Joe Mack holding the puck in deep and finding Garrett Steele in the slot who slammed home his 10th tally of the season to give the Bugs a 3-2 lead at 17:54. Mack and Gatto earned the helpers on Steele’s game-winning tally which extends his point scoring streak to nine straight contests. Sean Bunting would follow by banging in an EN goal at 18:44 from the near half-wall to seal up a 4-2 victory for Shreveport and their seventh straight win overall.
Arseni Sergeev picks up his ninth win in net as he made 25 saves on the night.
The Bugs and Jacks will conclude their two-game series tomorrow night at George’s Pond in Hirsch Coliseum. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:11 p.m.