The Shreveport Mudbugs (9-9-4) netted three powerplay goals to lead the way to a 4-2 victory over the El Paso Rhinos and picked up the sweep from the El Paso County Events Center Saturday night.
The Bugs got off to a fast start at 1:26 into the opening period, Eric Vitale jabbed in his second goal of the season in front to give Shreveport the early 1-0 edge. Drake Morse earned the only assist on the game’s first goal. Shreveport added to their lead at 18:03 on the PP as Morse snapped a puck into the back of the net from the slot for his fourth tally of the year to push the Bugs’ edge to 2-0. Jaden Goldie earned the only assist on the special teams tally.
In the second period, the Rhinos got goals from Mark LaFrance and Alan Evtimov at 1:23 and 5:41 respectively to suddenly even the score, 2-2. The Bugs would respond with great PK work and retake the lead on the man-advantage at 15:55 again as the Captain Garrett Steele wired home his sixth goal of the season from the right point to give Shreveport a 3-2 edge. Bugs led in SOG, 26-25 after two.
The Bugs grabbed their two-goal lead back at 6:27 of the third period when Vitale redirected home a shot from the right point from Logan Heroux to push the Shreveport lead to 4-2. It was Vitale’s second goal of the game and the Bugs’ third PP goal.
Tommy Aitken made 23 saves to earn the win in net.
The Bugs return home to host the New Mexico Ice Wolves for a two-game series at George’s Pond in Hirsch Coliseum. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:11 p.m.