The Shreveport Mudbugs (3-3) gave up a pair of odd-man goals early in the third period and couldn’t bounce back as they fell to the Oklahoma Warriors, 4-1 in Game 1 of the South Division Finals at Blazers Ice Center Friday night.
Top seeded Oklahoma got off to a very lucky start at 1:53 of the opening period as Hunter Jones threw a one hopper towards the net which hit a bump on the ice and changed direction on Simon Bucheler and went into the back of the net to give the home team an early 1-0 lead. SHV responded at 8:57 as Garrett Steele stole the puck and fed Logan Gotinsky down low as he flipped in his second tally in as many games along the short side to even the score, 1-1. The Warriors led in SOG, 12-7 after a fast-paced first period.
It was another fast-paced second period, but the ice seemed tilted towards OKC as they out-shot SHV, 9-2 in the frame. SOG overall were 21-9.
The Warriors broke through in the third period and cashed in on two breakaways at 3:17 and 4:17 from Mikko Liukkonen and Hunter Jones respectively to go up 3-1 in a heartbeat and send Coach Soupy into a vented frustration behind the Bugs bench. SHV couldn’t recover and generate many chances on Daniel Duris in net. Oklahoma added an EN goal at 17:07 to close out a 4-1 victory over the Shreveport Mudbugs.
Warriors lead the best-of-five series, 1-0.
The Bugs and Warriors will continue their South Divisional Final series w/ Game 2 tomorrow night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. from the Blazers Ice Centre.