Bugs Beat: Perfect weekend causes Mudbugs to look for Logans

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Sunday, Shreveport Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell was scouring the waiver wire and list of 2022 draft eligibles for Logans. Logan who? It doesn’t matter.

“We’re trying to draft anybody with the first name Logan, a middle name Logan or maybe they go by Logan,” Campbell told The Journal. “We’ve used a lot of our tenders, so we’re looking at draft picks or free agents.”

This weekend at Corpus Christi, Mudbugs Logan Heroux, Logan Gotinsky, Logan Furstenau and Logan Valkama combined for six goals and 10 points in one of the most important series of the season. Behind Team Logan, Shreveport’s playoff hopes took a remarkable leap with a sweep of the Rays across the street from the shore of the Gulf of Mexico.

The Logans were four of nine different players to score in the 7-1 and 5-3 victories. A total of 17 Mudbugs collected at least one point during the weekend.

“(The wide-ranging production) is everything,” Campbell said. “You need that secondary scoring. You need all four lines chipping in; it’s exactly what we had. To get that over one weekend is great. We’ve really needed it.”

The sweep completed a seven-game road trip. Incredibly, as the Mudbugs move back to George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum for three games this week, they could move into a playoff position by Saturday night.

Shreveport is four points behind Wichita Falls and Odessa, teams tied for the final two playoff slots.

Given the Mudbugs’ troubling start to the season and the depth of the North American Hockey League’s South Division, the fact such an opportunity is present is a testament to the team’s perseverance.

“It feels great; we’ve experienced that this year,” Campbell said. “We could have quit a couple of times this season. Instead, we just did it. It says something about our

willingness to compete. I just like that about our group. It doesn’t take any pressure off, but we did our job.”

Former Mudbug suffers stroke

Jack Smiley, who played 35 games for Shreveport during the 2019-20 season, suffered a stroke on Feb. 21 at 22 years old. Smiley last played Jan. 28 for Endicott College.

A GoFundMe started by Jessica Leventry has already raised more than $16,000. Many Mudbugs teammates and fans are already on the list of donors.

“Jack will be undergoing intensive rehab and will likely be there for an extended period. We hope to help fund his rehab process and get him back to full recovery,” said a post on the page.

Last week’s 3 Stars

1, Logan Heroux, one of his two goals was biggest tally of the weekend – broke 3-3 tie in third-period Saturday

2, Timofei Khokhlachev, five-point weekend (G, 4A) for “Koko”

3, Lukas Sedlacek, collected three assists and a mind-numbing plus-6 rating for the two games

NAHL South Division standings

New Mexico (32-12-3), 67 points
Lone Star (28-10-8), 64
Wichita Falls (23-15-7), 53
Odessa (24-17-5), 53
Shreveport (22-17-5), 49
Corpus Christi (22-24-2), 46
Amarillo (21-22-3), 45
El Paso (13-29-4), 30

*top four make the playoffs

Team leaders

Goals: Austin Brimmer, Connor Gatto, 12
Assists: Brimmer, 23
Points: Brimmer, 35
Penalty Minutes: Davis Goukler, 131
Game-winning goals: Connor Gatto, 4
Goals-against average: Devon Bobak, 2.10
Save percentage: Bobak, .918

Up next

After three weeks on road, Shreveport stays home for a busy weekend at The George with two games against Odessa (Friday, Saturday) and a single game against division-leading New Mexico (makeup for Feb. 4 postponement).