Mudbugs, dogs kick off key three-game home weekend

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

The Shreveport Mudbugs’ roller-coaster season makes a stop on George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum for a weekend stuffed with action and playoff implications.

Shreveport (22-17-5) has bounced around the bottom half of the North American Hockey League’s South Division standings this season. The Mudbugs have been in last place, they’ve been in seventh and sixth. Now, Shreveport resides in fifth place, just one position behind the final playoff spot.

Considering the topsy-tervy pattern to the 2021-22 season, and two massive victories at Corpus Christi, a letdown is a legitimate concern as Shreveport hosts Odessa (24-17-5) on Friday and Saturday at The George.

However, it’s simply status quo for Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell.

“You just continue to do what you’re doing,” Campbell told The Journal. “It sounds boring, but you have to trust what you’re doing in practice, trust the game plan and trust the guys in the locker room.”

Although the Mudbugs were eight points out of the playoff just a week ago, as crazy as it sounds, they could move into a qualifying position by Saturday evening. The Jackalopes are tied with Wichita Falls for third place, four points ahead of the Mudbugs.

Getting to a playoff position isn’t going to be easy. Shreveport is winless in four games against Odessa this season.

The Mudbugs finish the weekend with a single game against the best team in the South, New Mexico. The puck is scheduled to drop for the Sunday afternoon affair at 4.

Shreveport has taken three of the five games against the Ice Wolves this season.

“We have to do our best to bring our best team game night in and night out — outwork teams and outcompete them and hopefully it’s enough,” Campbell said. “If it’s not, at least we know we did everything we could to make a playoff run.”

Pooches to invade The George
In addition to desperation hockey, the Mudbugs will host the annual Pooches at the Pond game on Friday. The festivities include dog adoptions and a dog parade on the ice during intermission.

Mudbugs vs. Odessa
Friday and Saturday, 7:11 p.m.
George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum
Jackalopes lead season series, 4-0

Mudbugs vs. New Mexico
Sunday, 4 p.m.
George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum
Shreveport leads season series, 3-1-1