Bugs Beat: Shreveport overcomes scary injury to sweep weekend

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Shreveport Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell does his best to prepare his team for big games, but when one of his hottest players is rendered unconscious 20 seconds in, even the best plan can be derailed.

That’s what happened during a rare Wednesday affair at Wichita Falls. Shreveport’s Logan Gotinsky was leveled from behind, and his teammates were left terrified as the 20-year-old suffered convulsions on the ice and was ushered to the hospital.

“It should fire them up, but you have six guys over there knowing he’s not looking right,” Campbell told The Journal. “Our players are the ones carting him off the ice. It’s not a normal situation.”

Campbell doesn’t believe the incident was a carryover, but simply a “bang-bang” play.

“(Gotinsky) was trying to protect the puck and they got him from behind,” Campbell said. “It’s unfortunate because he was playing some really good hockey.”

Adisen Brueck was sent to the shower with a checking from behind major and a game misconduct, but the Mudbugs couldn’t convert on the ensuing 5-minute power play or any of the three other man-advantages in the opening period. Shreveport had an opportunity to take over third place in the North American Hockey League’s South Division, but eventually fell, 3-0.

The good news: Gotinsky is on the mend.

“He’s recovering,” Campbell said. “All signs indicate he’s going to be OK, but it’s going to take time.”

With news their teammate was out of the hospital and headed back to Shreveport to recover from a concussion, the Mudbugs rallied on a trip to Amarillo.

Shreveport swept the Wranglers with a 4-2 victory on Friday and a 6-2 triumph on Saturday – aided by a six-point effort, including a hat trick, by Austin Brimmer.

“I think it was good for the boys to be able to talk to Goat Boy and Facetime him,”

Campbell said. “They knew he was good and the focus was on hockey. We were able to score the right way and defended pretty well – we used both goaltenders.”

The Mudbugs have won 11 of their past 13 games and are now six points clear of Odessa in the race for the final playoff spot in the South.

Journal’s 3 Stars

1. Austin Brimmer, factored in on all six goals Saturday, registering a hat trick and three assists
2. Burke Simpson, two goals and three assists Saturday
3. Tim Khohhlachev, two goals Friday

NAHL South Division standings

*Lone Star (33-11-10), 76 points
*New Mexico (35-15-4), 74
Wichita Falls (30-16-8), 68
Shreveport (30-19-5), 65
Odessa (27-22-5), 59
Amarillo (26-25-3), 55
Corpus Christi (23-28-3), 49
El Paso (13-37-4), 30

*clinched playoff spot

Team leaders

Goals: Austin Brimmer, 17
Assists: Brimmer, 30
Points: Brimmer, 47
Penalty Minutes: Davis Goukler, 131
Game-winning goals: Connor Gatto, 4
Goals-against average: Devon Bobak, 2.07
Save percentage: Bobak, .921

Up next

In a second-half full of crucial series, the biggest thus far comes at Odessa. The Mudbugs have an opportunity to put the hammer down on a postseason berth with games Friday and Saturday against the Jackalopes.

PHOTO: courtesy of Shreveport Mudbugs