Coach dubs Goukler ‘perfect’ example of Shreveport Mudbug

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

As a 17-year-old, Davis Goukler played just eight games in two stints with the Shreveport Mudbugs during the 2018-19 season.

Three seasons later, Goukler is on the brink of becoming the franchise’s iron man during its North American Hockey League era.

When the Cumming, Ga., product takes the ice tonight against Corpus Christi on George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum, Goulker will set the franchise record for regular-season games played in a Mudbugs’ NAHL sweater.

“Davis is exactly what we look for in our young men during their time here and what they become once it’s time for them to move on,” Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell told The Journal. “As a player, he steadily improved physically and within his game. Davis figured out early the type of defenseman he was and continues to perfect it.”

His 160th appearance will break the mark previously held by Gueorgui Feduolov (2016-19).

“It’s a super cool achievement,” said Goukler, who played those original eight games with Feduolov. “I couldn’t do it without my brothers and teammates along the way. I’m grateful Shreveport’s given me the opportunity to complete that achievement.”

Goukler turns 21 in two weeks (April 22) and has committed to play at the University of Alaska-Anchorage. His plus-8 rating during the 2021 postseason was second to teammate Austin Brimmer (plus-9) during the Mudbugs’ run to a Robertson Cup championship.

“It’s hard to find a better quality person,” Campbell said of Goukler. “(Playing the) most games in Mudbugs history is a great accomplishment and he’s earned every bit of it. However, he’s also given so much of himself to the Shreveport-Bossier community. We ask a lot from our players in this department and he has gone above and beyond every year. He is a perfect example of how we want our players to represent themselves, their families and the Mudbugs.

“Davis will really be missed but are very thankful we had him in a Mudbugs jersey as long as we did.”

For the Mudbugs, this weekend will provide the opportunity to celebrate Goukler’s mark without the pressure of playoff uncertainty.

In last place in the South Division nearly halfway through the season, Shreveport has since won 27 of 36 games to secure its fifth consecutive postseason berth.

“We play here to be champions, not just a couple of games in the regular season,” Goukler said.

Currently in the fourth-and-final playoff spot in the South entering the penultimate series of the season, Shreveport is looking at a first-round matchup with Lone Star. The Mudbugs are three points out of third place, which would likely offer a showdown with New Mexico in the opening round.

Professional Iron Men

Dan Wildfong, now the head coach of rival Lone Star, owns the overall franchise record for regular-season games played (488). Legend Trevor Buchanan is second (466) and current Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell is third with 431 appearances. Jim Sprott (429) is fourth. Forbes MacPherson and Chris Brassard are tied for fifth (413).

Mudbugs vs. Corpus Christi
Friday, Saturday (7:11 p.m)
George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum
Shreveport leads season series 5-1

Photo courtesy of SHREVEPORT MUDBUGS