Bugs Beat: Shreveport posts ‘unacceptable’ effort in weekend split

HEADED OUT WEST: Niklas Miller (16) and the Shreveport Mudbugs hit the road to face undefeated Amarillo next week.  (Photo by ROY LANG III, Journal Sports)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Even though Friday produced a victory against Odessa on George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum, Shreveport Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell wasn’t pleased. You can imagine his feelings following the team’s Saturday night dud.

The Jackalopes scored less than 2 minutes into the game and were never threatened as Shreveport closed out its six-game homestand with a 4-1 loss.

“The whole weekend was unacceptable,” Campbell told The Journal.

The defeat didn’t produce a Campbell locker-room tirade like the first homestand, but the team was back at The George before dawn Sunday morning.

“It’s not about the wins and losses,” Campbell said. “We have to keep working to find a way together to play some connected hockey and some urgency – take some pride in what we’re doing here. It wasn’t there this weekend.

“If you get the puck, you have to expect they are going to be on top of you. You have to be ready to move, ready to skate north, move your feet, move the puck. It’s not near good enough.”

The Mudbugs have made a flurry of roster moves, and several lineup changes over the past couple of weeks. Despite the play this weekend, Campbell is confident in the group he’s assembled.  

“We have the guys,” Campbell said.

The Mudbugs have won just three of their first 10 games this season and will spend most of the next two months on the road – there are just two games at The George between now and December.

One bright spot this weekend was the return of goaltender Simon Bucheler, who missed the first eight games of the season. Bucheler got the start and made 22 saves in Friday’s 3-1 victory. He then stopped 12 of 13 shots he faced in relief of Tommy Aitken on Saturday.

Last week’s 3 Stars

  1. Sutton Murray, his first career NAHL goal was meaningful as a third-period tally on Friday was the game-winner.
  1. Simon Bucheler, after missing the first month due to injury, he collected the victory Friday night and relieved Tommy Aitken on Saturday.
  1. Folks in the homemade M&Ms costumes, the Bugs’ Halloween-themed weekend was punctuated by a foursome of “M&Ms” that won the costume contest Saturday.

NAHL South Division standings

Lone Star (8-1-0), 16 points

New Mexico (6-1-1), 13

Amarillo (6-0-0), 12 

El Paso (5-3-0), 10

Oklahoma (5-2-0), 10

Shreveport (3-5-2), 8

Odessa (2-5-1), 5

Corpus Christi (2-7-1), 5

*top four make the playoffs

Team leaders

Goals: Jake Mack, 4

Assists: Jaden Goldie, Logan Heroux, 4

Points: Mack, Logan Valkama, Logan Gotinsky, 5

Penalty Minutes: Garrett Steele, 21

Game-winning goals: Miller, Gotinsky, Sutton Murray 1

Goals-against average: Simon Bucheler, 1.21

Save percentage: Bucheler, .944

Up next

The Mudbugs make their first official road trip to face the undefeated Amarillo Wranglers on Friday and Saturday (7:15 p.m.).

Contact Roy at roylangiii@yahoo.com