New ‘318’ jersey, Teddy Bear Toss on tap as Mudbugs aim to continue momentum

ABOUT TIME: The Shreveport Mudbugs finally play at home this weekend, after finding some traction on the road. (Photo by CHRISTI LANG, Journal Sports)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

The Shreveport Mudbugs are fresh off one of their best weekends of the season and return to George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum for the first time in six weeks. Life is good for the boys in teal.

“It’s going to be a very interesting weekend,” Mudbugs forward Eric Vitale said.

The Mudbugs have big plans for this weekend’s series against New Mexico. Tonight, they will don special “Coca-Cola bear” jerseys and put them up for auction after the game. Saturday, the team will unveil a black alternate jersey that pays homage to “the 318” and celebrate a Teddy Bear Toss (thousands of stuffed animals rain from the stands after Shreveport scores its first goal).

On the ice, there is plenty of work to do.

Although Shreveport (9-9-4) swept El Paso to complete its extended road trip, it remains in fifth place in the North American Hockey League South Division standings. The Ice Wolves (13-6-1) are in third place and have won three of the four matchups with the Mudbugs this season.

“It’s understanding, when you actually get a little success, it’s not time to take your foot off the gas pedal,” Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell said. “You have to focus a little more, dig in a little deeper, work a little harder to keep that momentum and to keep that train rolling. That’s going to be the biggest thing this week. We have to find ways to generate offense, snot-nosed defense and in-your-face hockey.”

Shreveport will be without forward Jake Mack, who has scored five goals this season, for the entire weekend after he was suspended by the NAHL for a hit delivered against El Paso.

Mack scored a game-winning goal last weekend and is an important part of Shreveport’s special teams.

“There are guys that are salivating for an opportunity,” Campbell said. “We have guys in mind that can slip right in there and do a job like he did this past weekend. Same goes for the PK.”

Mudbugs vs. New Mexico 

Tonight, Saturday (7:11 p.m.)

George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum

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