By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports
Jason Campbell was steaming on the inside, simply furious his Shreveport Mudbugs didn’t play up to expectations, again.
However, Campbell passed on a screaming tirade.
“It’s just the same old crap and it’s really getting tiring,” Campbell told The Journal. “We have to get more out of our guys, more out of our coaching because it’s just not good enough. It’s four games in a row now.”
Saturday, the Mudbugs blew a third-period lead against Odessa and wound up on the wrong end of a sweep for the second straight weekend. After scoring at least three goals in an NAHL-franchise record 13 games, Shreveport mustered just two goals in two games.
Despite 45 shots on goal, Shreveport fell 2-1 in a shootout Friday. Saturday, Nik Miller scored the game’s first goal midway through the second period, but the Mudbugs watched the lead disappear as Odessa tied the game early in the third period and netted the game-winner with 58 seconds to play.
“We had chances,” Campbell said. “We just have to score. When you have a lead you have to defend without giving them tons of room to play around you. I’m sick of it.”
Last weekend, the Mudbugs had an opportunity to get within a single point of second place in the North American Hockey League’s South Division. After the losses to the Jackalopes, Shreveport finds itself in the final playoff spot, two points behind New Mexico, but just four points ahead of fifth-place Amarillo.
“The boys are fed up, too,” Campbell said. “But, it’s like, ‘Let’s act on this — enough talking about it.’ If we do the right thing, then the next thing you know we’re all over this.”
In a matter of five days, the Mudbugs must find a way to play their best hockey. First-place Lone Star visits George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum to put a bow on Shreveport’s monthlong homestand.
“It’s about the willingness to play simple, hard hockey all the time instead of trying to do it all yourself and go score goals and do it your own way,” Campbell said. “That’s not working.”
Last week’s 3 Stars
- Niklas Miller, his goal midway through the second period gave Shreveport the lead.
- Maksim Sushchynski, collected Shreveport’s lone tally in Friday’s game.
- Elvis, stole the show on Music Appreciation weekend.
NAHL South Division standings
Lone Star (25-6-4), 54 points
Oklahoma (26-6-1), 53
New Mexico (20-13-3), 43
Shreveport (18-13-5), 41
Amarillo (17-14-3), 37
Odessa (17-16-1), 35
El Paso (11-20-3), 25
Corpus Christi (9-22-5), 23
*top four make the playoffs
Goals: Garrett Steele, 13
Assists: Drake Morse, 20
Points: Morse, 30
Penalty Minutes: Maksim Sushchynski, 70
Game-winning goals: Hayden Nichol, Logan Gotinsky 3
Goals-against average: Simon Bucheler, 1.98
Save percentage: Bucheler, .922
The Mudbugs close their lengthy homestand with a visit from Lone Star (Friday, Saturday, 7:11 p.m.)
Contact Roy at email@example.com