Mudbugs look to create space in race for playoffs

(Photo courtesy Shreveport Mudbugs)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

The Shreveport Mudbugs are looking for a little security. With 20 games remaining in the 2022-23 regular season, Shreveport sits fourth in the North American Hockey League’s South Division.

The position is a bit precarious with Amarillo just five points back – with a game in hand – and charging Odessa in sixth. However, this weekend, the Mudbugs have an opportunity to challenge New Mexico for third place.

The Mudbugs visit the Ice Wolves for a pair of games (Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m. CST) at Outposts Ice Arena. They are three points behind New Mexico. The teams have split the six meetings this season. This weekend will mark the final regular-season games in the series.

Notes: Team South, made up of prospects from the NAHL’s South Division, took home the division crown at the Top Prospects tournament in Pittsburgh this week.

The Mudbugs had three players on the winning team – forwards Logan Gotinsky, Drake Morse and Garrett Steele. Morse, who leads Shreveport in points, scored two goals in Monday’s 7-3 victory against the Midwest. He also collected an assist in Tuesday’s victory.

Shreveport made no moves as the NAHL trade deadline passed Tuesday.

“That was the message to the guys: ‘This is the group of guys we believe can get it done,’” Mudbugs associate head coach Michael Hill said. “I don’t think we’ve done a single trade all year to bring a guy in. If you look at it, we’ve probably been together the longest out of any team in the league. We’ve been developing the same guys all year.”

Season series

(Teams tied 3-2-1)

Oct 21, Mudbugs 2, New Mexico 1

Oct. 22, New Mexico 4, Mudbugs 3

Nov. 4, New Mexico 3, Mudbugs 0

Nov. 5, New Mexico 2, Mudbugs 1 (SO)

Dec. 2, Mudbugs 3, New Mexico 0

Dec. 3, Mudbugs 4, New Mexico 3 (OT)

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