Mudbugs sweep Corpus Christi, take control of third

 (Photo courtesy Shreveport Mudbugs)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

The Shreveport Mudbugs took care of business along the Gulf of Mexico this weekend. Facing last-place Corpus Christi, the Mudbugs delivered back-to-back dominating victories en route to a sweep.

Goaltender Simon Bucheler anchored 5-2 (Friday) and 3-0 (Saturday) triumphs to push Shreveport into sole possession of third place in the North American Hockey League’s South Division.

Forward Nick Marino collected three goals against the IceRays, including both game-winners. Teammate Jake Mack had a four-point weekend.

Marino has found his stride in the second half of the season. The “relentless” 5-foot-7, 160-pound forward has proven to be a “water bug” in the eyes of Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell.

“He’s always buzzing around the surface,” Campbell told the Journal. “He can finish hits. He’s solid on the forecheck and on the backcheck. He’s a relentless worker.”

Marino has scored six of his eight goals over his past 11 games.

“He does work around the net, bangs in rebounds and does the dirty work, and that’s how you score goals,” Campbell said, “but he has some skill. He can make moves and he has poise with the puck. He’s always in control.”

Marino is now tied for the team lead with three game-winning goals.

The Mudbugs trailed 1-0 after Friday’s first period, but Drake Morse’s tally early in the second period sparked four straight goals for Shreveport. Saturday’s game got testy late, but Campbell was impressed with his team’s restraint. 

“We stayed disciplined,” Campbell said. “Guys wanted to drop the gloves, but you just can’t do that in the final five minutes (carries an automatic suspension). We need those guys in the lineup this weekend.”

Shreveport is eight points behind second-place Lone Star, and two points in front of New Mexico. The Mudbugs head back home for a weekend series with Amarillo.

Last week’s 3 Stars

  1. Nick Marino, a three-goal weekend included both game-winners. His goal Saturday came just 84 seconds into the game.
  2. Simon Bucheler, allowed two goals to nab Friday’s victory, then stopped all 23 shots he faced for a shutout win Saturday.
  3. Jake Mack, displayed his production equally on a four-point weekend – two assists Friday and another pair of helpers Saturday.

NAHL South Division standings

Oklahoma (37-9-1), 75 points

Lone Star (31-11-7), 69

Shreveport (27-14-7), 61

New Mexico (28-18-3), 59

Amarillo (25-19-3), 53

Odessa (24-20-3), 51

El Paso (13-30-4), 30

Corpus Christi (10-32-6), 26

*top four make the playoffs

Team leaders

Goals: Garrett Steele, 16

Assists: Logan Heroux, 24

Points: Drake Morse, 38

Penalty Minutes: Hayden Nichol, 74

Game-winning goals: Morse, Nichol, Logan Gotinsky, Jake Mack, Nick Marino, 3

Goals-against average: Simon Bucheler, 1.98

Save percentage: Bucheler, .920

Up next

Shreveport begins a four-game homestand with two against Amarillo (Friday and Saturday, 7:11 p.m.)

Contact Roy at or on Twitter at @RoyLangIII