SHREVEPORT, LA – The Wichita Falls Warriors (7-8-1-3) hit the road for a Monday matinee on Martin Luther King Day to face-off with the Shreveport Mudbugs (15-3-2-1) at George’s Pond at the Hirsch Coliseum.
It would be the third game in four days for Wichita Falls and the fourth game in five days for Shreveport. Warriors Head Coach Garrett Roth wanted his team to use their speed and start fast, and that is exactly what the Warriors would do on the road. Just 2:35 into the first period, Dominick Rivelli (2) would burst past the Mudbugs defensemen and find himself on a breakaway, leading to his second goal of the season and putting the Warriors up 1-0 early. The Warriors wouldn’t stop there. Later in the first at the 18:07 mark, Thomas Weis (7) would net his seventh of the season and extend the Warriors lead to 2-0 heading into the second period. Wichita Falls goaltender Owen Bartoszkiewicz had a perfect first period between the pipes, stopping all seven Mudbugs shots that he faced.
In the second period the Mudbugs would answer back. First, Shreveport would cut the Warriors lead down to one goal at 2-1 just 3:01 into the period. The Warriors would then have some long offensive possessions in the offensive zone but would fail to get one past Shreveport goaltender Cole Hudson. With Hudson keeping the deficit at one goal, the Mudbugs pushed to tie the game late in the period. The Mudbugs would find the tying goal 16:41 into the period and the Warriors now found themselves in a tied hockey game heading to the third period. The Warriors were outshot by Shreveport 9-7 in the second period where the Mudbugs scored two goals.
The third period would be a goaltender show, with both Bartoszkiewicz and Hudson trading big save after big save on either end of the ice. It was late in the third period when the Mudbugs would get a golden scoring opportunity with Mason McCormick all alone in front of Owen Bartoszkiewicz. McCormick would put the puck on his backhand and try to lift it up and over Bartoszkiewicz on the glove side, but Bartoszkiewicz would rob him with a massive glove save with under four minutes remaining in the final frame of regulation in a 2-2 tied hockey game. That save would help get the Warriors to overtime. The Warriors are 2-1 in overtime games this season.
It was a slow start to the 3-on-3 overtime period with both teams looking to set up attacks. The Warriors would get a chance and Hudson would make a save, then the Mudbugs would get a chance and Bartoszkiewicz would make a save. This continued for the first two minutes of the overtime period. Then, it was McCormick again right in front of Bartoszkiewicz with a prime look to end the game but Bartoszkiewicz would throw up his left arm and make an incredible save on the Mudbugs forward once again. This time however, the rebound found the stick of Warriors defenseman and Assistant Captain Vince Corcoran who started a 2-on-1 transition the other way with forward Carter Korpi. The Mudbugs defenseman took away the pass option, so Corcoran (12) would put the puck on net, Hudson would make the save, but the rebound would trickle out to his left where Korpi (6) was able to bury the rebound and send the Warriors home with two points in a 3-2 overtime victory. For Korpi, it was his sixth goal of the season and first in a Warriors uniform since being traded from Minot last week.
Owen Bartoszkiewicz (6-5-1-2) would record the win for Wichita Falls. He recorded 28 saves on 30 shots faced. Cole Hudson recorded the loss for Shreveport. He recorded 28 saves on 31 shots faced.
Next up, the Warriors head back home to host the New Mexico Ice Wolves for a weekend series at the Kay Yeager Coliseum on January 22nd and 23rd. Puck drops are set for 7:05 PM CST.