WICHITA FALLS, TX – The Wichita Falls Warriors (21-12-1-4) returned home to face the top team in the South Division in the Shreveport Mudbugs (27-7-2-3) at the Kay Yeager Coliseum for just the second series this season going back to early November.
On Friday night, the Warriors got behind 1-0 for the fifth straight game and had to find a way to even up the score before the first intermission. Wichita Falls was able to tie the game on a nice assist from Owen Baumgartner (9) to Cade Lemmer right in front who went up and over the left shoulder of Shreveport goaltender Arseni Sergeyev. The game would be tied 1-1 heading into the second period. The second period was controlled by the Mudbugs with Shreveport outscoring the Warriors 2-0 in the period to take a 3-1 lead at the end of the second period on Connor Gatto’s (7) second tally of the game.
The Warriors would start to fight their way back in the third period creating some quality scoring chances on the offensive end. The Mudbugs would take a penalty just over six minutes into the final frame and the Warriors man advantage unit would get another chance to cut into the deficit, as they had been 0-4 on the power play until this point. The Warriors would capitalize this time around as Drake Usher (3) scored his second power play goal in two games to cut the deficits down to just one going late into the third. How ever the Warriors couldn’t apply enough pressure with the net empty and the extra attacker on. Gatto would find the empty net to complete the hat-trick and the Warriors would fall by a final of 4-2 on Friday night. The Warriors outshot the Mudbugs 42-21 in the loss. Arseni Sergeyev (7-2-0-2) recorded the win for Shreveport. He recorded 40 saves on 42 shots faced. Owen Bartoszkiewicz (15-8-1-2) recorded the loss for Wichita Falls. He recorded 17 saves on 20 shots faced.
The Warriors looked to bounce back on Saturday night. The first three shifts for the Warriors created good puck position and generated quick chances. Similar to the last five games, the Warriors however found themselves trailing 2-0 just 10 minutes into the first on two goals by Joe Mack (11,12). The Mudbugs would add two more in the opening frame including one with just 7 seconds remaining in the period. The Warriors went into the second period trailing 4-0. Things would get physical between the two division foes and two separate line brawls had broke out with each player tied up with someone from the other side. The Warriors owned the possession in the second period and started to apply more pressure on Shreveport goaltender Cole Hudson, but a scoreless period left the Warriors still trailing 4-0 heading into the third period. The Warriors had just 10 players available to begin the third, and Shreveport had 12 players available. In the third, Shreveport added two more to make it 6-0 and the Warriors were shutout for just the second time this season. Cole Hudson (16-4-2-1) recorded the win for Shreveport. He recorded 24 saves on 24 shots faced. Ryan Ullan (6-4-0-2) recorded the loss for Wichita Falls. He recorded 23 saves on 29 shots faced.
Next up, the Warriors begin a three weekend road trip starting on Friday, April 2nd to face-off with the Jackalopes in Odessa.