SHREVEPORT, LA – The Wichita Falls Warriors (17-9-1-3) hit the road for the first of a three game weekend series at the top team in the South Division in the Shreveport Mudbugs (21-6-2-2), as the Warriors looked to continue their 11 game win streak. It’s the Warriors first time back at George’s Pond at the Hirsch Coliseum since a 3-2 overtime win back on January 18th to begin the winning streak.
Over the win streak, the Warriors have scored first in 9 of the 11 wins, and that would continue on the road on Friday night. This time it was Owen Baumgartner (3), jumping up from his defensive position to beat Shreveport goaltender Arseni Sergeyev on the blocker side 2:09 into the first period to give Wichita Falls the early 1-0 lead. The Warriors would then add to their lead with a goal by Drew Vieten (11) on a great feed from Alex Walker (3) from behind the net 5:51into the opening frame the Warriors had a 2-0 advantage. Wichita Falls was able to control the puck and possession for the first part of the period until Shreveport would get their own chances and they would capitalize on them. First it was Gio Procopio (9) 8:24 into the period to cut the Warriors lead in half at 2-1. Then, the Mudbugs would find two more goals before the first period horn sounded, scoring three straight unanswered and taking a 3-2 lead to the intermission.
The Warriors would fight back early in the second period to tie the game. Owen Baumgartner (6) this time made a move in the neutral zone and then found William Lawson-Body (4) who had a nifty toe-drag and shot to tie the game at 3-3 in the second. The Warriors would continue to apply pressure after the tying goal but would not be able to find another goal the rest of the period. The Mudbugs would take the lead back 13:40 into the second and they would not look back.
In the third period things began to get physical as the Warriors had two game misconducts including a 5-minute major where the Mudbugs added their second goal of the period to add to the lead making it 6-3. Procopio (11) would score his third of the night short-handed to complete the hat trick and the Warriors would fall by a final score of 7-3 snapping the 11 game win streak. The Warriors outshot the Mudbugs 26-25 in the loss.
Owen Bartoszkiewicz (14-6-1-2) recorded the loss for Wichita Falls. He recorded 18 saves on 25 shots faced. Arseni Sergeyev (5-1-0-1) recorded the win for Shreveport. He recorded 23 saves on 26 shots faced.
Next up, these two teams will meet again on Saturday night for the second game of the three game weekend series. The Warriors look to get back in the win column and even the weekend series. Puck drop is set for 7:11 PM at the Hirsch Coliseum.