Saturday, October 29, 2005

10-29 BUGS AT MEMPHIS (W, 6-4)

DONT LOOK NOW, BUT TWO BUGS ARE TIED FOR LEAD IN GOALS
Pending the late results, Ryan Manitowich and Brett Smith are tied for the CHL lead in goals with 5. Joe Blaznek also has 5. Even if this lasts just for the next few minutes, it's so rare it's nice to see.
TIME: 10:15 p.m.

PERHAPS THE MOST IMPRESSIVE WIN OF THE SEASON
Unlike last season, when the Mudbugs watched Memphis pile on the goals in a Jan. 23 matchup at the DeSoto Civic Center, Bossier-Shreveport got down, but did not give in. The CCR line of Chris Brassard, Ryan Manitowich and Chad Spurr has caught fire and the goals are coming in bunches.
As usual Dan Wildfong, who scored twice, was his usual clutch self.
And you have to hand it 22-year-old goaltender Andrew Martin, making his first professional start. The rookie was blitzed early on, but hung on and watch his team score five straight to win. More later after I talk to Muscutt and the Boys.
TIME: 9:44 p.m.

BUGS SCORE 5 STRAIGHT, WIN 6-4
TIME: 9:36 p.m.

THIS HOLDING THE STICK STUFF IS, DARE I SAY, RIDICULOUS
Mallin makes another holding the stick call late in the third, his 1,056th of the evening. I thought the CHL wanted flow to return to the game.
TIME: 9:24 p.m.

MANITOWICH SCORES TO GIVE BUGS 5-4 LEAD
Ryan Manitowich scored on a breakaway to give Bossier-Shreveport a 5-4 lead!
TIME: 9:11 p.m.

FONGER MAKES IT 4-4 ON POWER PLAY
Mudbugs captain Dan Wildfong scored a power-play goal to give his team a 4-4 tie with Memphis early in the third period.

BUGS TRAIL FOR FIRST TIME HEADING INTO THIRD
Bossier-Shreveport will try something new Saturday, winning after trailing heading into the final period. The team was 9-11-2 in that situation last year -- quite remarkable.
Memphis will have about 90 seconds of power-play time as Dan Wildfong sits out the rest of his holding penalty to begin the third.
TIME: 8:42 p.m.

SPURR LIGHTS THE LAMP FOR FIRST TIME THIS SEASON! BUGS BACK IN IT
Chad Spurr scored a power-play goal with less than 5 minutes remaining in the second period and Bossier-Shreveport is within a goal of Memphis.
TIME: 8:33 p.m.

SHEPPARD HELPS STOP MEMPHIS MOMENTUM
Scott Sheppard scored his third goal of the season late in the second period to pull the Mudbugs within 4-2. Sheppard took advantage of a turnover by Memphis' Jeremy Wray and beat Miguel Beaudry top shelf.
TIME: 8:30 p.m.

GAME LOOKING A LOT LIKE LAST YEAR'S FINALE IN MEMPHIS
The RiverKings have scored their fourth straight goal to take a 4-1 lead over the Mudbugs. Memphis is on another power play and this has a similar feel to the 8-3 pounding the Bugs took on Jan. 23 at the DCC.
TIME: 8:19 p.m.

SHOTS HIGH, GOALS LOW AGAIN FOR TRAILING BUGS
Bossier-Shreveport outshot Memphis 21-9 in the first period, but a goal by Ryan Campbell on a delayed penalty call gives the RiverKings a 2-1 advantage heading into the second period.
TIME: 7:45 p.m.

KEVIN MALLIN HAS A HOLDING THE STICK FETISH
The Mudbugs were called for three consecutive holding the stick penalties in the first period at Memphis on Saturday. I guess referee Kevin Mallin was trying to make a point. After Ryan Manitowich opened the scoring with his fourth goal in two games, the RiverKings finally capitilized on one of the stick penalties with a power-play goal to tie the game at 1.

MARTIN GETS FIRST START IN NET AS ROAD TRIP BEGINS
In about 15 minutes, the Mudbugs begin an eight-game road trip with a game against the Memphis RiverKings at the DeSoto Civic Center in Southaven, Miss. The Northeast Division rivals are coming off an impressive 6-3 victory last night against Youngstown. Meanwhile, Bossier-Shreveport is riding high after a 5-0 shellacking of Austin last night at the CenturyTel Center.
Andrew Martin will start between the pipes for the Mudbugs.

Friday, October 28, 2005

10-28 BUGS vs. AUSTIN (W, 5-0)

ANOTHER GAME ANOTHER HAT TRICK
Ryan Manitowich completed the hat trick with a deflection on a power play late in the third period. The last time the Mudbugs were at home, Brett Smith scored three. The Bugs are leading 5-0 and Austin has wilted into the ice.
TIME: 9:20 p.m.

BAD GIVEAWAY LEADS TO BUGS THIRD TALLY; SOUPY MAKES IT 4-0
Matt Barnes handed the puck to Shane Palahicky in the newly created trapezoid behind the net and No. 20 capitilized to put the Bugs up 3-0. Moments later, Jason Campbell, absent from hockey for a year, delivered another.
TIME: 9:08 p.m.

AUSTIN HAD ITS CHANCE
The Mudbugs made Austin look bad during a power play early in the third. The Ice Bats enjoyed almost a full two minutes with a 4-on-3 advantage, but were unable to mount a serious scoring threat. Game remains 2-0 Bugs with 11 minutes to go. Austin is 0-7 on the power play tonight.
TIME: 9:03 p.m.

MANI SCORES ANOTHER
Ryan Manitowich scored his second goal of the game late in the second period to give the Mudbugs a 2-0 lead. He nearly scored a third just before the second period ended, but he was upended by Austin's Darryl McArthur. There will be 1:04 of 4-on-4 action to begin the third before the Mudbugs have their third power play.
TIME: 8:28 p.m.

MANITOWICH OPENS THE SCORING
Skilled forward Ryan Manitowich showed off his talent with a sweet backhander midway through the second to give the Mudbugs a 1-0 lead. The tally was No. 29's first of the season.
TIME: 8:07 p.m.

I GUESS THE WHISTLE STOPPED WORKING
Tom Sterns has amazing kept the whistle silent thus far, calling just four penalties midway through the game. There have been several opportunities to call interference and/or holding tonight, but both teams have been given plenty of playing room.
TIME: 8:04 p.m.

SCORELESS HOCKEY THUS FAR
For the first time all season, we have a scoreless first period. The Bugs and Bats are tied, but Austin began to take some control at the end of the first. It should be 1-0 Austin, but a call went the Bugs way. As my buddy Greg Rajan said, clearly, this makes up for the Laredo call and the Bugs fans -- to be fair -- should be outraged.
TIME: 7:41 p.m.

BOSSIER-SHREVEPORT CATCHES FIRST MAJOR BREAK OF YOUNG SEASON
The Mudbugs were the benefactors of a bad call Friday night when an obvious Austin goal was waved off midway through the first period. On the power play, Jeff Nuefeld beat Ken Carroll short side and the puck found the net, but referee Tom Sterns whistled the play dead – after the puck was in the net. It appeared Sterns thought Carroll had a hold of it, which he never did.
TIME: 7:30 p.m.

SLUGGISH START FRIDAY
The first half of the opening period is a bit lethargic Friday at the CenturyTel Center, although the Mudbugs and the Ice Bats seem to be picking up the pace. Currently, neither team has taken control.
TIME: 7:18 p.m.

BUGS LOOK TO FIRE ON POWER PLAY
Bossier-Shreveport has had plenty of power-play opportunities through three games, but hasn't quite got the production it has wanted. Austin may be just the team they need to see.
Veteran forward and power-play specialist Chris Brassard is back in the lineup tonight and Austin has been ripe while shorthanded. The Ice Bats have killed 11 of 16 power plays and rank 14th in the Central Hockey League with a 68.75 percent success rate.
The Mudbugs enter tonight seventh in the CHL with the man-advantage (14.29 percent).
TIME: 6:51 p.m.

CARROLL IN NET AGAINST ICE BATS
Ken Carroll will get his second start in net this season tonight. He was on the short end of 4-3 shootout Tuesday at Fort Worth, three nights after capturing a victory in relief of Paul Schonfelder against Youngstown. Austin staple Matt Barnes will be in net for the Ice Bats.
TIME: 6:30 p.m.

GET A GOOD LOOK AT THE BUGS
The Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs play the Austin Ice Bats tonight at the CenturyTel Center, their final game before embarking on an eight-game road trip.
The Mudbugs will see veteran power forward Chris Brassard return to the lineup tonight after missing two games due to a suspension in the season-opener.
Stay tuned throughout the game as I take you live to the CTC for more Central Hockey League action.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

10-25 BUGS at FORT WORTH (L, 4-3 in shootout)

BUGS FALL; FLAT THIRD PERIOD THE DIFFERENCE

You could see this one coming. Just like the first two games (minus the first 6 minutes against Youngstown), the Mudbugs outplayed their competition but couldn't put them away. Then, late in the game, the opposition come back to tie or take the lead.

That's exactly what happened again Tuesday in Fort Worth. The Mudbugs led after two periods, 2-1, but honestly Bossier-Shreveport could have had five or six goals.

There were several chances in front of Brahmas goaltender Larry Sterling, but the Mudbugs always seemed to want to do something fancy with it. It was always an off-speed attempt, like they were trying too hard to hit a spot. No one, sans Scott Sheppard, was just firing the puck. Bottom line, the Mudbugs are creating plenty of scoring chances, but they are getting too cute with them.

On the other hand, Fort Worth just blasted its goals in Tuesday.

No need to worry, the Bugs are 2-0-1 and their best power-play guy, Chris Brassard, will be back Friday night against Austin.
Like even strength, the Mudbugs haven't lit up the board on the power play -- four goals in 28 chances. Brassard, who scored a record four power-play goals in one playoff game last season, will help cure that problem.

BRAHMAS TAKE LEAD

Wes Mason scored midway through the third to give Fort Worth a 3-2 lead.
TIME: 9:40

BRAHMAS TIE GAME EARLY IN THIRD

David Silverstone scored his second goal of the game when he went unchallenged in the Mudbugs zone and unleashed a booming slah shot past Ken Carroll. One-goal leads will not be easy to hold in the third period in this age of hockey. The Mudbugs must continue to be as aggressive offensively. They only have one shot in the first six minutes of the final period.
TIME: 9:38 p.m.

GO-GO SOX

As I sit in the press box here at Fort Worth, I am getting updates via IM on Game 3 of the World Series. I was disappointed to hear the White Sox were in a 4-0 hole, but elated to get the message that said they had taken a 5-4 lead!!!

Oh yeah, I'm from Chicago!!
TIME: 9:16 p.m.


LAY OFF THE CRACK PIPE DUDE

The most comical part of Tuesday's game wasn't being able to actually hand count the crowd in Fort Worth, but watching the shot board. Shots are randomly being put on the board and myself and Kelly Morris from the Star-Telegram have been unable to decipher the method to the shot dude's madness.
TIME: 9:08 p.m.


THANK THE LORD FOR NORMAL JERSEYS

I can actually see who has the puck and who scores tonight at Fort Worth. The jerseys the Mudbugs wore Saturday against Youngstown, which resembled the American flag, made it impossible to read the numbers. Consequently, I gave Chad Spurr -- not Blair Manning -- credit for the game-winning assist on Brett Smith's overtime goal.

Tuesday, the Bugs were decked out in the traditional purple road jersey, trimmed in teal.
TIME: 9:04 p.m.


SHAW GETS SPLIT DECISION IN FIRST FIGHT OF THE NIGHT

Chris Shaw dropped the gloves for the first time as a Mudbug. He went toe-to-toe with Fort Worth's David Silverstone early in the second period. Shaw, a righty, fought the southpaw and landed a few good jabs. Silverstone got a shot or two in, but Shaw gets a close decision in this one.
TIME: 8:46 p.m.


UNUSUAL GOAL SCORERS

So far, the 2005-06 season is all about the players who had a tough time finding the net last year. Brett Smith, who scored 10 goals last season, already has five through seven periods and 1:40 of hockey. Quade Lightbody scored in the first period tonight, to end a regular-season drought that can be traced back to Mar. 12, 2004.
TIME: 8:25 p.m.


LIGHTBODY SCORES! BUGS LEAD 2-1 AFTER ONE PERIOD

Quade Lightbody, who did not score a goal during the regular season last year, gave the Mudbugs a 2-1 lead late in the first period Tuesday at the Fort Worth Convention Center. The play was setup by an amazing piece of stickwork from Scott Sheppard, who hit Lightbody in front of the crease from the right circle.
TIME: 8:13 p.m.


SMITH AGAIN??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??

Brett Smith scored midway through the first period to tie the game at 1. The goal is his fifth in three games this season. Again, it came via a nifty pass from Chad Spurr.
TIME:7:58 p.m.


CAMPBELL HURT EARLY TUESDAY, RETURNS

After making a nice short-handed steal at center ice, Mudbugs veteran Jason Campbell was checked into the boards inside the Brahmas' zone. Fort Worth soon scored to take a 1-0 lead. As hockey players often do, Campbell, who had trouble getting back to his bench, was on the ice for his next shift.
TIME: 7:50 p.m.


DION HYMAN SIGHTING

You know him. You love him. He's Dion Hyman. You remember this defenseman who scored the game-winning goal in Laredo during overtime of Game 7 in the 2004 President's Cup Finals. OK, maybe he didnt actually score, but it counted nonetheless.

Hyman was signed by the Brahmas in the offseason and had one assist in the opening weekend.
TIME: 7:42 p.m.


FANS PACK THE HOUSE IN FORT WORTH ... NOT

Now you know why the Bossier-Shreveport front office doesn't want any part of Tuesday night games. Five minutes before gametime, the Brahmas have "packed" about 150 people in the building -- about 50 are Mudbugs fans.
TIME: 7:25 p.m.


BRASSARD SITS OUT FINAL GAME OF SUSPENSION

Mudbugs veteran Chris Brassard was out of Tuesday's lineup in Fort Worth, serving the final game of the two-game suspension stemming from an elbow in Friday's season-opener against Memphis. Head coach Scott Muscutt is also in the stands, serving his third game of a five-game penalty for his fight with Derek Laxdal during last year's playoffs.
TIME: 7:19 p.m.


BUGS FACE CHAD WOOLLARD-LESS BRAHMAS

Fort Worth retooled its roster prior 2005-06 season. One of the big absentees is power forward Chad Woollard. The big red-head played for the Brahmas for five seasons before heading to the UHL this year. He began in Rockford, but was later traded to Quad Cities. He has four points in two games.
TIME: 7:16 p.m.


KEN CARROLL TO START IN NET

Ken Carroll will get his first start of the season tonight against Fort Worth.
Paul Schonfelder was placed on IR and Andrew Martin will backup Carroll. Face-off is set for 7:30 p.m.
TIME: 7:09 p.m.


FIRST ROAD TRIP UNDERWAY

The Mudbugs 2-0 practiced at the CenturyTel Center Monday at 2 p.m., then departed for Fort Worth (1-0-1), where they will take on the Brahmas tonight. Make sure you stayed tuned for the GameBlog!

Hear Coach Muscutt preview the game at http://www.shreveporttimes.com/assets/wma/D9104071025.WAV

Saturday, October 22, 2005

10-22 BUGS vs. YOUNGSTOWN (W, 4-3 in overtime)

BUGS WIN IN OT
Brett Smith recorded the hat trick, including the game-winner in OT and the Bugs win 4-3.
TIME: 9:48

STEELHOUNDS EVEN GAME WITH SHORTY
Rob Ouimette stunned the crowd at the CenturyTel Center with a short-handed goal midway through the third period and Youngstown and Bossier-Shreveport are tied at 3 with 2:30 to go.
TIME: 9:32 p.m.


MAKE THAT A 96-GOAL PACE
Brett Smith scored another short-handed goal Saturday night. The tally midway through the second period gave the Bugs a 3-2 lead.
Maybe he'd like me to write something else in the paper he won't like!
TIME: 8:35 p.m.

FIRST PERIOD ENDS 2-2
The opening period Saturday featured nine power plays, three power-play goals and a whole lotta offensive opportunities for the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs. After falling in a 2-0 hole, the Bugs rallied to tie the game before the first intermission. They still have 24 seconds remaining on their sixth chance with the man-advantage.
TIME: 7:53 p.m.


SMITTY TALLIES AGAIN
Brett Smith is on pace for 64 goals. The guy who said an article I wrote reminded him of his large scoring drought before Friday night scored again early in Saturday's game.
Less than a minute later, captain Dan Wildfong tied the game at 2.
TIME: 7:39 p.m.

DIFFERENT DAY, MUCH DIFFERENT RESULTS FOR SCHONFELDER
Paul Schonfelder was pulled just 6:20 into Saturday's game against Youngstown. He gave up two goals in two shots. Ken Carroll entered the ice to a loud ovation from the CenturyTel Center.
TIME: 7:28 p.m.


BUGS SPORT INTERESTING JERSEYS
They certaintly draw attention. That much can be said of the Mudbugs' American-flag like jerseys Saturday. Can you call something patterned after the flag of our country ugly?

SCHONFELDER GETS ANOTHER START
Paul Schonfelder, who came up big for the Mudbugs Friday night against Memphis, will start again tonight versus Youngstown.
TIME: 6:55 p.m.


BRASSARD SUSPENDED FOR TWO GAMES
Mudbugs veteran forward Chris Brassard was suspended for two games by the Central Hockey League for an elbow to the head of Memphis defensman Tim Laurila on Friday night at the CenturyTel Center.

While Laurila lay injured on the ice, RiverKings defenseman Andrew Davis came to his teammates defense and started a fight with Brassard.

The Mudbugs will play with nine forwards tonight, so expect newcomer Milan Vodrazka to see increased ice time against Youngstown.

Hear Coach Muscutt preview the game at http://www.shreveporttimes.com/assets/wma/D9103191022.WAV

LET THE COOKING BEGIN

Several Mudbugs fans are on their way to the North Parking Lot of the CenturyTel Center in anticipation of tonight's game with Youngstown. The SteelHounds bring Jean Laforest into town, the man who built the Mudbugs franchise. Now he has another first-year program on his hands.
Considering both teams scored exciting victories last night, this should be a doozy!

Friday, October 21, 2005

10-21 BUGS VS. MEMPHIS (W, 4-3)

BUGS WIN 4-3
TIME: 9:58 p.m.

THIRD PERIOD TURNS DEFENSIVE
Paul Schonfelder just stopped Don Parsons -- one of the greatest players in CHL history to help the Bugs maintain the 4-3 lead with less than six minutes remaining. The third period has been scoreless thus far.

FRIDAY'S GAME EXACTLY WHAT CHL WAS EXPECTING WITH NEW RULES
The Central Hockey League's Vice President of Operations Duane Lewis had a smile on his face at the CenturyTel Center on Friday. The 4-3 score after two periods and the plethora of scoring opportunities made the contest incredibly exciting the entire night.
"You have to be more conditioned," Lewis said. "The players AND the officials. The action is end-to-end."
TIME: 9:27 p.m.

SMITH SCORES SHORTY TO GIVE BUGS LEAD HEADING INTO THIRD
Brett Smith ended a nine-month goal drought with a shorthanded tally late in the second period to give Bossier-Shreveport a 4-3 advantage heading into the final period. The second-year pro banked the puck off the back of Miguel Beaudry and into the net from behind the goal line.

MEMPHIS TAKES SHORT-LIVED LEAD AS SOUPY SCORES
The RiverKings scored their third straight goal to take a 3-2 lead midway through the second period, but Jason Campbell -- back from a one-year hiatus -- tied the game on deflection from a Chad Spurr shot.
TIME: 8:52 p.m.


FIGHTING BEGINS AS MEMPHIS EVENS SCORE
A Ryan Watson slap shot tied the game at 2 midway through the second period. The Bugs and Kings have faced off in a pair of bouts in this period.
Bossier-Shreveport's Quade Lightbody lost a close battle with tough guy Kenny Goetz. Moments later, Chris Brassard evened the score on the fight cards with an overwhelming victory against Andrew Davis.
TIME: 8:48 p.m.

MANNING SCORES FIRST GOAL AS MUDBUG, MEMPHIS ANSWERES QUICKLY
Veteran Blair Manning took a no-look pass from Dan Wildfong early in the second period to put the Mudbugs up 2-0. Moments later, Memphis answered when Derek Landmesser scored a disputed goal to make it a 2-1 game. The Mudbugs, who were on a delayed penalty against, claimed they had gathered possession of the puck before it deflected off the goalie's stick and into the net.
TIME: 8:36 p.m.


BUGS UP 1-0 AFTER 1, BEGIN SECOND WITH PP
Sheppard's goal was the only tally in the first period and the Mudbugs have 53 seconds left on a power play to begin the second period.


SHEPPARD PUTS BUGS ON BOARD FIRST!!!
Second-year pro Scott Sheppard took a pass from captain Dan Wildfong at 12:18 of the first period and buried it in the top left corner of the Memphis goal to open the scoring for the 2005-06 season.

POWER PLAYS BEGIN
The Mudbugs and the RiverKings had one power-play opportunity early in the first period. The RiverKings managed one shot on goal and Mudbugs goalie Paul Schonfelder was up to the task, making a huge save on the doorstep.
Meanwhile, the Mudbugs had three shots and a couple of good scoring opportunities. But like Schonfelder, Memphis netminder Miguel Beaudry was there to make the saves.
TIME: 7:34 p.m.

THE PUCK DROPS
With a starting lineup of Chris Brassard, Ryan Manitowich and Chad Spurr up front, Dale Lupul and Quade Lightbody on the blue line and Paul Schonfelder in net, the Mudbugs begin the 2005-06 season at 7:20 p.m.!!


CARROLL WILL NOT START OPENER
Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs goaltender Ken Carroll WILL not start tonight against the Memphis RiverKings. Backup Paul Schonfelder led the Mudbugs on the ice during the initial warmup at the CenturyTel Center. That is usually done by the starting goaltender.
TIME: 6:50 p.m.


ITS ALMOST TIME
Believe it or not, hockey season is here! It's still a bit warm outside the CenturyTel Center here in Bossier City, but the ice is cold and fresh inside.

Just talked to Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs head coach Scott Muscutt and I dont believe I've ever seen him so excited.

He has a lot to be excited about. A lot of talent, some good experience and a heck of a fan base.

As the season begins, I would say the key to the Mudbugs start will be the play of their blue-liners. Travis Bell and Wes Blevins were significant losses, but rookie Dale Lupul is the real deal. The Bugs have three potent lines, so scoring won't be a problem. Yes, I said scoring won't be a problem.

But will Ken Carroll have the help in front to keep the opposition out of the net?

Hear Coach Muscutt break down the opener at http://shreveporttimes.com/assets/wma/D9102691021.WAV