Saturday, February 11, 2006

2/11 BUGS vs. LAREDO (W, 3-2)

Did the Mudbugs do what their fans have admonished opponents for the past two seasons? YES. Plain and simple: They gooned it up at the end.
Chris Shaw -- and head coach Scott Muscutt will tell that to your face -- was sent out to take care of a guy that had no chance in Adam Rivet.
"He's never fought in his life," Laredo coach Terry Ruskowski said afterwards.
Muscutt took exception to Bucks forward James Hiebert jumping Dan Wildfong with less than two seconds to play. So out came Shaw.
Shaw is the definition of a role player for the Mudbugs. He was simply filling his role and doing his job. And trust me, I've seen much worse goon tactics.
But I pray I don't get an e-mail from a fan after a game later this year when the other team drops the gloves as retaliation because I will simply point out the way tonight's game ended.
Personally, I think it's good for the game as long as a precarious line isn't crossed. I was shocked Shaw didn't get an instigating misconduct because it was obvious Rivet was not a willing participant. And rightfully so, I would be like Legault making a bee line for Jason Campbell. Soupy is smart enough to know when he's overmatched!

The Bucks played very, very well to begin this hockey game. One bad turnover and a lackadaisical defensive play led to Laredo's two goals, but the Bucks had several opportunities to put Bossier-Shreveport away early. With any luck, the Bucks could have led 4-0 in the first 15 minutes.
Laredo coach Terry Ruskowski made it clear: His big players did not come up big when they had the chance tonight. Brent Cullaton and Jeff Bes littered the posts and crossbars. But he said to give the Bugs credit, they hung in there and battled back from a sloppy beginning.
This victory was nice, of course, but now the skeptics who say they didn't play anybody during this incredible 13-1-1 run can shut it. Bossier-Shreveport has gone 4-0 against the two division leaders from the Southern Conference during this span and added a win against the current No. 3-seed for the Northern Conference -- Oklahoma City.
That being said ... a 7-game series against the Laredo Bucks would be an absolute war. And, in my opinion, Colorado is still in a league of their own. But it appeared to be that way two seasons ago as well. It's not easy to repeat, just ask the Bucks.
He didnt much ink in my story because the play came on the Mudbugs first goal, but Chris Brassard had another tremendous game tonight. HARD WORK is what led to the short-handed tally. Brassard fought for that puck at the blue line and was determined to leave with it and head the other way. Then he made a spectacular move on the 2-on-1 to setup Smitty.
Tuesday presents another opportunity to exorcise a demon when the Youngstown SteelHounds come to town. Don't even want to talk about the last two times they visited.


Referee Keith Kaval was caught with his pants down midway through the third when the Mudbugs scored what looked to be a goal on a delayed penalty.
Kaval had his arm raised signaling a Laredo infraction when the Mudbugs chipped in a rebound. Kaval made no signal and after doing his best impression of an iceberg and conferring with his linesmen, he called just the penalty on Steve Weidlich.
TIME: 9:21 p.m.

Blair Manning executed yet another sick pass to Scott Sheppard who put it in his “spot” -- over Grumet-Morris’ glove hand -- and the Mudbugs took their first lead of the game at 3-2.
TIME: 9:03 p.m.

The Mudbugs are 4-3-2 this season when the game is tied after two periods while the Bucks are a little better at 6-4.
This game is living up to the hype so far.
TIME: 8:50 p.m.

Scott Sheppard had a chance to give the Mudbugs a 3-2 lead late in the second period but whiffed at the tail end of his breakaway on Grumet-Morris. We're headed to the third period tied at 2. The Mudbugs will have 1:51 left on their third power play to begin the final frame.
TIME: 8:35 p.m.

Action is so fast and furious here at the CTC I'm having trouble keeping up with the blog!
TIME: 8:29 p.m.

The curtains covering the west upperdeck have been opened. Therefore, the Mudbugs will have an attendance larger than the listed capacity of 7,353.
TIME: 8:08 p.m.

The Bucks jumped to a 2-0 lead early, but a shorty by Brett Smith got the Mudbugs within a goal. Smith's goal set the franchise record for short-handed goal in a season (5). It made up for the Bucks' second goal, which Smith was caught pondering his missed shot in the Laredo zone while Brent Cullaton skated the other way and scored. Have to believe Mr. Muscutt will have a talk with No. 41 about that one.
Chris Brassard extended his point scoring streak to 11 with a beautiful assist on Smith's goal. Brassard outmuscled a Laredo player at the Bugs blueline and helped complete the ensuing 2-on-1 break.
Tell you one thing ... Laredo came to play tonight.
TIME: 7:40 p.m.

The special NASCAR jerseys are sharp, except for the fact you can’t see the numbers at all. The visiting radio broadcaster, in this case Joe Dominey, must be throwing a fit.
The red sweaters have a diagonal checkered flag and silver numbers.
You would think the company that makes the jerseys would have designs that allow those in attendance to see which player is wearing them.
TIME: 7:37 p.m.

Ken Carroll gets the start and looks to extend his winning streak to eight games tonight against Laredo. I just have this feeling that Carroll is going to be the difference tonight. He is a known as a being a big-game player and tonight's as big as it gets during this regular season.
We'll see.
TIME: 6:46 p.m.

We're one hour away from the drop of the puck here at the CenturyTel Center in what is likely the most significant, anticipated regular-season matchup of the season. The Laredo Bucks and Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs have each won nine of their last 10 games and own gigantic leads in their respective divisions. The Bucks lead the Central Hockey League's Southeast Division by 18 points while the Mudbugs pace the Northeast by 17.
Something has to give tonight.
TIME: 6:07 p.m.

VS. LAREDO (30-11-3)
7:05 p.m., CenturyTel Center, 1130 AM,
Not much needed to say here except Bossier-Shreveport vs. Laredo. That sort of speaks for itself ... Add to that the fact these are the two hottest teams in the Central Hockey League (both 9-1 in last 10 games) and it really makes this a war ... Last time the Bucks came to town the Mudbugs were trying to build some momemtum after an inconsistent first half. With the help of the 3-0 shutout of Laredo on Jan. 13, Bossier-Shreveport got momentum on its side ... Not one Mudbugs player has scored more than one point in the two games against the Bucks this season. Serge Dube is the only current Bucks player with multiple points against the Mudbugs (two goals Dec. 3). Brett Arcand-Kootenay had two assists in that game but was traded to Oklahoma City this week ... If the first two meetings (seven total goals) are an indication, tonight is going to be another defensive battle.

Season Series (Tied lead 1-1)
Date Score Site GWG
Dec. 3 Bucks 3-1 LEC Serge Dube
Jan. 13 Bugs 3-0 CTC Chad Spurr


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