Saturday, April 29, 2006

4/29 BUGS at LAREDO (GAME 2, President's Cup Finals) L, 3-1

Channel 12 made the trip to Laredo, Texas, and after reviewing their tape of the penalty in question on Chris Brassard, the Mudbugs veteran did throw an elbow to Bucks goaltender David Lemanowicz.

Referee Paul DePuydt was AT LEAST half right.

I also believe Lemanowicz caused interference with Brassard, who did make an attempt to get out of his way, but the Bucks goalie still sent Brassard to the ice.

So maybe there should have been offsetting calls, but either way, Brassard was a very undisciplined play.

Just as Brassard got to the netminder in the hopes of pouncing on a rebound, Brassard slightly extended his left elbow, which glanced off the mask of Lemanowicz.

Even if the penalty would have been a poor call -- which it wasn't -- the Mudbugs did not lose because of it. One goal will not win you a hockey game -- ask Colorado head coach Chris Stewart. For a look at Channel 12's video, watch Mike Dirmann's sportscast at 10 p.m. Sunday night.
TIME: 1:01 a.m.

The difference in this series. The Bucks' power play is on fire. The Mudbugs is putrid.
TIME: 10 p.m.

Another power play, another doughnut for the Bugs. Bossier-Shreveport has a total of five shots on six power plays tonight.
TIME: 9:42 p.m.

The Mudbugs amounted absolutely no scoring chances during their four-minute power play. The game remains tied at 1, thanks solely to Ken Carroll.
TIME: 9:36 p.m.

The Mudbugs have a chance to steal a game and momentum in the series with the final 1:58 of a double minor call to Laredo's Steve Weidlich.

Bossier-Shreveport is 0 for 4 with the man-advantage tonight. That must change.
TIME: 9:21 p.m.

Scott Muscutt will go bonkers when asked about the elbowing call on Mudbugs veteran Chris Brassard early in the second period.

Brassard was given two minutes for having his head taken off by Laredo netminder David Lemanowicz. The Bucks were awarded a 5-on-3 and scored the tying goal.
TIME: 9:01 p.m.

Yet another simultaneous hooking and diving call. Is it hooking or is it diving? If the league is trying to curb diving ... THEN CALL DIVING ONLY! I have never seen it in any game, although Duane Lewis says it's happened. How many times?

It's such an easy way out for the official. It's a joke.
TIME: 8:58 p.m.

This Laredo team is scary. The Mudbugs smothered them for the most part, but the Bucks look like they can strike at any moment. Bossier-Shreveport must continue to leave Laredo no room to work whatsoever.

Great opening period by Ken Carroll, who made a key save early and was full of confidence.
TIME: 8:18 p.m.

Now this is the President's Cup Finals.

There have been more body checks thrown in the first five minutes of Saturday's affair than the entire powder puff affair of Game 1.
TIME: 7:50 p.m.

One night after Laredo scored 49 seconds into Game 1, the Mudbugs scored 18 second into Game 2 when Blair Manning lifted a puck past David Lemanowicz from a hard angle.

This is exactly what the Mudbugs needed.
TIME: 7:44 p.m.

Apathy has apparently set in near the border. The Bucks are nowhere near a sellout for the second straight night. Tonight's crowd appears to be smaller than last night's 5,800 effort.
Not a good sign for the CHL. What if Laredo starts losing?
TIME: 7:30 p.m.

Two former Mudbugs have graced the Laredo Entertainment Center on Saturday.
TIME: 7:13 p.m.

David Lemanowicz will be between the pipes for Laredo.
TIME: 6:58 p.m.

Ken Carroll was the first Mudbug to take the ice during the pregame warmups for the first time since Feb. 24.

Carroll will carry a 12-game winning streak into tonight.
TIME: 6:57 p.m.

The reigning CHL Most Outstanding Goaltender will make his first start since Feb. 24. David Cacciola's run of 25 straight games comes to an end.

Friday, April 28, 2006

4/28 BUGS at LAREDO (GAME 1, President's Cup Finals) L, 4-2

There was no chippiness, a lack of intensity, no great drama and one hard hit. This was a very disappointing hockey game. The Mudbugs have no excuse for coming out flat.
It's one thing to get beat, but they usually go out with a fight, a whitewash, a little smack talk ... something.
Laredo didn't bring a physcial game by any stretch of the imagination.
Overall, just a really disappointing effort for Bossier-Shreveport, and in reality, any fan who watched this boring affair.
Saturday becomes crucial for the Mudbugs, who can leave South Texas with a great feeling if they win. Tonight will be completely forgotten in that case.
I'm giving a call to Ken Carroll.
Let me say this first, David Cacciola was not the reason the Mudbugs lost. But if Carroll doesn't play Saturday, he will never get in this series. It could give the Mudbugs' the extra early jump which will be greatly needed.
TIME: 1:56 a.m.


Bossier-Shreveport has appeared to stymie the Bucks' offense, but the lead remains 4-2 for Laredo.
TIME: 10:01 p.m.

Laredo leads 4-2 and if the Bucks can make it a three-goal lead, I would be shocked if Ken Carroll doesn't see action.
If indeed he's 100 percent, he needs some game action before starting any game in this series.
And this is no knock against David Cacciola, he's been phenominal, but you have to try to make the best of a bad situation.
TIME: 9:07 p.m.

Jeff Bes scored his third goal of the game midway throught the second.
TIME: 9:02 p.m.

Ken Carroll, on the bench for the 25th straight time Friday, helped the officials tape up a loose piece of padding next to the bench.
TIME: 8:57 p.m.

After a rare mistake by Laredo goaltender Dov Grumet-Morris, Shane Palahicky poked a puck into the net and the Mudbugs are back within one.
TIME: 8:43 p.m.

Jeff Bes is one of the most dangerous players in the league and he's had plenty of room to work this evening. He scores with roughly 20 seconds remaining in the first period and the Bucks regained the momentum and a two-goal lead heading into the intermission.
The Mudbugs will begin the second period with nearly two minutes remaining on their fourth power play chance.
TIME: 8:19 p.m.

Mudbugs defenseman Jason Basile scored on a slap shot on a power play to give the Mudbugs their first goal of the Finals.
TIME: 8:07 p.m.

The Mudbugs have found their legs a bit and the all-out Laredo attack has been quieted for now. Still, it's 2-0 Bucks.
TIME: 7:59 p.m.

The Mudbugs have no shots on goal despite two full power-play opportunities. Laredo has five shots and two goals.
TIME: 7:53 p.m.

It appears the Bucks fans have a new tradition of throwing deer corn on the ice following a Bucks goal.
TIME: 7:49 p.m.

Laredo, despite a poor showing by the crowd here in Game 1, are dominating the early moments. Would be beneficial for Bossier-Shreveport to get a goal in this period to have something positive to take into the rest of the game.
TIME: 7:48 p.m.

Nick Warriner used a no-look backhand to roof one past David Cacciola just 49 seconds into Game 1. Laredo leads 1-0.
Jeff Bes completed a perfect power-play rush 16 seconds into the Bucks' first chance. It's 2-0 quickly.
The Mudbugs scored first in four of the five games against Colorado in the Northern Conference Finals.
TIME: 7:43 p.m.

No shocker here, but it's a battle of rookies between the pipes.
TIME: 7:09 p.m.

Rufus Lopez, red beret and all, has just graced the press box with his presence. The Bugs fans have yet to get in line for the autographs.
TIME: 6:57 p.m.

The 2006 President's Cup Finals have arrived and the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs and Laredo Bucks are set to do battle at the Laredo Entertainment Center.
TIME: 6:56 p.m.

Monday, April 24, 2006

4/24 BUGS vs. COLORADO (GAME 5 -- A fan's perspective)

Down to the last minute and a half...
Time: 9:25

Okay... for the last few minutes I'm going to just type as things happen...

Colorado takes out their goalie to put another person on the ice

Everyone is scrambling for the puck... It's getting pretty violent down there!

2 seconds left...


Nothing left for Colorado to do but pack their bags and go home!!

Good one, Cash
Time: 9:08

There's been some really great saves from Cacciola tonight, including one just moments ago where the puck actually bounced up into the air a couple of feet in front of him that he effortlessly caught. Man's got some sick skills.

Colorado Goal
Time: 9:04

Scored by Parillo with assists from Harisburg and Cook 7:45 into the 3rd. Mudbugs' defense is going good tonight, so it may be pretty hard for Colorado to score again.

Time: 9:03

4,926. Less than the last game!! Where is everyone?? Come on people!! These are the best games of the season!! Let's get the attendance up!!

A little birdy just told me that...
Time: 8:46

There are two Laredo Bucks in attendance tonight. How interesting...

Time: 8:25

The 2nd period hasn't really been a very eventful period. We scored, but that's about it.

Loving the Signs
Time: 8:25

A couple of fans from section 115 brought some great signs tonight... One said Clear, next said The, last said Zone. Lucky for them, that great guy who runs the soundbooth played the song that coordinates with that phrase, giving them the perfect opportunity to show them off. How neat is that?

2 - 0
Time: 8:09

Bugs score 8:07 into the 2nd. Sheppard scored the goal with some help from Smith and Lightbody.

Time: 7:14

Powerplay goal scored 5:54 into the first by Dale Lupul after a nice pass from Scott Sheppard. Blair Manning also gets credited an assist on that one.

2nd Powerplay
Time: 7:12

The Bugs are entering their second powerplay opportunity just 5 minutes into the game.

Look who it is!
Time: 6:55

I'm sure practically everyone in the arena tonight is thinking the same thing... Of all the games in all of the playoffs, how did Steve Cruickshank end up being the Referee at this one? What were the odds of that one? This is going to be an interesting game...

I've never been good at introductions...

I've been told that I must introduce myself tonight on the blog... I'd prefer to remain anonymous, but its not my call. So, here we go: Hi! My name is Amy Stockton. I have been a Bugs fan since their inaugural season. I was lucky enough to meet Roy Lang and I somehow convinced him to let me write these things. Well, enough about me, let's get to the game...

Saturday, April 22, 2006



Ryan Tobler just made it 2-1 out of the blue. The Mudbugs have been in control, but one good chance infront of goal and he took it.

This could set up a dramatic finish after the Bugs had been in control of the game all night long.

Will they go into defensive mode, or try to catch the Eagles out and go for a third goal?


Colorado has yet to seriously threaten in this third period. It's still 2-0 Bugs and even on a crucial powerplay failed to apply any serious pressure. Cacciola is on 25 saves for the night and isn't giving anything up tonight.

This is a professional performance from the Mudbugs. They came out with a game plan, put it into effect, and haven't slacked off for one second. They've kept the heat on all night and have not let Colorado dictate any of the play.

If anything, it's the Mudbugs that will add to their tally. Manitowich just missed a glorious chance to put the game beyond any doubt.


We're a couple minutes into the third period. It's pretty much more of the same so far. The Bugs are certainly not settling for a 2-0 win. They want more and have come out just as hard as Colorado, if not more so.


The Mudbugs lead 2-0 after the first period. Colorado is clearly rattled and will I'm sure be coming out hard in the third period trying to turn this thing around. Colaiacova is giving up rebounds off just about every shot the Bugs fire on him. Cacciola is standing firm.

Bad news for the Eagles....they're 0-7 in the postseason when trailing after two periods.


Talk about piling on the pressure. The Bugs kept the puck in the Colorado zone by chasing the puck into the corners, keeping the pressure on the Eagles defense, and low and behold come out with a second goal. Chris Brassard takes a feed from Ryan Manitowich behind the net and launches it for a two goal lead! Manitowich is having a stormer. A goal and a helper.


7 minutes left in the second period and the Bugs still hold a 1-0 lead. David Cacciola is earning his pay check once again. He just made an outstanding save from Garrett Larson and has 15 saves on the game so far.

The Mudbugs are doing an awesome job of keeping the pressure on the Eagles goal, chasing the puck into the corners and giving the Eagles defense a hard time.


Ryan Manitowich has given the Mudbugs the lead. The Mudbugs had a good spell of continued pressure, never giving up the chase in the Colorado zone, and finally a rebound off Chad Spurr's shot spilled out to Manitowich in the slot and he drilled the puck high into the top left corner.

1-0 Bugs!! . . . That should blow this game out the water. It's been tight so far....that should change now. The Eagles now this is a must-win game.


We're scoreless through the end of the first period. Not too many clear cut chances . It's tight. It's a little edgy. And it probably won't take much for this game to explode. Shots on goal are 10-7 in favor of the Mudbugs, but really neither team deserves to lead after the first 20 minutes.


Midway through the first period and it's the Mudbugs that have had the best chances so far to take the lead. An early powerplay led to a handful of good chances. David Cacciola, making his 23rd consecutive start, has only had one real save to make so far.

It's starting to get a little physical though, so this thing could heat up fast.


Tonight is going to go a long way to deciding this series. The Bugs crashed the party in Colorado and stole home ice advantage back. They won convincingly in game 3. A win tonight would put them 3-1 up with another home game on Monday to come. The Eagles win tonight and home ice advantage goes back to Colorado and the Bugs will have to win on the road one more time.

Looks like a big crowd tonight. Great atmosphere. Let's hope it's a great game too.

Friday, April 21, 2006

4/21 BUGS VS COLORADO - A Fan's Perspective

1:58 to go...
Time: 9:31

Pressure is mounting... The Eagles just got off a time out. Let's see if it was worth it...

Colorado is without goalie, yet the puck is staying down by Cash...

All 5 Bugs are surrounding Cash...

Cash makes a great save...

PALAHICKY GETS A BREAKAWAY AND SCORES!! 26.2 seconds left... I think we all know who won this one!!


Whoa... Still 18.83 seconds left... what else could possibly happen??

Cook and Shaw are out with game misconducts... another Eagle sits in the box...

and there's the buzzer!!! THE BUGS WIN GAME 3!!

And yes, I'm going to say it again, regardless of what some people from other blogs may think, let's hope the Bugs can keep this up in the next two games. GO MUDBUGS!!!

Getting pretty scary...
Time: 9:25

The teams are getting pretty aggressive out there... The suspense is building... The plays are becoming more intense, the players are becoming a little antzy... What a great game to be at!

Time: 9:15

5,008. 5,008. Colorado has had 109 sellouts in a row, and the Bugs barely break 5,000. Where are all the fans? Where'd they go? I thought that since this was a playoff game the attendance would be at least 5,500. This crowd has been pretty lively tonight, and that somewhat makes up for the lack of peole filling the stands.

The Good Brian
Time: 8:56

Did you know: Times' writed Brian McCallum has attended 4 Mudbugs playoff games (not including this one) and each time, the Bugs have won. So, if the Bugs win tonight while Brian is in attendance, we'll all know why -- Because of Brian!!

Tid bit from the 2nd Intermission
Time: 8:46

Three kids are running in the penguin races. Two older ones and one little one. Clawed, being the big kid he is, decided to help the little one out, and held the two older kids back. The little kid won, mostly thanks to Clawed. How sweet!

Bugs score again
Time: 8:36

Manning gives the Bugs a 2-goal lead with a goal 17:27 into the 2nd. Assists go to Lupul and Minard.

Can't say that one doesn't count!
Time: 8:27

Guess the Bugs won't let that non-goal goal get them down... Manitowich scores at 13:44 into the 2nd with help from Brassard & Basile. The Bugs are now leading, 2 - 1.

No goal?? Are you kidding me?
Time: 8:20

The Bugs should have scored. But, the ref says Fonger touched Colaiacovo so the goal doesn't count. Called it incidental contact, and ruled it no goal. At least the fans got to have fun yelling "Ref you suck" again. That chant never gets old.

Bugs tie it up
Time: 8:02

Jason Campbell put the Bugs back in the game after a nice wrister from Chris Brassard 1:58 into the 2nd.

End of the First
Time: 7:39

It's a few minutes into the first intermisson. Rob Walker just gave away $200 to a guy who shot a goal from the middle line. Maybe we could use that guy on the team tonight... Out of 19 shots on goal, Colaiacovo only had to actually try to block a couple of good shots.

Colorado Goal
Time 7:26

Yeah, they scored. Well, honestly, it wasn't so much them that scored, but that doesn't matter.

So, with 8:05 left in the first, the Eagles hold the lead at 1 -0.

Not quite a fight
Time: 7:22

Chris Shaw and Sean Robertson kind of went at each other... Nothing too impressive, but if they are getting this rough this early, who knows what'll happen next.

Let's go...
Time: 7:05

Cacciola's in goal tonight... Maybe one day we'll get to see Carroll start again. Barely 4 minutes into the game and already it looks as though this is going to be a violent game.

The fans have already started the "Ref You Suck" chants... This is going to be fun.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

4/19 BUGS at COLORADO (GAME 2, W 3-2)

The Mudbugs should have won Game 1, the Eagles Game 2.
Either way, this series is tied as it shifts to the CenturyTel Center in Bossier City for Friday's Game 3.
The Mudbugs were forced to kill two Colorado power plays in the final four minutes. While Scott Muscutt did not have a view of the penalty to Shane Palahicky, he was adamant about saying Chris Brassard deserved his high sticking infraction with just more than 1 minute remaining.
An incredible series so far. Expect more of the same in Bossier City.
TIME: 11:39 p.m.

The Mudbugs have a power play to begin the final 20 minutes -- of regulation anyhow.
TIME: 8:56 p.m.

Brad Williamson tied the game at 2, but Mudbugs captain Dan Wildfong silenced the BEC crowd with his first goal of this postseason. The Mudbugs were outshot 22-8 in the period, but managed to score two goals to Colorado's one.
TIME: 8:37 p.m.

After watching Colorado toy with the puck in their zone for most of the second period, the Mudbugs took advantage of their third power play.
With Les Borsheim off for hooking Dan Wildfong, it took just 16 seconds to score. Scott Sheppard sent a bullet pass to Blair Manning at the goal line. The veteran took control and patiently waited for an opening. Finally, he spotted Brett Smith in the right circle and sent a pass his way. Smith one-timed a puck into the top of Colorado’s net.
TIME: 8:18 p.m.

Bossier-Shreveport seems to have fallen back into the first-period mode. Colorado is enjoying long stretches in the Mudbugs' zone. Nevertheless, the game is still tied at 1.
TIME: 8:14 p.m.

Colorado missed the net to cap a 3-on-1 break midway through the period after Mudbugs defenseman Chris Shaw was caught pinching in the Eagles’ zone. With David Cacciloa sprawled out, Chris Hartsburg sent the puck flying over the net from the slot and into the back glass.
TIME: 8:10 p.m.

The Mudbugs defense has clamped down a bit in this period and Colorado hasn't seen as many point-blank opportunities this time around -- although the period is just 6 minutes old.
TIME: 8:07 p.m.

Colorado dominated the first period but only managed a 1-1 tie. Could this be some reverse Karma for the Eagles after the Mudbugs carried play Tuesday and didn't get a victory? The next 40 minutes will tell.
However, it's hard for me to believe the Eagles will not capitilize on these chances if they continue.
TIME: 7:52 p.m.

NOTE TO BUGS: Don't give Colorado power-play chances
Colorado is all over the Mudbugs late in the first period. The Eagles have tied the game with one power-play goal and have several golden opportunities to take the lead on a second man-advantage.
Colorado is outshooting the Mudbugs 13-6 with 2:51 remaining in the opening frame. This must change if the Bugs hope to garner a split.
TIME: 7:30 p.m.

With Steve Mears as my witness, I said Scott Sheppard would be a standout tonight. Well, he scored just 5:30 into the contest on the power play and Bossier-Shreveport takes an early 1-0 lead.
TIME: 7:14 p.m.

Colorado didn't wait to begin Game 2 tonight, but the Mudbugs are the first to score.
TIME: 7:13 p.m.

But he will not start tonight's contest. Mudbugs rookie David Cacciola gets his 21st straight start tonight against the Eagles.
TIME: 6:42 p.m.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

4/18 BUGS at COLORADO (GAME 1, L 3-2 in double overtime)

The Colorado Eagles scored three unanswered goals to capture Game 1 of the Northern Conference Finals. The game went into double overtime and was a classic.
The bad news is the Mudbugs controlled play for most of the evening and still didn't win. Whether it was a bad bounce, a post or a spectacular save by Paulo Colaiacovo, Bossier-Shreveport couldn't score after the first period.
It certainly wasn't from a lack of opportunities though.
Game 2 will obviously tell us a lot about this series. It's a near must-win for the Mudbugs -- especially after doing everything but win Tuesday.
TIME: 12:29 a.m.

What a second period between the Mudbugs and Eagles. Colorado scored the lone goals, but the final 5 minutes of the frame was exciting playoff action.
TIME: 9:00 p.m.

The Colorado Eagles must have received a good tongue lashing during the first intermission and whatever head coach Chris Stewart said worked. The Eagles look like a different squad and the game is tied at 2.
TIME: 8:18 p.m.

Stunned. That's all I can say. The Colorado Eagles are the team with a terrible start tonight. I know the Eagles will play better, but right now they are terrible.
Chad Spurr (power play) and Dale Lupul have helped Bossier-Shreveport take an early two-goal lead.
Colaiacovo has no viable backup so the Mudbugs need to pour it on.
TIME: 7:36 p.m.

I made it and the game's about to start. Paulo Colaiacovo vs. David Cacciola tonight. Neither Ken Carroll or Jeff Blair is dressed.
TIME: 6:54 (Mountain).

Sunday, April 09, 2006

4/9 Bugs vs Wichita

The only thing left for Wichita...
Time: 8:05 P.M. a long bus ride home!! The Bugs win the game 7-4. It was a good game. The last song played tonight was a great song for the moment... U2's "Beautiful Day". I guess the guy running the music really does know what he's doing, eh Flamer? ;)

The attendance could have been better... it was only 4,045 - 40 less than Thursday's attendance of 4,085. Where is everyone at? I figured we'd have a large crowd tonight considering what was on the line tonight.

The boys played hard tonight. Let's hope they continue to play this hard in the next series.

Open Net!
Time: 7:44 P.M.

Wichita should have just left the net open all night. Maybe with a 6th person on the ice they would have done better than they did. But, since they left their net unattended, Manning made a beautiful open-net goal with only 8.42 seconds left in the game. Manning rocks.

Another Goal
Time: 7:30 P.M.

Wichita scored again. Ken Wiebe gets the credit for it and Scott Rozendal gets the assist. Let's hope the Bugs step up and keep the Thunder from catching up.

Thunder Goal
Time: 7:24 P.M.

Lizotte, with some help from Duda and Clayton, just brought their score to 3. The score now stands 5-3 in favor of the Bugs.

Tyler Liebel of the Thunder is injured. He is in a ball on the ice. He was helped off the ice and looks to be okay.

Someone has an attitude problem...
Time: 7:22 P.M.

Ryan McLean just got a penalty for slashing. The linesman escorting him into the box had to push him into the penalty box. McLean chirped at the Ref, getting himself a misconduct penalty. It wasn't a game misconduct, but there is only 9:57 left in the period so he's out the rest of the game. Before he left the box to head to the locker room, the video of him on the screen showed him with Mickey Mouse ears. Too funny!!

Time: 7:21 P.M.

Wooooo-hoooo! The Bugs score their 6th goal of the night! Scott Sheppard scored with an assist from Chris Shaw! Good goal, good goal.

You know, until close to the end of the regular season, many people didn't believe that Shaw would score a point. I knew he couldand that he would all along! I'm glad he's getting into a groove and getting more game time. I look to see great things from him in the games to come. Congrats Shaw! Keep up the good work & continue beating the snot out of people! A game just isn't a game unless you kick someone's booty.

Wichita is switching goalies. Like that's really going to help. The Bugs are on fire tonight. Nothing can stop them now.

Time: 7:09 P.M.

Wildfong just beat the crud out of Wichita's David Tetrault! Likely one of the best fights in this series. Wildfong had Tetrault on the ground in no time. Tetrault slapped the glass in the box. Someone needs an attitude adjustment!

The video guys just played the clip from The Waterboy about the can of whoop you-know-what. They couldn't have picked a better time for that clip!

Time: 7:04 P.M.

Woo hooo! Beautiful power-play goal from Spurr 1:22 into the 3rd! Assists from Brassard and Basile.

The bell has rung again...
Time: 6:41 P.M

I've got to hand it to them, Wichita will stop at nothing to win tonight. Immediately after the buzzer to end the 2nd went off, the Thunder and the Bugs went at it. Nearly all 8 players on the ice went at it. Lightbody jumped from the bench to get in it, resulting in a game misconduct for leaving the bench during an altercation. Wichita's Matt Coughlin did the same, and he was ejected also. There were some other minor penalties, but those were the two best.

Recap of the 2nd...
Time: 6:35 P.M.

I'm kinda behind tonight aren't I?

About 6 minutes after the Thunder scored, Brett Smith scored with some assistance from Sheppard and Manning. 5 minutes later the Bugs gained another goal from Sheppard with assists from Manning and Lupul.

I promise this blog WILL get better... I hope.

Uh Oh...

Wichita goal from Joe Blaznek at 3:41 into the second to tie it up. Assists from Tetrault and Liebal. Starting to get kinda antzy...

A Very Eventful First...
Time: 6:05 P.M

2 goals for the Bugs, 1 for Wichita, and a whole lot of penalties. First goal for the Bugs scored by Brett Smith on a 2 man advantage power play with assists from Scott Sheppard and Craig Minard at 7:25 into it. Wichita's Kris Wiebe tied it up roughly 2 minutes later with assists from Jason Duda and Daniel Tetrault. Then the Bugs got one ahead with a goal from Chad Spurr. Chris Brassard and Dale Lupul assisted.

The first also brought a few penalties for Wichita... Here's one of the worst: While already one man down, Joe Blaznek slashes Sheppard right across the back. It was a nasty shot... Shep fell to his knees but got right back up. It takes a lot to keep that guy down.

Fight at the end... The buzzer sounding the end of the period was apparently like a bell in boxing match for both teams... the players on the ice started to have at it over by the Thunder's bench. It didnt go very far, but it made it obvious to everyone around that both teams are in it all the way tonight.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Game 3 - A Fan's Perspective

A Beautiful Game
Time: 9:45 P.M.

Well, the Bugs win it 4-0. Congrats to Cacciola on his 3rd professional shut-out. Man's got some sick skills.

Wichita just wasn't into it tonight. There was no spark in them.

Stars of the night: 1. David Cacciola, 2. Chris Brassard, & 3. Quade Lightbody. David truly deserved to be #1 tonight. He poured everything he had into it. Congrats again dude on the shut-out.

Go Bugs... keep playing like tonight and we can say hello to the President's Cup!

No goalie = Easy goal
Time: 9:39 P.M.

19:17 into the 3rd, Manning scores a short-handed empty net goal.

Time: 9:28 P.M.

Bugs shot... it should have been a goal. Silly L'Ecuyer. Let the booing begin...

There's nothing like listening to a crowd of over 4,000 chant, "Ref you suck!" at the top of their lungs.

Drop the gloves...
Time: 9:25 P.M.

Chad Spurr and Ben Murphy go at it towards the center of the ice at 11:30 into the 3rd. Pretty good fight. Both end up in the box with 5 minute majors for fighting. Ryan Coghlan also ended up in the Thunder's box with a 2 minute minor for roughing.

Shoved against the glass
Time: 8:45 P.M.

Campbell just cross-checked Scott Rozendal. Hit Rozendal so hard his helmet came off. Go Soupy!

Cutting it close there, Cash
Time: 8:42 P.M.

Cacciola is a great goalie. That's obvious. But tonight he has more than just skill on his side, he has luck there, too... he managed to block a shot that he likely would have missed if he had been thinking about it. The shot was not planned, so he didn't have much time to think about it. Seconds later, luck strikes again when a blocked shot reflects backwards towards the end of the goal that he's not blocking. If a Wichita player had been on that side of the net, Cacciola likely wouldn't have had enough reaction time to block it. Luck is on his side tonight, and that's a very good thing for both him and the Bugs.

Literally seconds later, players from both teams basically dog-pile onto Cacciola trying to get the puck. L'Ecuyer (the ref) just stood there and watched for about 10 seconds, probably trying to decide whether or not he should blow his whistle. He did. FINALLY. It's times like this one that really makes me wonder what goes through the minds of referees...

Thunder needs to step up
Time: 8:40 P.M.

Either Cacciola is having a really good night, or the Thunder's hearts aren't into this game. At the end of the second they have one more shot on goal than the Bugs, but no goals. I can't decide if its from all of the broken sticks they've suffered through tonight, or if its because they are playing more for the penalties than the goals. If the series continues this way (keep your fingers crossed), we can wave bye-bye to Wichita this Sunday!

Just for Blank... I was told to mention that the hot tub crowd at the top of 114 is very wild tonight. I'll admit, they are probably the most spirited bunch I've ever seen in the hot tub at a game.

Time: 8:33

Ryan Manitowich scores 15:20 into the second making the score now 3-0. Brassard and Spurr got the assists for that one, putting them close to the top of my "Players that are on the Ball" List. Brassard has already scored once this game, and this marks Spurr's second assist of the game. Let's hope they can keep it up for the 3rd.

Right there!
Time: 8:25-ish (I say -ish because the blog site went down for a while and I am having to estimate the time)

The Bugs must have heard me. At least Scott Sheppard did. 9:21 into the second, Shep decides to be there. After a great pass from Minard to Smith, Sheppard got in postion near the goal for Smith to send him a beautiful slow pass that Shep not only caught, he slapped it into the goal. Poor Laplante didn't even see it coming. He was manning the other side of the net. Thanks to Shep for being there for this one... I knew someone could do it.

Where were you on that one?
Time: 8:20 P.M.

Watching the Bugs play tonight makes me wonder... where are they? One player gets a break-a-way and hauls up the ice to the goal... he sees the other team closing in on him, and hangs back for a sec to try to pass the puck to someone else. But, no one's ever there. Just makes me wonder how many goals the Bugs would already have tonight if someone had been.

End of the first...
Time: 7:50 P.M.

So its the end of the first. If you aren't here, you aren't missing much yet. Shots on goal this period: Bugs 15, Thunder 14. The Bugs have done well with keeping the puck where they want it until someone goes to the box. The Thunder hasn't scored on any of their power plays, but I wouldn't breathe a sigh of relief just yet. The way they look tonight, anything could happen. Both teams look like they know what's on the line, and nothing is getting in their way.

Tids & Bits from intermission -
- Different music! Its great to have a change in the music. I know that I was starting to know the exact times that songs were played since the same songs were played at the same time every night. The song being played right now is a nice dance song with a salsa kind of twist to it. Very different from the songs they were playing at the games before.
- Penguin Racing. This should really be a sport. Okay, maybe not really, but you have to admit it is pretty funny to watch people dress up in giant penguin suits and run around the ice. Tons of fun.

Spoke Too Soon
Time: 7:35

I guess I spoke a little soon... its starting to look like the ref's going to call everything. In less than a minute, he's put 2 Bugs in the box. Sheppard and Wildfong are now both waiting patiently (as patiently as can be expected, I suppose) for their minor penalties to expire. Let's hope the team can hold it together and not spend the entire night in the box!

Time: 7:15 P.M.

I'm sure that by the title of this blog it's obvious that this isn't Roy Lang. I am a fan who was lucky enough to get the opportunity to write the blog. I was supposed to be writing the real blog, but due to some confusion (Thanks Roy!) someone else is. So, I am writing this one. It may not be as professional, and it may not be as in-depth, but this is from the perspective of a true fan.

Catching Up:

Okay - 3:51 into the first period Brassard scores with some help from Spurr. Great shot, too.
- Couple good saves from Cacciola, nothing too spectacular though yet. I'm sure we'll see
some great saves by him though before the end of the night.
- It's only 10:15 into the first and there has already been a slew of penalaties called. So far
the officiating has been pretty even. No one can say the refs are leaning more towards
one team... yet.

4/6 Wichita vs. Mudbugs, Game 3

Mudbugs coasting to win
With less than four minutes left, the Mudbugs maintain their 3-0 lead over Wichita.
Time: 9:32 p.m.

Low showing
An announced crowd of 4,085 showed up for Game 3. Is it me or is that a little low for the first home playoff game of the season? Especially since it's spring break and kids are home from school. Just a thought.
Time: 9:20 p.m.

Two down, one to go
The Mudbugs continue to outwork Wichita which has looked lost in its defensive zone surrending the two goals to Sheppard and Manitowich. The Mudbugs need to stay out of the penalty box to even give Wichita an opportunity like that, even though the Thunder are 0-for-9 on the power play.
Time: 8:59 p.m.

Second period underway
Laplante just made a great save in the early stages of the second, robbing Dan Wildfong. Laplante flashed his glove hand up to stop Wildfong's shot which was heading for the top corner.
And Cacciola answers with a great save of his own, doing the splits and stabbing his left leg out to stop a Wichita player streaking toward the net.
Time: 8:11 p.m.

One is done
The Mudbugs won the first period and not just because of Brassard's goal. The Thunder need to find some life to their game and stop committing stupid penalties. The Mudbugs have outworked the Thunder and done a marvelous job on the penalty kill. Wichita had five power plays in the period, and you'd think they could cash at least one in. Guess not.
Time: 7:51 p.m.

Key point here
The Mudbugs are down 4-on-3 after penalties to Scott Sheppard and Dan Wildfong. Let's see if the Thunder can take advantage...Nope. Excellent job by the Mudbugs penalty killers. The Thunder had one legit shot and couldn't convert. The Mudbugs kept the Thunder out on the perimeter out of harm's way.
Time: 7:41 p.m.

Wichita looking slow
The Mudbugs are all over Wichita on their latest power play. The Thunder have eight shots on goal and that's surprising. They have no offense in the early going and look very out of sync.
Laplante is getting a workload.
And now, Wichita is going off with another penalty...
Time: 7:36 p.m.

Mudbugs strike quick
Chris Brassard fires a laser from the right circle beating Wichita netminder Sebastien Laplante early in the game and the Mudbugs are up 1-0.
This game is getting chippy as Blair Manning just drew a major penalty for boarding, driving a Wichita player into the boards from behind on a dangerous looking play.
The Thunder aren't taking advantage of the situation though and the Mudbugs are adding to their problems.
There goes Brent Smith for two minutes for elbowing...
Time: 7:23 p.m.

Bringing the heat
The Mudbugs are putting early pressure on the Thunder, which is having a tough time clearing their own zone. You'd think the early pressure would pay off big with a goal or two early, but this is the playoffs and stranger things have happened.
Time: 7:06 p.m.

Keys to the game
We're minutes away from faceoff and so far it's a sparse crowd at the CenturyTel Center. Unless the fans are waiting out in the parking lot to make a mad dash for the doors, this crowd could be around 3,000, which is stunning for the faithful Mudbugs fans.

Anyway, the biggest key for tonight's game will be if the team's top lines can finally crack through and put some points on the board. Neither team's top line has produced much through the first two games.

Wichita's Travis Clayton, Joe Blaznek and Jason Duda have three points between them. The Mudbugs top line of Blair Manning, Scott Sheppard and Brett Smith have a goal back in Game 1 - thanks to Smith.

Also, look for this to be another goaltender battle. Defenses usually step it up in the postseason and that's been the case between the teams.
Time: 6:40 p.m.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


Not often you see so many power plays in overtime, but Saturday's first was full of them. Wichita had parts of three power plays, but didn’t convert. Bossier-Shreveport failed to score on its only chance. The goaltenders continued to put on a clinic. David Cacciola’s only mistake was clearing the puck over the glass and collecting the ensuing two-minute minor that carried over to overtime No. 2.
The Mudbugs have 1:03 to kill to begin the second overtime.
The last time these teams went to double overtime (Game 5 last season) Shane Palahicky scored the game-winner.
TIME: 10:50 p.m.

For the fourth time in five playoff games, the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs and Wichita Thunder head to overtime.
TIME: 9:52 p.m.

Wichita has one of the most potent power-play units in the league. The Thunder are on its seventh chance of the night.
TIME: 9:28 p.m.

The Mudbugs failed to score during their five-minute power play and Wichita escapes with the game still tied at 1.
Bossier-Shreveport recorded 5 shots during the 5-on-3 time and 1 during 5-on-4.
If the Thunder grab this game, this will certainly be a key stretch.
TIME: 8:44 p.m.

The Mudbugs will have a two-minute 5-on-3 plus a three-minute one-man advantage after Travis Clayton was called for an elbowing major with 7:48 to go in the second period.
If the Thunder survive this disadvantage, you would have to think it would have some serious momentum.
TIME: 8:35 p.m.

The Mudbugs own a 7-1 second-period shot advantage with 8:42 remaining.
TIME: 8:34 p.m.

Mudbugs defenseman Craig Minard prevented a sure goal with a sliding stop in front of goaltender David Cacciola. With a Thunder attacker open to Cacciola's left, Minard slid on his back and with a full extention stopped a cross-ice pass with his stick.
Wichita maintains a 1-0 lead.
TIME: 8:12 p.m.

Kris Wiebe scored his second goal of the series late in the first period to give the Thunder a 1-0 lead. This game has all the indications it could get ugly. Not a whistle goes by without some dirty stuff.
TIME: 7:47 p.m.

These teams' hate for each other has blossomed early in Saturday's first period. There have already been several scrums, including a fight between Chris Shaw and Ryan McLean.
Still scoreless 10 minutes in.
TIME: 7:24 p.m.

Dan Wildfong was unable to convert on a short-handed break in the first period. Wildfong took possession at Wichita's blue line and skated in on goaltender Sebastien Laplante. The puck appeared unrulely and was on edge the entire time. Wildfong's last-second backhander went high above the goal and into the netting above the glass.
TIME: 7:16 p.m.

Tyler Liebel missed a back hander at the end of a 2-on-none in the opening moments Saturday and the Mudbugs have already avoided disaster twice. Wichita hit a cross bar just seconds into the game.
TIME: 7:09 p.m.

Well last night was a mess. At least the Mudbugs only struggled for 10 minutes to start the game. I wasn't so lucky. But I'm near 100 percent and ready to blog for Game 2.
A victory tonight would really give the Mudbugs the upper hand in this series. A loss and things are a lot closer to even.