Knights, Mudbugs moving on to Division Finals
April 23, 2018
The Shreveport Mudbugs and Corpus Christi IceRays shake hands after an epic five-game series in front of a crowd of over 2,100 fans in Shreveport on Sunday.
South Division Semi-Finals, Game 5: Corpus Christi 1 @ Shreveport 2 (Shreveport wins series, 3-2)
– The game started out as Games 3 and 4 had gone, with the IceRays seizing the momentum. Thanks to some big saves from goaltender Chad Veltri and a 1st period goal from Larry Jungwirth, Corpus Christi lead 1-0 after one period of play. Shreveport then rallied from a 1-0 deficit with goals from Cameron Cook and Ryan Burnett to take a 2-1 lead. The game was tied at 1-1 entering the third period thanks to a 2nd period goal from Cook, who was the beneficiary of some hard forechecking and a couple of chances at a rebound after Veltri had made some initial saves. Things appeared challenging as the Mudbugs were short-handed for the first 70 seconds of the final period. Shreveport’s penalty-kill unit came up big before an opportunity on the power play. Although the Mudbugs didn’t score during the power play, 2 seconds after it expired Burnett found the puck at his skates in the slot. He quickly spun around and buried a rocket with 14:28 left in regulation. Mudbugs goalie Jaxon Castor, who was getting his first start since Game 3, made 17 saves in the win. Veltri made 46 saves in the loss and stopped 187 of 199 shots in the series. Shreveport rid itself of the IceRays, the team that swept the Mudbugs out of the first round to cap last year's NAHL debut, but will now face former Mudbugs legend Dan Wildfong, and his Lone Star Brahmas, the defending league champions. Game 1 of the South Division Final will take place Friday (7:11 p.m.) in Shreveport. Boxscore
East Division Semi-Finals, Game 5: Wilkes-Barre Scranton 5 @ New Jersey 2 (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton wins series, 3-2)
– The Knights rode another hot goaltending performance from Christian Stoever, who made 49 saves, to defeat the New Jersey Titans 5-2 in Game 5 of the East Division Semi-Finals on Sunday. With the win, the Knights now move onto the East Division Finals, where they will take on the two-time defending Champion Philadelphia Rebels. The Knights got off to a fast start, jumping out to a 3-0 lead. Reed Robinson got the scoring started early in the 1st period, as he pounced on a Titans turnover behind the net. Matt Kidney then scored late in the period to make it 2-0 as he was the recipient of a nice 2 on 1 pass from Michael Morrissey. Blake Kryska then made it 3-0 early in the 2nd period with his first goal of the playoffs and the Knights led 3-0. The Titans tried to mount a comeback as Ryan Naumovski got the home side on the board midway though the 2nd period on a nice shot as he was streaking down the wing. Early in the 3rd period, the Titans made it a one-goal game as a shot from Ryan Wheeler on a 2 on 2 went wide, but Wade Novak swooped in to pick up the puck off the end boards past a surprised Stoever. However, any thoughts of a comeback were squashed thanks to a breakaway goal from Adrian Danchenko less than two minutes later and then a late goal from Lincoln Hatten. New Jersey goal Matt Ladd made 36 saves in the loss, while Stoever stole the show for the Knights, making 100 saves on 102 shots in Games 4 and 5. Boxscore