For the first time since joining the NAHL, the Shreveport Mudbugs won a playoff series in less than five games, only needing four to eliminate Amarillo.
With two of those four games going to overtime, head coach Jason Campbell believes his team is better prepared for round two, "We were battle tested. We gained some great playoff experience. We've got some good hockey players on our team, but not a whole lot of playoff experience when you look at it. For us to get that playoff experience and be able to handle those situations. Scoring with the extra attacker, being scored on, and then to be able to finish teams in overtime, that's big time playoff experience."
After a surprising sweep of Lone Star in round one, Wichita Falls stands in Shreveport's path to the Robertson Cup. The Bugs won 7 of their 10 regular season matchups and are bracing for the Warriors physical style of play in the postseason, "In the playoffs you have to take crap. You have to take a stick to the face, you have to take a slash to the back of the legs. What is that going to do, make me a little uglier? So what? The goal is to win a championship. If I have to get uglier to do it or they have to get uglier to do it, that's what we're going to do."
Coach Soupy knows a thing or two about rough play during his days on the ice and it's so surprise he's passed that mentality on to players like defenseman Davis Goukler, "It's hockey, it's physical, so you have to be prepared for anything. You have to be prepared to take a hit from behind, a stick to the face, it doesn't matter. It's a physical team, we can be a physical team as well. We have to be prepared to take it and give it."
Regardless of what happens Friday and Saturday, this weekend may be the last chance many of these Mudbugs have to play a game on George's Pond in front of a city that's embraced guys like Goukler from day one, "There isn't anywhere else I'd rather be. This has become my home the past three years. When I go home, it doesn't feel like home. I love it here and I want to win."
Games one and two between Shreveport and Wichita Falls are set for Friday and Saturday at the Hirsch. Puck drop is set for 7:11 on both nights.