Before heading to New Mexico the Mudbugs were one of the hottest teams in the NAHL. Three games later, the Bugs returned home on their longest losing streak of the year.
But even after being swept by the Ice Wolves, associate head coach Rich Parent says Shreveport is finding lessons in the losses, "Everything is magnified here down the stretch and going into the playoffs, things are going to be magnified. Little mistakes are going to become big mistakes. If they can learn that this weekend and take some learning from losing, that would be great. We've been learning from winning, now we've got to learn from losing."
For players like forward Mason McCormick, last weekend's sweep is a reminder of how precious every game is, "You lose three games in the playoffs and everything you've worked so hard for, everything you've worked for every day is over. I think we know that. I think we felt that. I don't think we're going to let it happen again."
Even with the struggles in Albuquerque, the Mudbugs are still at first place in the NAHL South, holding a three point lead over Lone Star. Defensemen Aidan Metcalfe says the team still has its goals in front of them, "I don't think we should lose any confidence just because we lost three games. We're still in the same road, same path, and don't want to blow anything out of proportion. We're not worried at this point."
Parent says the Mudbugs coaches had some concern during their previous winning streak and hopes these past three games will wake the team up a bit, "Sometimes we get into the trap of are we peaking too early before the playoffs. It always goes in the back of our mind as a coaching staff, but I think this might be a blessing in disguise for us."
The Mudbugs will now face a unique challenge ahead of their home series with Amarillo. A concert is taking over George's Pond this week, leaving the team without a surface to practice on, "I think most of the guys would rather be out there practicing. It's tough to just start playing on the day of the game and get back on the ice. I think we can still handle it and play well, hopefully, on Friday night," said Metcalfe.
"The rest will be good, I think. I think a lot of us would like to be skating, but there's nothing we can do about it. We kind of just take each day as is and you just do what you can do to get ready for Friday and Saturday," added McCormick.
For the coaches, Parent believes his team could use a little rest, "We just came off three and three, three in two and a half days. We are embarking on six in nine days. I think it's much needed rest."
The Mudbugs will host Amarillo Friday and Saturday night. Puck drop for both games is set for 7:11.