Mudbugs Down Arizona 5-1, Grab 2-1 Series Lead
PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. - The visiting Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs topped the Arizona Sundogs by a 5-1 mark Tuesday night at Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott Valley, grabbing a 2-1 series lead and forcing Arizona into a must-win situation through the rest of the best-of-5 opening round set.
John DeCaro turned away 31 shots in his first start in net in the series.
Scoreless on five man advantage opportunities coming into the contest, the Sundogs were held without a power-play goal for the third straight game, finishing 0-for-6 on the night.
The two teams skated to a scoreless tie for most of the first period despite Bossier-Shreveport controlling play and outshooting Arizona by a 14-5 margin as Scott Reid turned aside multiple scoring chances.
But the Mudbugs finally broke through late in the opening frame converting on a lengthy 5-on-3 power play with just over a minute remaining in the period. Shawn Limpright handled the puck at the top of the far circle before sending a pass through the slot to Jeff Kyrzakos at the side of the cage for his second goal of the playoffs at the 18:54 mark.
Joey Sides pulled Arizona even at one 8:03 into the second period with a tricky shot from below the goal line that bounced off a Mudbugs player and inside the near post. Kyle Hood and Jason Visser assisted on the play for their first points of the postseason.
Bossier-Shreveport's Jim Jorgensen reclaimed a one-goal lead for his club midway through the middle frame, knocking a David Rutherford rebound past Reid at the top of the goal mouth.
Limpright put the game out of reach with his second goal of the series with six minutes remaining in the third period, delaying a shot as the forward skated across the top of the circles. Reid got caught in traffic moving through the low slot affording Limpright an open look for his second point of the night.
Travis Clayton added an empty net tally at the 19:05 mark while Steven Crampton collected his team's second power-play marker with 28 seconds remaining in the game.
Bossier-Shreveport finished 2-for-5 with the man advantage improving to 4-for-13 through the series' first three games.
Arizona will look to even the series at two games apiece and force a deciding Game 5 tomorrow at 7:05pm (Arizona time) at Tim's Toyota Center. Tickets start at just $12 and are available by phone at 1-866-4-GET-TIX (1-866-443-8849), online at www.GetTix.net and in person at the Tim's Toyota Center Box office.
If necessary, the teams will return to the CenturyTel Center and Bossier City, Louisiana for Game 5 on Saturday, April 9 at 5:05pm (Arizona time).
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