North Richland Hills, TX – The Brahmas head to Shreveport, Louisiana for the first time since March 2011 to take on the Shreveport Mudbugs, the newest team to the North American Hockey League.
The Mudbugs return as an NAHL squad a little over five years after winning the 2011 Central Hockey League President’s Cup as the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs. The team is also returning to their historic home arena, Hirsch Coliseum, and will open their season against the Lone Star Brahmas on Thursday night.
The Brahmas-Mudbugs rivalry goes back to the WPHL days of both teams, including the 1997-98 WPHL playoffs, where the Brahmas swept the Mudbugs in four games to move on to the finals.
Continuing the rivalry in the NAHL, Lone Star Brahmas Head Coach Dan Wildfong is a Mudbugs legend, with 192 goals, 494 points, and 1,970 penalty minutes in eight seasons with the former Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs. Wildfong left the Mudbugs organization in 2007 to coach the Brahmas and has been with the team ever since.
The Thursday night matchup will be both teams’ first game following the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota. The Brahmas finished the tournament with a 3-0-1 record (4-0-1 overall), while the Mudbugs finished with a split 2-2-0 record. The upcoming two-game series could be an early, but pivotal battle in the South Division Standings.
The Brahmas are outscoring their opponents 21-8 and have never allowed more than two goals in a game this season. For Lone Star, Austin Kamer (8) and Drake Glover (5) lead the team in points and goals respectively. Goaltender Conor O’Brien returns to Brahmaland for his second season in Texas and is expected to see some time in net with Alec Calvaruso and Erik Gordon.
Shreveport had an impressive start to their season, scoring 14 goals in four Showcase games. Forwards Frankie Melton and Erik Zohovs lead their team with six points each. This weekend should prove to be a more difficult task for the ‘Bugs given the Brahmas are coming off a 40-win season and currently first in the South Division with a .900 win percentage. The Hirsch Coliseum is expected to sell-out this weekend to welcome the Mudbugs back to the Red River.
Do not miss your chance to watch the Brahmas home opener on October 8 against the Amarillo Bulls at 7:30. Also, get your tickets to see Mudbugs at NYTEX on November 25th. Regular season tickets are on sale now at LoneStarBrahmas.com.