Playoff preview: Shreveport Mudbugs

Headline:

The Amarillo Bulls begin their playoff run Friday, May 21 against the division champion Shreveport Mudbugs.

The Matchup: 

Shreveport comes in with the second-best record in the entire NAHL with a 38-11-2-5 record in the 56 game regular season. The Mudbugs clinched the regular season south division title in the second to last week of the season. 

Amarillo comes into the postseason as the fourth seed in the South with a 29-18-2-6 record. The Bulls finished with a road record of 11-11-1-4 and struggled against the Mudbugs this season. 

The Bulls and Mudbugs faced each other 13 times in the regular season and the Bulls finished with a 3-6-1-3 record losing the last nine meetings between the two. 

The Mudbugs had a better road record this year but still posted a solid 18-6-1-2 record at George’s Pond this season. Two of the Bulls three wins against the Mudbugs came in Shreveport. 

Playoff History:

These teams met in the 2019 Robertson Cup Playoffs when Amarillo took the series 3 games to 2. Amarillo would win the series in a decisive game five with a 6-to-0 victory in the Budweiser Bullpen to clinch the South Division Playoff title. The 2019 series was the only time the Bulls and Mudbugs met in the postseason.

Both teams have a Robertson Cup championship. The Bulls won in 2013 after posting a 46 win regular season and winning the Presidents Cup for most regular-season points. Shreveport won the Robertson Cup in 2018 after a 41 win regular season. 

Players to Watch: 

Both teams, like much of the South division this year, have an abundance of talent all over the ice. Shreveport boasts two of the top goaltenders in the entire NAHL with Arseniy Sergeev and Cole Hudson. Sergeev posted a 2.17 GAA in the regular and Hudson had a 2.16 GAA. 

Amarillo has weapons that proved to be dangerous during the season. Jere Vaisanen led the team with 44 points(17G, 27A) and Harrison Scott was close behind with 40 total points (20G,20A) Other contributors were captain Nick Martino(13G,23A) and Cooper Fensterstock(8G,26A).

The Amarillo goalies would be a strong duo in the regular season with Andrew Takacs and Hunter Garvey. Takacs had 14 wins on the year including two shutouts in 25 games played. Garvey had a strong showing in his rookie season with the Bulls earning 4 wins and posting a .922 save percentage. 

The Mudbugs offense was led by Braiden Dorfman who had 21 goals and 38 assists for 59 total points on the year. Joe Mack was tied for most goals with Dorfman after a 21 goal campaign. Dawson Sciarrino was second in overall points with 42(11G,31A) in 53 games played this season. 

Round 1 Schedule: 

The opening round starts Friday night in Shreveport. All games can be viewed on HockeyTv or you can listen along on the Amarillo Bulls Mixlr stream where the link is provided below.

Game 1 @ Shreveport: Friday,May,21-7:11 p.m. 

Game 2 @ Shreveport: Saturday,May,22-7:11 p.m.

Game 3 vs Shreveport: Thursday,May,27-7:05 p.m.

Game 4* vs Shreveport: Friday,May,28-7:05 p.m.

Game 5* @ Shreveport: Sunday,May,30-7:11 p.m. 

*If necessary 

Mixlr link:https://mixlr.com/amarillobulls

The Amarillo Bulls are members of the North American Hockey League which is a tier II junior hockey league sanctioned by USA Hockey. For more information visit https://www.amarillobulls.com