Shreveport Mudbugs (30-19-1-4, 65pts) vs. Odessa Jackalopes (27-22-1-4, 59pts)
at Ector County Coliseum in Odessa, TX
Time: 7:15 p.m. CDT
Broadcast: (Home) HockeyTV | Listen Live Here
What You Need to Know:
Season Series: 4-2
SHV: 47pts, Brimmer (17g-30a)
ODA: 38pts, Duclair (20g-18a)
All or Nothing:
This weekend is the most important weekend of the Jacks season. Both Shreveport and Odessa have six games remaining. The Mudbugs currently hold the final playoff spot at 65 points. They are three points behind Wichita Falls. The Jacks have not made the playoffs since 2017-18. Whereas the Mudbugs are the defending champions. They are looking to win their third Robertson Cup in franchise history. The Jacks need to sweep the Mudbugs this weekend to keep their playoff hopes alive. They have now swept an opponent since Dec. 10-11 (New Mexico). Two wins will put Odessa within two points of Shreveport with only four games left in the season. Odessa will play their final four games on the road against Amarillo and New Mexico.
Odessa is 15-10-1-2 as the home team this year. They have a record of 13-10-1-2 at the JackShack. Odessa is 5-5-0-1 at home in 2022. The last time Shreveport came to Odessa was back on Nov. 26-27 and the Jacks won both games in regulation. Odessa went 4-0 versus Shreveport in 2021 but is 0-2 against them in 2022. The Mudbugs played ten games in March and finished with a record of 8-2. They not only swept Odessa in March but also Lone Star, New Mexico, and Amarillo. The last time the Mudbugs won at the JackShack was January 2, 2021.
The Jacks and Mudbugs are in the bottom five in powerplay percentage in the NAHL. Odessa has a success rate of 14.8% on the man advantage and Shreveport is sitting at 13.6%. The last time these two teams played one another, Odessa went 1/10 on the powerplay for the weekend and Shreveport went 2/7. The Mudbugs have 25 power-play goals which are tied for 26th out of 29th in the league. Odessa has 29 power-play goals which are tied for 21st. Shreveport has given up eight short-handed goals so far this season and Odessa has allowed five. Two of their five came last weekend against New Mexico. Shreveport has 1,078 penalty minutes this season which is the third most in the South. Odessa has 913 penalty minutes which is the second-fewest in their division.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Mudbugs (F: #14 – Burke Simpson)
The Mequon, WI native is in his first season in the NAHL. The 20-year-old spent the last two seasons playing for the Nipawin Hawks in the SJHL (47GP, 17G, 9A). Simpson is third on the team in points with 30 (13G, 17A). The 6’1”/175lb. right-handed forward has a shooting percentage of 17.3% which is second highest among his teammates. Simpson has been in five games against Odessa and has tallied four points (3G, 1A). Last weekend against the Wranglers, Simpson put up seven points (2G, 5A). Simpson is the highest-scoring rookie on the Mudbugs roster.
Jackalopes (F: #11 – Ryan Mansfield)
The Burlington, ON native is in his rookie season in the NAHL. Prior to joining the Jacks, Mansfield played for the Toronto Patriots (OJHL) in 2019-20 (50GP, 10G, 22A). He was drafted #82 overall in 2018 by the Flint Firebirds (OHL). The 19-year-old is tied for fourth on the team in points with 29 (12G, 17A). The 5’11”/195lb. left-handed forward has scored five points in his last five games (1G, 4A). Mansfield has played in five games against Shreveport this season and has scored four points (3G, 1A). He has scored ten points in his last ten games (4G, 6A).
Photo credit: Danne Braden