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Rhinos Outlast Mudbugs in Marathon Battle: South Divisional Semifinal Series Locked at 1-1

by Minden Press-Herald

In a grueling showdown that tested the endurance and resilience of both teams, the Shreveport Mudbugs were edged out by the El Paso Rhinos in a thrilling 4th overtime period, evening up the South Divisional Semifinal series at 1-1. The George’s Pond in Hirsch Coliseum witnessed an epic clash on Saturday night, with the Rhinos ultimately prevailing 3-2 in front of a fervent crowd.

The Mudbugs came out strong, dominating the shot count 12-6 in the opening period but failed to convert their chances into goals. However, their persistence paid off in the second period when Brayden Cook capitalized on a neutral zone turnover, showcasing his speed and precision to put Shreveport ahead 1-0. Kyan Haldenby provided the assist, setting the stage for an intense battle on the ice.

El Paso answered back late in the second frame, as Luke Lindsay found an opening from the right point to level the score at 1-1, heading into the third period with everything to play for. The Mudbugs regained the lead early in the third period courtesy of Logan Heroux’s power-play goal, but the Rhinos refused to back down, with Medrick Bolduc netting the equalizer just before the end of regulation, forcing the game into sudden death overtime.

As the tension mounted and fatigue set in, both teams fought valiantly, each searching for the decisive goal. It wasn’t until the 4th overtime period that Eddie Shepler of the Rhinos found a gap, slipping the puck past Mudbugs’ goaltender Eliot Seguin-Lescarbeau to secure a hard-fought 3-2 victory for El Paso.

With the series now tied at 1-1, the focus shifts to the El Paso County Events Center for the next leg of this captivating semifinal series. The Mudbugs will look to draw upon their road prowess, having boasted an impressive 22-6-2 record away from home during the regular season. Meanwhile, goaltender Eliot Seguin-Lescarbeau, despite the tough loss, showcased his skill with 30 saves in Friday’s triumph, proving to be a formidable presence between the pipes.

As the series unfolds, fans can expect more thrilling action and standout performances from key players such as Brent Litchard, who shone brightly with a pair of goals in Friday’s victory, and Kyan Haldenby, who has already made a significant impact with three points in the opening two games.

The stage is set for an enthralling continuation of this intense rivalry, with Game 3 scheduled for next Friday night at the El Paso County Events Center, followed by Game 4 on Saturday. Should the series extend to a decisive Game 5, the Mudbugs will have the opportunity to rally their supporters at George’s Pond in Hirsch Coliseum on Monday night, April 29th. Tickets for potential Game 5 will be available following Game 4, ensuring that fans don’t miss out on any of the playoff action.

Photo Courtesy of the Shreveport Mudbugs.

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