A great scoring spread took place that was led by Joe Blaznek with 3 assists with the 4 goals coming from 4 different players which includes a couple of unlikely scorers in Jamie Milam who had just 6 points all year and Simon Mangos who's stock is rising who raised his scoring totals as a defensemen from 8 to 12 goals over the course of this season and scored his 3rd point of the playoffs where the Mudbugs went up 4-1 late in the 2nd period.
Despite 3rd period goals by Rapid City Superstars Les Reaney and Blaine Jarvis couldn't get the game to OT for the 2nd straight time in this series and Mudbugs goalie Parker Van Buskirk who hardly played at all this season and was brought in to help relieve Mudbugs goalie Ken Carroll who's out with an injury was stout by stopping 26 of 29 shots including some important ones late with the Rush out-shooting the Mudbugs 10-6 in the 3rd period.
Both Conference Final Series are now tied at 1-1 and all 4 of the games being one goal games and two of those went to OT as we expecting some very long series' in this Conference Finals which should set the stage for a championship series that looks like it will be more & more exciting by the day.
The Northern Conference Final will now head to Shreveport for games 3,4 & 5 on April 14, 16 & 17 this week. If Bossier-Shreveport continue their strong home form from the 1st round against Colorado, the Mudbugs have a great shot of taking the advantage in this series as the Mudbugs will look to get back to the League Championship Series this season.
From the Central Hockey League: www.centralhockeyleague.com
The Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs built a 4-1 lead on their way to an eventual 4-3 victory over the Rapid City Rush in Game 2 of the Northern Conference Finals Sunday at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. With the victory, the Mudbugs even the best-of-7 series at one game apiece with the next 3 games to be played at the Century Tel Center.
Performing under the playoff microscope, goaltender Parker Van Buskirk made 26 saves to earn the win in his Mudbugs debut. The offense was paced by Joe Blaznek's three assists, while Jamie Milam scored the game-winner goal and assisted on another. Bossier-Shreveport also scored two more powerplay goals in the victory.
The Bugs skated to a 6-0 shot edge in the early going before Rapid City got nearly two full minutes of 5-on-3 powerplay time. Scott Wray opened the scoring during the two-man advantage to put the Rush on top 1-0 at 8:03. Bossier-Shreveport then seized the momentum and the lead late in the period when two powerplay goals in a 31 second-span. Justin Aikins started it off for the Mudbugs, shooting home the rebound of a Joe Blaznek shot in front to tie the game at one at 16:46. Simon Mangos then beat Danny Battochio with a long wrist shot through traffic to give the Mudbugs a 2-1 edge after 20 minutes.
The Bugs added to the lead with a pair of even-strength in the 2nd period. Blaznek sent a pass to the side of the net for David Rutherford, who backhanded the puck from Battochio's arm and into the net at 9:24 to make it 3-1. The lead became 4-1 for Bossier-Shreveport when Jamie Milam powered a slapshot into the net during a 3-on-2 break at 15:03. That goal chased Danny Battochio from the net as he was replaced by Miguel Beaudry.
The Rush came on strong in the 3rd period, starting with an unassisted goal by Les Reaney off a faceoff at 5:50. That turned the momentum into Rapid City's favor, and Blaine Jarvis got the home team back within one with just 3 minutes left in regulation. The Bugs were able to hold on in the final minutes, however to finish the 4-3 win and tie the series.
Van Buskirk is now 1-0 in his Mudbugs career, earning the win as the Mudbugs were out-shot 29-25 in the contest. Danny Battochio suffered his first playoff loss for the Rush after making 11 saves, while Miguel Beaudry stopped 10 saves in relief. Bossier-Shreveport scored twice on the powerplay chances and Rapid City finished 1 for 5.
The Mudbugs will now look to the lead in the best-of-seven series as its shifts to Bossier-Shreveport for the next 3 games. Game 3 is set for Wednesday night at 7:05 PM at the Century Tel Center.
Series is Tied 1-1
Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs 4 Rapid City Rush 3 (2-1, 2-0, 0-2)
0-1 RPC: Scott Wray (PP) (Vanderveeken, Hodge) 8:03 1st
1-1 BOS: Justin Aikins (PP) (Blaznek, Milam) 16:46 1st
1-2 BOS: Simon Mangos (PP) (Blaznek, Ori) 17:17 1st
1-3 BOS: David Rutherford (Blaznek, Kalinchuk) 9:24 2nd
1-4 BOS: Jamie Milam (Limpright) 15:03 2nd
2-4 RPC: Les Reaney (Unassisted) 5:50 3rd
3-4 RPC: Blaine Jarvis (Wray, Bostock) 17:25 3rd
PP: BOS 2/7 RPC 1/5
SOG: BOS 25 RPC 29
PIM: BOS 17 Minutes on 7 Penalties RPC 21 Minutes on 9 Penalties
Goalies: BOS Parker Van Buskirk 26 SVS on 29 Shots RPC Danny Battochio 11 SVS on 15 Shots Miguel Beaudry 10 SVS on 10 Shots
3rd Star: Scott Wray (RPC)
2nd Star: Joe Blaznek (BOS)
1st Star: Jamie Milam (BOS)
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