SteelHounds to host Bossier-Shreveport
The two teams will also meet Saturday with both games starting at 7:05 p.m.
YOUNGSTOWN -- With the All-Star break over, the Youngstown SteelHounds will begin their mad dash for the postseason this weekend when they host the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs at 7:05 p.m. today and Saturday at the Chevrolet Centre.
The SteelHounds (16-11-7, 39 points) split their first two meetings with the Mudbugs (18-10-5, 41 points) earlier this season in Louisiana.
"The second half of the season definitely leads to more of a sense of desperation," said Hounds coach Kevin Kaminski. "Every point, every shift counts and that counts double when you are playing against a divisional opponent."
Snapped losing streak
Youngstown had lost a season-high four straight and six of their last seven coming into last Saturday night's game at the defending champion Laredo Bucks. The Hounds got two goals from Mark Odut in a 4-1 victory.
"It is important to get players other than Jeff [Christian] and Richy [Chris Richards] going offensively and Mark [Odut] did a nice job of stepping up and setting the pace," said Kaminski. "Now we need to get those types of performances on a consistent basis from all three lines, our defense and our goaltending."
That goaltending burden is going to fall primarily on the shoulders of rookie Brad Roberts (8-5-2), who has posted a a 3.05 goals against average. His goaltending partner David Currie has been placed on the 14-day injured reserve with a lower body injury.
"We have a lot of faith in Brad [Roberts], who has done a nice job of giving our team a chance to win," said Kaminski. "Our team has led the league all season in limiting shots on goal so it has been a good first half for Brad."
Mudbugs on hot streak
The Mudbugs have been hot since their loss to Youngstown on Dec. 2, winning 10 of their last 14 games.
The SteelHounds have added some muscle and firepower since the last homestand with the additions of Dallas Anderson and Milan Maslonka, both 6-foot-6. In addition, the Hounds pulled the trigger on a trade yesterday acquiring Garrett Larson from the Colorado Eagles.
Larson has 10 points this season in 32 games for Colorado and had 47 points coming from 22 goals and 25 assists in his rookie season last year.