Warriors hold weekend in Shreveport, Del Greco rookie leads in scoring

October 3, 2022 – North American Hockey League (NAHL) – Oklahoma Braves Press Release

Shreveport, Louisiana. – Joey Delgreco and Hunter Jones continued to score for the Warriors at Shreveport, but Saturday’s return from the Mudbugs brought the team back to Oklahoma with a 1-1 weekend record.

Delgreco’s two-point night on Friday gave the Grand Rapids, Minnesota native the No. 1 rookie score in seven games this season with eight.

Garrett Horsager scored two powerful goals with just 3:53 to start Saturday’s third quarter to give Oklahoma a 2-1 lead.

Warriors spoil Mudbugs comeback with 3-2 overtime win

Friday’s first phase included physical play on both sides of the ice and small penalties for each team. Shreveport’s Logan Hroux was rudely penalized midway through the game, but a blistering attack on Hunter Jones would keep the game going for 24 seconds before the Warriors’ power play began. The penalty squad began work to shut down the Mudbugs and both clubs were unable to find the back of the net at the end of the first game. After a “feeling” first period, the field goal was slightly in favor of the Warriors, 5-4.

Oklahoma hit the net in the second quarter with 14 shots and two lights. Both sides continued their gritty game, offsetting cuts and rough penalties to propose a 4-on-4 game that would prove beneficial for the visiting Warriors. Past the midpoint of the rule, still 4-on-4, Delgreco and Therien Thiesing cycled pucks for Max Dronen along the near sidewall of the area. Dronen avoided traffic, then slid off the wall high and scored his third goal of the season at 10:35 to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead. Fifty-two seconds later, the Warriors led 2-0. Delgreco sent a puck across the neutral zone to Jones, who passed the Mudbugs defense on the near side. Jones then scored from the hash mark and Del Greco bounced on the other side of the net to score at 11:27. Shreveport, though, will respond before the season ends, enjoying the good feeling of two quick goals from the Warriors. Logan Gotinsky found himself on the break and cut Oklahoma’s lead in half with 4:08 left. A shot 40 minutes into the game gave the Warriors a 19-12 lead, and they led 2-1 into the third quarter.

The physical game will continue into the third quarter, but anxious fans in Shreveport will have to wait almost as long as possible for the Mudworms to force overtime. Oklahoma’s free throw with 1:40 left gave the Mudbugs an extra attacker and slid 6-4 in the final minutes. A final blow to the net would pay off for the Mudbugs as Eric Vitale appeared to have managed to beat the buzzer, pushing in a loose puck to tie the game at 2-2. There was some delay on the field, the clock was set by 0.5 seconds, and the time was over; the game was scored before the buzzer, and the game needed extra time.

The Warriors dominated the puck for most of overtime and recorded just two important field goals. Shreveport sent a false pass to their spot in the offensive zone, and Leland Brady stole possession for Oklahoma City. Brady skipped Drew Sutton in a breakout, and despite Mudworms’ attempts, they couldn’t catch him. Sutton’s release from the hash mark created a massive rebound on the other side, and Brady stormed on a free kick to derail Shreveport’s comeback attempt and put the Warriors back in the winning streak.

Mudbugs hold on to six-ball third quarter, beat Warriors 4-3

While Friday’s game didn’t come with an opening goal until just after half-time, it took just 43 seconds for the Mudbugs to take a 1-0 lead on Saturday. Shreveport delivered a run to the net in the scrimmage and laid the rebound for the game’s first goal. The goalie worked until the end of the second quarter, and despite a 22-20 shot after 40 minutes of play, the scoring didn’t resume until early in the third.

The Warriors opened the third quarter with more than 1:40 to play and took advantage of the man’s advantage. At the blue line, Hosag passed the ball to Del Greco, who returned to him from the near dome. Then, as Rylan Brady slid across the groove to take the Shreveport netkeeper out of sight, Horsager blasted behind the net, scoring his first goal of the season and making it 1-1. Shreveport returned to the box less than four minutes after allowing the first goal of the period, and the Warriors scored a second power goal. Drew Sutton sent the puck from behind the net to Max Dronen’s far circle. Dronen faked and passed to Horsager, who went high from the midpoint at 5:30 to score his second goal of the period. Just 3:53 separated the Warriors’ two goals, but the Mudbugs provided quick reflexes. Shreveport’s Garrett Steele scored a powerful goal 45 seconds later to make it 2-1. Exactly three minutes later, the Mudbugs took their second lead of the game, 3-2. Oklahoma responded again two and a half minutes later, Jones went 3-3 from William Lawson-Body and Brady, but the Mudworms scored with 6:28 left scored the final goal of the game and broke the weekend series and ended a six-game losing streak. Jones’s goal was his fifth of the season and his 12th, putting him tied for third among NHL scorers.

The Warriors will play a game at Corpus Christi on October 21-22.

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