All four Central Hockey League Conference Semi-Final Series have clubs up 2-0 after Saturday night action. The Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs edged the Indianapolis Ice 4-3 in overtime and the Laredo Bucks blanked the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees 5-0 as the Mudbugs and Bucks won both their home playoff games, while the Amarillo Gorillas and Wichita Thunder earned their second straight road playoff games. Amarillo scored late in the third period in San Angelo to nip the Saints 1-0, while Wichita scored three times in the third period to eke out a 4-3 road win over the Colorado Eagles.
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Box Score: Indianapolis 3 @ Bossier-Shreveport 4 (OT)
Bossier-Shreveport leads series 2-0
Chad Spurr set up Chris Brassard early into overtime for the game winning goal, giving the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs a 4-3 overtime win and a 2-0 series lead over the Indianapolis Ice. Spurr had a goal and two assists in the contest, which saw the Mudbugs give up two leads and the Ice one. Bossier-Shreveport defenseman Wes Blevins scored his first ever goal in a Mudbugs uniform to open the scoring in the first period, and Indianapolis Jared Dumba tied the game early in the second. Spurr again gave the Mudbugs the lead, but goals by Jason Baird and Dumbas second goal of the contest gave the Ice their first lead of the series. Just 30 seconds later, Craig Minard tied the score at 3-3, forcing the eventual overtime. With two one goal losses on the road, the Ice hope to take care of things on home ice next weekend with a pair of wins to force a deciding fifth game back in Louisiana March 30th.
Box Score: Wichita 4 @ Colorado 3
Wichita leads series 2-0
The Wichita Thunder were the only CHL visiting team to win twice in Colorados Budweiser Events Center during the regular season, and with a 4-3 win March 20th have won a pair of games on the road to take a 2-0 series lead over the Eagles. The Game Two comeback was remarkable, erasing a 3-0 lead half way through the second period. Mike McGhan and Greg Pankewicz, with a pair, gave Colorado the 3-0 lead, but with a power play goal late in the second period and three more in the final frame, the Thunder completed the comeback. Travis Clayton had two of the goals, both coming on the power play, while Adam Calder and rookie Les Hrapchuk also scored. Twice in the final four minutes of play the Eagles called for illegal sticks, with both Jason Duda and goaltender Nathan Grobins flagged for penalties, both Colorado was unable to capitalize. Colorado now needs to win twice at the Kansas Coliseum next weekend, where they were 3-1 on the season, to force a fifth and deciding game back home March 29th.
Box Score: Amarillo 1 @ San Angelo 0
Amarillo leads series 2-0
Amarillo sniper Derek Hahn scored against the flow of the play with just 19 seconds left in the third period to give the Gorillas a 1-0 road victory and a 2-0 series lead over the San Angelo Saints. Hahn carried the puck the length of the ice and fired a high wrist shot past Saints netminder Scott Reid from the slot, giving the Gorillas a 2-0 lead in the series with games three and four scheduled next weekend in Amarillo. The Saints carried the majority of play in the third, outshooting Amarillo 11-5 in the frame, but were unable to beat Shawn Degagne, who picked up the shutout with 20 saves during the game. San Angelo now faces the difficult task of winning two games in Amarillo in order to force a potential fifth game back in San Angelo March 30th.
Box Score: Rio Grande Valley 0 @ Laredo 5
Laredo leads series 2-0
With two goals in the first period and three more in the final period, the Laredo Bucks posted a 5-0 win in Game Two, taking a 2-0 series lead heading to Rio Grande Valley for next Saturdays Game 3. Laredo rookie enforcer Mike Amodeo showed that he can be more than just a physical presence, scoring the first three goals of the game and finishing with a four point night. Rio Grande Valley actually outshot Laredo 22-20 in the contest, but were unable to beat Marco Emond, who recorded one of two CHL shutouts in the CHL Saturday evening. All-Stars Serge Dube and Brent Cullaton each picked up three assists, while CHL Most Valuable Player Jeff Bes had a goal and an assist. The Killer Bees will look to regroup at home in Dodge Arena forced to win three straight games in order to advance.