SHREVEPORT, La. – Rylan Brady scored a hat trick and Brendan Williams had four points to power the Warriors over the Mudbugs after falling down two goals in the first.
The Warriors jumped ahead to a 1-0 lead when Hunter Jones and William Ahlrik connected on a rim pass behind the net and set up Brendan Williams for the finish. From the side of the net, Williams caught Shreveport’s goaltender off the post and fired in his then team-leading 14th goal of the season. Shreveport would get the home crowd back into it, answering 14 seconds later. The Mudbugs then added two more goals for three goals in six minutes, giving them a 3-1 lead. Oklahoma added a goal late in the period to bring momentum back on its side going into the intermission. Cole Teleki lobbed the puck across the width of the ice from in front of the benches and found Williams for a zone entry. Williams then entered the zone and drew a defender toward him, allowing Brady to rip in his first of the game, uncontested from the slot. The Warriors outshot Shreveport 17-12, despite heading into the second down 3-2.
The teams matched penalty kills in the second period, breaking up the flow of the game with each side going 2/2 in the second, before Oklahoma found offensive success on a rush. Will Brenner started a play up ice before continuing a cycle play that led to the Warriors’ third of the game. Joey Delgreco settled the puck down low on the far side of the zone before skating it up and sending near side to Brenner. Brenner then waited for Ahlrik to sneak past the defense and free his stick back door for a textbook tip-in play to make it a 3-3 game with three minutes left in the second.
With the Warriors on a 4-on-3 powerplay early in the third, Williams won a puck battle on the left wall and passed to Delgreco across the slot as Brady was heading toward the net on the near side. Brady streaked in down the middle and tapped in a Delgreco dish to put Oklahoma up 4-3 3:56 into the frame. Oklahoma killed off two more penalties, and Shreveport pulled its goalie for the extra attacker, allowing a perfect opportunity for Brady to cap off his memorable evening. Williams sent the puck toward open ice ahead of Brady at center after Garrett Horsager powered through a shoulder check deep in his zone to shovel the puck to him. Brady then skated down the gut, all alone, and ushered in the eventual game-winning goal with 76 seconds left in regulation. The Mudbugs were given a powerplay opportunity with 27 seconds remaining, and it took them just four seconds to make it a 5-4 game, with an extra attacker out again, but the Warriors took the 5-4 decision to win their third in a row. Brady has netted the game-winning goal in both of the Warriors wins at Shreveport this season- the other in overtime September 30, 2022.
The Warriors and Mudbugs will play their final matchup of the regular season in Shreveport Saturday, January 14, for a 7:11 p.m. puck drop at George’s Pond Hirsch Coliseum.