OKLAHOMA CITY – Hunter Jones scored two goals, both assisted by William Lawson-Body, and the Oklahoma Warriors took Game 1 of the 2023 Robertson Cup South Division Final over the Shreveport Mudbugs 4-1 at Blazers Ice Centre Friday.
Lawson-Body sent a backhand pass behind the net from the near side of the ice, and Brendan Williams collected it to keep away from a Mudbug, who tried to force it out of the zone. Jones reestablished possession just outside the blueline before entering the zone and shoveling in a dump-puck that bounced in an uncharacteristic way and gave Oklahoma a 1-0 lead just one minute and 53 seconds into play. Seven minutes later, Shreveport took advantage of a broken play in the Warriors end and tied the game at 1-1, which would stand until early in the third period.
After outshooting Shreveport 9-2 in the middle frame, Oklahoma came out in full force to break the tie in the third. Mikko Liukkonen finished off a beautiful set up play from Owen Baumgartner and Drew Sutton through neutral ice to get the eventual game-winning-goal three minutes and 17 seconds in. Sixty seconds later, Jones added his second of the contest. Cole Teleki started an outlet up the near side of the ice to Lawson-Body, who entered the offensive zone with Jones. The Warriors captain passed it to the game’s first goal scorer from the wall and Jones held the puck for a moment before letting it fly from the top of the circle into the top of the net to make a 3-1 game at 4:17. Shreveport pulled its netminder to try and force a goal of its own, but Lawson-Body beat out two Mudbugs in a puck battle past center ice and swept the puck into the empty cage from his seat to seal the deal 4-1.
The Warriors will host the Mudbugs for Game 2 of the Best-of-5 South Division Final Saturday, May 6 at 7:15 p.m. at Blazers Ice Centre.