LAREDO BUCKS WIN CHL CHAMPIONSHIP
Comeback Wins Cup
May 6, 2006 - By virtue of a 4-3 comeback win Saturday night over the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs at the CenturyTel Center, the Laredo Bucks have captured their second Ray Miron President's Cup title in three seasons of play. Igor Agarunov's unassisted goal with just 2:05 left in the third period was the difference, and veteran forward Jeff Bes earned playoff Most Valuable Player honors as selected by the Central Hockey League front office, leading the post-season with 31 points to tie the CHL Playoff points record.
The Bucks earn the second championship with a dramatic comeback win on Bossier-Shreveport's home ice, earning the win despite falling in an early 3-0 hole. The Mudbugs dominated the first period of play to lead 3-0, but two goals in each of he remaining periods gave the Bucks the victory and the 4 games to 1 series win.
Mudbugs veteran Chris Brassard opened the scoring, one timing a Chad Spurr pass across the slot past Laredo netminder Dov Grumet-Morris. Just over two minutes later, Bossier-Shreveport defenseman Dale Lupul made it 2-0, taking a feed from Shane Palahicky high in the slot and patiently wristing home his seventh of the playoffs. The Mudbugs third goal came shorthanded, with Spurr and Brassard on a shorthanded 2 on 1, with Brassard scoring his second of the game by faking a pass and ripping a hard slap shot. Through the first, the Mudbugs held a 13-3 shots on goal advantage.
Laredo would get on the board early in the second, with Igor Agarunov tipping home a Hans Benson pass across the slot past Mudbugs netminder Ken Carroll. Minutes later the score was 3-2, with MVP Bes pouncing on a loose puck after a Brent Cullaton power play slapshot. The goal was the seventh of the series for Bes, who scored at least once in all five Finals games.
47 Seconds into the third Laredo amateur Todd Griffith would even the score at 3-3, letting go a quick wrist shot in tight on Carroll that the goaltender got a piece of before trickling into the net.
With 3:00 minutes left Bossier-Shreveport defenseman Quade Lightbody almost gave the Mudbugs the lead, picking up a loose puck in the slot and ripping a shot at Laredo goaltender Dov Grumet-Morris. Just over a minute later, Agarunov scored the cup-clinching goal, catching a clearing pass to the left of Carroll and letting go a quick wrist shot that stunned the crowd. After another 2:05 of a frenzied comeback attempt by the Mudbugs, the game ended, and the Bucks had earned their second championship title in three seasons.
The quote of the night went to MVP Bes when asked how he felt about Agarunov, who scored the game winner. "I'm gonna marry him I think."
NOTES: Phoenix Coyotes prospect and Laredo Bucks forward Frantisek Lukes recorded 14 points (5 goals, 9 assists) and a plus +8 rating over 15 playoff games.