LAREDO, TX- The Laredo Bucks of the Central Hockey League beat the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees 3-2 in a shootout Sunday night at the Laredo Entertainment Center. The Bucks have won four straight games, all by one-goal each, to improve to 7-2-2 (16 points). Laredo is now five points behind Odessa for first place in the Southern Conference.
Darryl Smith scored the game-winning goal for the Bucks in the shootout, while Eric Giosa netted his first two professional goals in the win. J.P Levassueur improved to 6-0-1 on the season as he stopped 26 of 27 shots in net.
Jesse Bennefield scored with just 30 seconds left in the third period to force overtime. Bennefield has four goals in the last two games against the Bucks (two Sunday).
The Bees took an early 1-0 lead at 12:13 when Bennefield sent in a shot from the bottom right hash mark to score his sixth goal of the season. Bennefield scored both Bees goals in the last meeting between the two clubs on Wednesday.
The Bucks (3-0-2 at home) outshot the Bees in the first period 14-7. Giosa would score his first two professional goals in the second period to give the Bucks 2-1 lead after 40 minutes of play.
Giosa would tie the game at 1-1 at the 7:34mark of the period when he took a pass from Justin Styffe and scored on a snap shot from right in front of the crease to pot his first professional goal.
The Bucks would take a 2-1 lead 13:05 into the second when Mike Sgroi's pass from the left circle deflected off of Giosa's shoulder and into the back of the net.
Laredo was outshot in the second period 13-8.
The Bucks are 6-0 so far this season when leading after the second period.
Each team put up eight shots in the third period, the Bucks outshot the Bees 36-28 for the contest.
Going back to last season, eight of the Bucks last 10 home games (including playoffs) have gone to overtime or a shootout, with the Bucks posting a 3-3-2 mark (0-3 playoffs)
Andy Franck played well in net once again for the Bees as he stopped 33 of 35 shots to fall to 3-3-2.
Lance Monych played in his 250th career game Sunday night.