Lone Star Brahmas vs Wichita Falls Wildcats Preview

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The Lone Star Brahmas will continue their home stand this weekend as they welcome the Wichita Falls Wildcats to the NYTEX Sports Centre in North Richland Hills. February was a good month for the Brahmas as they finished with a .500 record before getting March off to a bang with a big win at home. They will have to keep up the pressure in order to pull points out of the Wichita Falls series with an eye toward overtaking Corpus Christi in the NAHL South Division standings.

 

On the season the Brahmas have a meager 1 – 4 – 0 record against the Wildcats with their only win coming at home back in November. On the NYTEX ice, the Brahmas played the Wildcats close in both games. However, the Kay Yeager Coliseum has been anything but welcoming to the Brahmas. In their three trips to Wichita Falls, Lone Star has been outscored 24 – 5.

 

Ryan Watson 1G – 2A and Kellen Wasell 2G – 0A have led the Brahmas offensively against Wichita Falls. TJ Black has seen the most action in net with a 5.17 GAA and a .857 SV % in his three decisions, all losses. Will Vosejpka 6G – 4A and Kyle Bauman 5G – 3A have shown the way for the Wildcats. David Zevnik has been outstanding in net against the Brahmas running up a 3 – 1 – 0 record with a 1.50 GAA and a .929 SV %.

 

The Brahmas are coming off a split against Corpus Christi. Last Friday, Lone Star held a 2 – 1 lead with 3:17 to go in the third, only to see the Icerays score three including an empty netter to steal a hard fought game. Wasell and Sebastian Vidmar had the goals for the Brahmas with both coming via the power play. Jett Salinas took the hard luck loss making 19 saves. On Saturday, a Wasell power play tally was sandwiched between two Icerays goals in the first. Roman Uchyn pulled the Brahmas even in the second again on the power play before Matt Lison gave them the lead with a third period power play goal. Uchyn added an insurance goal with just over two minutes to go to lock down the win. Black was outstanding in the victory making 25 saves.

 

Wichita Falls also had a split over the weekend against last place Odessa. In game one, the Wildcats got out to a first period lead on a goal from Bauman then watched as the Jackalopes poured in five unanswered goals for the win. Zevnik allowed five goals on only 19 shots faced for the loss. The following night Odessa held a one goal lead in the first until Evan Okeley scored with less than a minute to go in the period. Nick Farmer scored in the second giving the Wildcats a lead they would protect until the 15:44 mark of the third. After skating to a scoreless overtime, Rudy Junda and Josh Haverstrom scored in the shootout while Chase Munroe turned aside all but one Odessa shooter. In all Munroe had 24 saves to pick up the win.

 

Last 5 Games

W

L

OTL

Pts

Brahmas

2

3

0

4

Wildcats

3

2

0

6

 

Special Teams

 

The Brahmas special teams have come alive of late. Since opening this home stand, the power play is 6 – 19 while the penalty kill is 2 – 21. Hopefully this is a good sign going into this weekend. The Brahmas are 0 – 23 on the power play against the Wildcats this season and have allowed four goals on 20 penalty kills to go along with a short handed goal allowed for a -6 special teams differential.

 

The Brahmas’ road power play is currently ranked last in the league at just 6.7% converting 5 of 75 opportunities. They will be facing the fourth best home penalty kill in the league at 90.6%. The Wildcats have allowed 9 goals on 96 penalty kills at home.

 

With their recent surge, the Brahmas have climbed to ninth in the league with the home power play. They have converted 21 of 125 opportunities or 16.8%. They will need all the moxie they can generate going against the best road penalty kill in the league allowing only 10 goals on 114 kills.

 

As with the power play the Brahmas have shown improvement on the penalty kill. The home unit has allowed 22 goals on 132 times short handed. Again the Wildcats will hold a slight advantage as their road power play is setting at number 12 in the league. They have 15 goals in 102 opportunities.

 

Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games

 

 

W

L

OTL

SO

GA

GAA

SV

SV%

Brahmas

2

3

0

0

14

2.80

143

.911

Wildcats

3

2

0

0

14

2.80

89

.864

 

 

Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)

 

Brahmas

G

A

Pts

Roman Uchyn

2

2

4

Kellen Wasell

2

2

4

Sebastian Vidmar

1

3

4

Matt Lison

1

2

3

Two tied at

1

1

2

 
Wildcats

 G

A

Pts

Kyle Bauman

3

3

6

Nick Farmer

2

1

3

Rudy Junda

1

2

3

Todd Koritzinsky

0

3

3

Two tied at

2

0

2

 

Inside the Game

 

Mitch Mueller and Todd Koritzinsky will make their return to NYTEX for the first time since both ended up with the Wildcats. Hogan Davidson will be facing his previous team for the first time since being traded for Koritzinsky.

 

The Wildcats’ Andrew Kerr is second in the league in PIMs with 139 with 37 minor penalties. Nick Blase and Liam Stirtzinger are fourth and fifth in the league with 133 minutes and 131 minutes.

 

Stan Sojka leads Wichita Falls and is tied for the league lead in Major Penalties with 8 in 28 games played while Kerr is tied for third in the league with 7.

 

The Brahmas lead the league in penalty minutes with 1301, minor penalties with 343, 10 minute misconducts with 23 and game misconducts with 16. They average 24.55 minutes per game. Wichita Fall on the other hand averages 20.65 minutes per game.

 

Anthony Mousseau 3G – 23A and Wildcats’ Captain Sam Piazza 6G – 20A are tied for thirteenth in the league in defenseman scoring.

 

Anthony Mousseau’s 13 power play assists is tied for fifth in the league. He also has 2 power play goals which means he has been a part of 56% of all Brahmas power play goals.

 

Both teams have performed well in games that extend beyond regulation. The Brahmas are 2 – 1 in overtime and 6 – 2 in shootouts. The Wildcats are 1 – 1 and 6 – 2 under like circumstances.

 

Lone Star is 8 – 1 – 1 in one goal games at home this season.

 

David Zevnik is tied for fourteenth in the league with a 2.33 GAA and TJ Black is tied for twentieth at 2.48 GAA.  Black leads in the save percentage category with a .914 SV% compared to Zevnik’s .909 SV%.

 

TJ Black and Jett Salinas are 9 – 6 – 0 with a 2.05 GAA and a .921 SV% at home this season.

 

TJ Black is tied for ninth in the league in shutout with 3 in 25 games played.

 

February marked the third straight month that the Brahmas improved the penalty kill efficiency going from 75.51% for Nov to 80.00% in Dec, 88.24% in Jan and finally 91.89% in Feb. It was also the first month where they scored more power play goals than they allowed.

 

Wichita Falls has used their team speed to rack up 11 short handed goals this season which leads the league. However, the Brahmas added a lot of speed at the trade deadline and this will be the first time that the Wildcats have faced the revamped Lone Star Brahmas lineup.

 

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Tags: Lone Star Brahmas NAHL Wichita Falls Wildcats

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