Lone Star Brahmas vs Amarillo Bulls Preview


This weekend marks the end of the Lone Star Brahmas home schedule for the 2013/14 NAHL season. There are several special events planned for the weekend. Friday night will be Youth Hockey Night along with a Mini Stick giveaway. Saturday night will be Fan Appreciation Night with multiple specials and giveaways. Tickets are still available for both nights by visiting the NYTEX Sports Centre Box Office or by calling the Lone Star Brahmas Sales Office at 817-336-4423.

 

Also on Friday will be a benefit silent auction to help offset the medical expenses of Billy Skwarczewski who played with the Texas Tornado during their 2004 and 2005 Robertson Cup Championship seasons. Billy was struck by an intoxicated, hit and run driver as he crossed the street last Tuesday near his home in Macomb Township, MI. A special Friends of Billy Skwarczewski Facebook Group has been set up for anyone interested in following his recovery. Items up for bid will include autographed Dallas Stars sweater, stick and helmet as well as other sports memorabilia. Photos of the items are posted on the Facebook Group.

 

While the Brahmas are out of the playoff picture, they can go out with a bang if they can topple the visiting Amarillo Bulls. Amarillo currently sets atop the NAHL South Division by a slim one point lead over Topeka. The Brahmas have shaken off a very slow start to the season to put up respectable numbers in the second half. The first thee months of their inaugural season left the Brahmas with a 6 – 17 – 2 record with a -48 goal differential. Since the start of December the Brahmas have rebounded for a 14 – 14 – 2 record and a -19 goal differential. Lone Star has also played much better on home ice than on the road this season. Fourteen of their 20 wins have come at home while they average 0.5 more goals per game and their goals allowed average drops by 1.32.

 

In head-to-head competition with the Bulls this season Lone Star has a 3 – 7 – 0 record. It has been feast or famine against Amarillo all year. Two of the three Brahmas’ wins have come via shutout while four of the seven Amarillo wins have been by three or more goals. In all the Bulls have outscored the Brahmas 36 – 18 and have shutout Lone Star three times. Matt Lison 3G – 3A, Conner Enciso 1G – 5A and Sebastian Vidmar 3G – 0A have paced the Brahmas offense against Amarillo. TJ Black has seven of the ten decisions in net with a 3 – 4 – 0 record to go along with a 2.13 GAA a .934 SV% and 2 shutouts. Amarillo’s Mike Davis has poured in 7G – 5A in the 10 games. He has been joined by Brady Ferguson 4G – 5A and Joe Grabowski 2G – 7A to lead the Bulls in scoring. Collin Delia and Paul Berrafato have split the goaltending duties. Delia has a 3 – 2 – 0 record and Berrafato has a 4 – 1 – 0 record. They have combined for a 1.80 GAA and a .912 SV%.   The Brahmas split a pair of shootout games against playoff bound Wichita Falls last weekend. They came out on the sort end of a 3 – 2 score on Friday, but came back to grab a 2 – 1 win on Saturday. In game one the Brahmas got third period goals from Hogan Davidson and Lison to take a one goal lead. However, a turn over allowed the Wildcats to tie things up with under five minutes to go. In the shootout only one of the 10 shooters was able to find the net, that being the Wildcats Captain to give Wichita Falls the win. In game two it was the Brahmas who came from behind to tie the game up on a second period goal by affiliate player Derek Barach playing in only his second game. In the shootout, the Wildcats jumped on top as the first shooter snuck one past Black, but Liam Stirtzinger tied it up in the third round and Thomas Aldworth put it away with a top shelf goal in the fifth round.  Black was phenomenal between the pipes turning aside 83 of the 85 shots faced and stopping 2 of 10 in the shootouts. The performance earned him recognition as Easton’s South Division 2nd Star of the Week. It was the third time that Black had received weekly honors this season.

 

Amarillo did not fare quite as well in their weekend series at home against Topeka. The Bulls managed to pull a single point out of the series with a 3 – 2 overtime loss on Friday. Roman Ammirato and Davis accounted for the Amarillo goals and Berrafato took the loss with 23 saves. On Saturday, Amarillo staked the Road Runners to a four goal lead before ever getting on the board with two third period power play goals. Ferguson had the first followed by Mitchell McPherson with an extra attacker. Delia took the loss allowing the four goals on 29 shots before getting the hook. Berrafato stopped all five shots he faced in the mop up duty.

 

Last 5 Games

W

L

OTL

Pts

Brahmas

3

1

1

7

Bulls

3

1

1

7

 

Special Teams

 

When it comes to special teams play, the Brahmas and Bulls are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Amarillo has the number one rated power play and the number eight penalty kill in the league. The Brahmas on the other hand come in ranked 20th on the power play and 22nd on the penalty kill. However, the season long numbers do not tell the whole story. Since the start of February the Brahmas special teams have stepped up their play. The power play would be ranked 14th and the penalty kill would be second based on the numbers from the past five weeks.

 

The Brahmas’ home power play comes in at 15.4% on 21 goals in 136 opportunities, good for 12th in the league. If there is a chink in the Bulls special teams play, it is their road penalty kill which ranks 17th having given up 19 goals on 100 kills or 81.0%.

 

When the Brahmas’ home penalty kill is on the ice, they are 18th in the league at 82.9% giving up 24 power play goals on 140 opportunities. The Bulls’ road power play is second in the league at 21.2% with 24 goals on 113 chances.

 

In the head-to-head matchup, the Brahmas have been on the man advantage 47 times converting on six of the opportunities or 12.8%. Amarillo has taken advantage of 11 power play goals on 54 opportunities for 20.4%.

 

Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games

 

 

W

L

OTL

SO

GA

GAA

SV

SV%

Brahmas

3

1

1

0

11

2.20

   157

.935

Bulls

3

1

1

2

8

1.60

111

.933

 

Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)

 

Brahmas

G

A

Pts

Sebastian Vidmar

1

4

5

Roman Uchyn

2

2

4

Matt Lison

2

2

4

Kellen Wasell

2

2

4

Two tied at

0

3

3

 
Bulls

 G

A

Pts

Tyler Gernhofer

3

3

6

Brady Ferguson

3

3

6

Eric Purcell

1

4

5

Mike Davis

4

0

4

Kyle Gattelaro

3

1

4

 

Inside the Game

 

These two teams have combined for 587 PIMs in their 10 games played. There are four players who have in excess of 30 minutes each, Kellen Wasell 42 PIM, Ben Jentsch 41 PIM, Joe Grabowski 35 PIM, and Brendan McGuire 31 PIM.

 

There have been five total shutouts in the series. Two by the Brahmas and three by the Bulls.

 

In the overall league standing the Brahmas are currently 19th with 44 points. A good showing against the Bulls and they could potentially jump over Minot and be within striking distance of Springfield at 17th.

 

Mike Davis 23G – 32A is third in the league in scoring. His 32 assists is good for sixth best in the league. Matt Lison 18G – 17A is leading the Brahmas.

 

Tyler Gernhofer has scored 28 goal on the season which tops all scorers.

 

Joe Grabowski 6G – 25A and Brendan Vetter 7G – 21A for Amarillo and Anthony Mousseau 3G – 27A are among the league leaders in defenseman scoring.

 

Lone Star looks as though they will finish the season 11th in attendance. The entire NAHL South Division ranks in the top 11 in the league showing the growth in popularity of NAHL in the South and the level of play the seven teams have achieved.

 

Joe Grabowski leads the league in minor penalties with 41 in 51 games played.

 

Collin Delia at 1.54 GAA is currently third in the league, Paul Berrafato is ninth at 2.18 GAA and TJ Black is 18th at 2.38 GAA. Against the Bulls, Black shaves a full 0.25 GAA off his season totals.

 

In save percentage, it is Delia who once again leads the trio at .939 SV% which is third in the league. Black comes in at 13th in the league with a .920 SV% and Berrafato is 15th at .918 SV%. Again TJ steps up his game against the Bulls jumping to a .934 SV% while Delia and Berrafato see their numbers fall to .915 SV% and .909 SV% against the Brahmas.

 

The Brahmas as a team are leading the league with 1344 PIMs, 357 Minor Penalties and 23 Ten Minute Misconduct penalties. The Bulls however, are leading the league in penalty minute average per game at 25.04 minutes. Lone Star is second averaging 24.44 minutes.

 

Amarillo leads the league with 56 power play goals scored on the season.

 

When the game goes beyond regulation, the Brahmas have performed very well this season. They are 2 – 1 in overtime and 7 – 3 in shootouts which is tied for the league’s best shootout record. They have scored 19 shootout goals in 51 attempts for 37.3% which is fifth in the league. The Brahmas are 9th in the league in shootout percentage against at 24.5% on 12 goals in 49 attempts.

 

Lone Star is 13 – 2 – 4 in one goal games and have pulled 8 points out of games when they trailed after two periods with three wins and two overtime losses.

Tags: Amarillo Bulls Lone Star Brahmas NAHL