Photo Courtesy of David Dudich: Speedy forward Conner Enciso netted two goals for the Brahmas on Saturday in a losing cause as Lone Star was stopped by Amarillo.

Brahmas Outlegged By Bulls in 8 – 3 Loss


In their final home game of the NAHL season the Lone Star Brahmas had a chance to sweep the division leading Amarillo Bulls for the second time on NYTEX Sports Centre ice this season. Lone Star pulled out a dramatic come from behind shootout win on Friday night, despite skating with only four defensemen, to set up the showdown. On this night however the effort put forth on Friday and the lack of depth on the blueline caught up to them.

It was obvious from the opening faceoff that Amarillo was skating with a purpose. They opened the scoring only 3:30 into the contest off a draw to TJ Black’s right. Roman Ammirato won the faceoff pulling it back to Kyle Gattelaro who slipped out from behind the crowd and put it over the blocker. Black who was screened on the play had no chance on the shot. Just about 30 seconds later the Brahmas put the puck behind Collin Delia but Referee Brodie Cundy ruled it had gone in off of Hogan Davidson’s hand and waived it off. The Bulls went up two goals on the power play just past the midpoint of the period. Again the goal came off a faceoff to Black’s right. After Brady Ferguson won the draw to Gattelaro who fed Joe Grabowski at the top of the near circle and he sent a wrister between the legs of Jeremy Briscoe. The shot was on Black before he had time to react.

With 14.2 seconds to go the Brahmas finally got a goal that counted on the power play. Cody Wickline spotted a cutting Kellen Wasell and hit him on his way to the front of the net. Wasell’s shot went off of Delia’s pads and a large pile of humanity developed at the front of the crease. Thomas Aldworth came in to clean up the rebound to cut the lead in half. Off the ensuing faceoff Davidson and Eric Purcell dropped the mitts for a spirited bout. The 5′ 7″, 165 pound Davidson held his own against the 6′ 1″ 180 pound Purcell leaving Purcell with a mouse under his left eye.

The Bulls reestablished their two goal lead at the 9:21 mark of the second and for the third time on the night it was off a draw to Black’s right. This time it was Matt Seickhaus in the circle for Amarillo and he won the draw back to Brett Szjaner who put it on goal. Black got a big piece of it, but it snuck between his right arm and the body. Amarillo struck again at 10:41 when Mitchell Vanderburg sent a puck from behind the cage to Gattelaro on the doorstep for a bang – bang play. Szjaner picked up the secondary assist. The four goals in just over 30 minutes brought Jett Salinas off the bench in relief of Black.

Conner Enciso scored an unassisted goal with 2:25 to go in the second on a good individual effort. Stuart Pomeroy failed to keep the puck in at the zone at the near point and Enciso jumped on it. The speedy forward was off to the races down the near side and ripped it over the blocker.

Unfortunately, Amarillo came right back scoring just over a minute later to kill any momentum that the Brahmas may have picked up from the Enciso goal. The Bulls brought the puck into the zone on a rush that turned into a pile on Salinas’ lap. Somehow the puck ended up behind Salinas. Mike Davis was credited with the goal while Gattelaro and Amirrato received the assists.

Down 5 – 2, Lone Star came out firing in the third and Enciso scored his second of the night just 1:08 into the period. Aldworth and Wasell were credited with the assists on the play.

Once again the Bulls responded quickly. Vanderburg drove the net and Salinas made a big pad save, but Vanderburg’s momentum pushed Salinas out of the crease leaving the net wide open for Cody Gylling to tap home the rebound. In a rather scary moment, Aldworth put a huge hit on Brendan Vetter at the near halfwall that left Vetter crumpled on the ice, bleeding profusely from the forehead. Vetter went to the locker room with the Brahmas’ team doctor as play was stopped to clean the blood off the ice. In typical hockey player fashion, Vetter returned to the bench several minutes later sporting stitches from his hairline to just above his left eyebrow and strapped on his helmet. Fortunately the Amarillo coaching staff kept him on the bench the rest of the game. Amarillo continued to pour on the offense. Seickhaus stole the puck deep in the Brahmas zone and slid it past Salinas unassisted at the 9:01mark. Timmy Moore followed 1:19 later with assists to Patrick Pollock and Purcell to cap off the scoring.

The Brahmas were outshot 33 – 19 on the night and both teams were 1 – 3 on the power play.

Boxscore

Elsewhere Around the NAHL South Division

Rio Grande Valley at Odessa

The Killer Bees completed the sweep of Odessa with a 2 – 0 shutout win at the Ector County Coliseum. JB Baker had an unassisted goal in the first period and Dan Kucerovy added an insurance goal in the third. Olli Kalkaja stopped all 18 shots he faced to pick up the victory.

Kenai River at Wichita Falls

Kenai had all the scoring in the first period with goals from Albin Karlsson and Gustav Berglund. The Wildcats responded with a three goal second period to take a one goal lead into the second intermission. However, The Brown Bears controlled the third period with three unanswered goals from Matt Rubin, Ben Campbell and Zack Zulkanycz for the final 5 – 3 score. Kris Oldham picked up the win with 35 saves.

Current NAHL South Division Standings

TEAM

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

PCT

xAmarillo

54

37

13

4

78

0.722

xTopeka

54

34

14

6

74

0.685

xRio Grande

56

33

16

7

73

0.652

xWichita Falls

55

30

21

4

64

0.582

Lone Star

57

21

32

4

46

0.404

Corpus Christi

56

17

29

10

44

0.393

Odessa

56

14

37

5

33

0.295

 x – Clinched Playoff Berth

Tags: Lone Star Brahmas NAHL