Lone Star Brahmas vs Odessa Jackalopes Preview


The Lone Star Brahmas will travel to West Texas to face the Odessa Jackalopes at the Ector County Coliseum on Friday and Saturday nights. This will be the final meeting of the season between the teams as the Brahmas’ NAHL season will come to an end in Wichita Falls on Wednesday March 26. In their only other trip to Odessa this season the Brahmas swept the Jackalopes in late December. In six total games this season, Lone Star has built a 5 – 1 – 0 record against Odessa.

 

Conner Enciso 5G – 3A and Kellen Wasell 4G – 4A have found success against Odessa as has Roman Uchyn 1G – 3A in just two games since coming to the Brahmas at the trade deadline. TJ Black and Jett Salinas both are 2 – 0 – 0 when facing the Jackalopes. Black has phenomenal numbers in his two games logging a 0.92 GAA and a .957 SV%. It took everything Black had in the tank in those games both 2 – 1 shootout wins. Salinas received a bit more offensive support in his starts with the Brahmas scoring a combined 12 goals for Salinas. Salinas has a 3.00 GAA and .893 SV% against Odessa.

 

Odessa has been led offensively by Lukas Laub 4G – 1A and Alex Alger 1G – 4A. In four games, Yoshihiro Kuroiwa has a 1 – 3 – 0 record against the Brahmas with a 3.64 GAA and a .860 SV%. Eric Hancock was in net for both the shootout contests against Lone Star and received even less offensive support than did Black. Hancock has a very respectable 2.17 GAA and a .930 SV%, with nothing but two shootout losses to show for it.

 

The Brahmas are coming off a weekend split with division leading Amarillo. On Friday night skating with only four healthy defensemen the Brahmas hung around long enough for Wasell to tie it up with just three seconds left in regulation. Lone Star won it in a shootout for their fourth win of the season against Amarillo. Lone Star is the only team in the league other than Topeka with more than two wins against the Bulls this season. The Bulls exacted some revenge on Saturday with an 8 – 3 drubbing of the Brahmas on Fan Appreciation Night at the NYTEX Sports Centre.

 

Friday night also included a silent auction to benefit a former member of the Texas Tornado, Billy Skwarczewski who was struck by a hit and run, drunk driver on March 4th. The hockey community came together and raised over $2,200.00 to help offset his mounting medical bills. In addition an online donation site has been set up to further defray medical expenses and has raised an additional $3,000.00.

 

Odessa was at home against Rio Grande last weekend and was swept by the visiting Killer Bees. In fact the Jackalopes have lost five in a row and 12 of their last 13 games. Odessa’s lone goal in the two game set against Rio Grande came on Friday night via a short handed goal from Chad Guderian. Hancock started in goal for Odessa Friday night but gave way to Kuroiwa after giving up four goals on eight shots faced. Kuroiwa did not fare much better allowing three goals on 18 shots. On Saturday Kuroiwa got the call and performed much better making 40 saves, but received no support in a 2 – 0 loss.

 

Last 5 Games

W

L

OTL

Pts

Brahmas

3

1

1

7

Jackalopes

0

4

1

1

 

Special Teams

 

Both teams will have an opportunity to pad their dismal special team numbers this weekend as both are currently running at the bottom of the league standings. In the head to head matchup the Brahmas have been slightly better than Odessa converting 4 of 25 power play opportunities while the Jackalopes are 1 for 20.

 

The Brahmas’ road power play is last in the league at just 6.6% having converted only 6 of 91 opportunities. They will be facing a home penalty kill that is also last in the league at 78.1% allowing 21 goals on 96 kills.

 

When the Brahmas go in the penalty kill they are not much better than the Jackalopes. Their road unit is last in the league at 78.4% on 25 goals in 116 times short handed. Odessa’s home power play once again ranks last in the league at just 8.4% with 8 goals on 95 opportunities.

 

Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games

 

 

W

L

OTL

SO

GA

GAA

SV

SV%

Brahmas

3

1

1

0

16

3.20

171

.914

Jackalopes

0

4

1

0

20

4.00

137

.873

 

Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)

 

Brahmas

G

A

Pts

Thomas Aldworth

2

2

4

Kellen Wasell

2

2

4

Sebastian Vidmar

0

4

4

Conner Enciso

2

1

3

Roman Uchyn

2

1

3

Matt Lison

2

1

3

Jackalopes

 G

A

Pts

Alex Alger

1

1

2

Derek Brown

1

1

2

Chad Guderian

1

1

2

Conner Thei

0

2

2

Three tied at

1

0

1

 

Inside the Game

 

Since the beginning of December the Brahmas are playing .500 hockey at 15 – 15 – 2 and are fourth place in the division in that time span. Below is a look at the NAHL South Division – December through March.

 

TEAM

W

L

OTL

PTS

Topeka

21

4

3

45

Rio Grande

19

8

2

40

Amarillo

17

9

4

38

Lone Star

15

15

2

32

Wichita Falls

15

12

1

31

Corpus Christi

8

16

4

20

Odessa

4

16

5

13

 

In TJ Black’s last four games in net, three have gone to a shootout. He has won two of the three allowing only 2 goals in 14 attempts despite the fact that the shooters he faced had scored on 16 of 30 shootout attempts entering the games against the Brahmas. On the season Black has 5 – 2 record in shootouts allowing eight goals in 32 attempts.

 

Odessa goaltender Yoshihiro Kuroiwa is leading the league in losses with 24 in 36 games played

 

Anthony Mousseau’s 13 power play assists has him tied for 10th in the league. He also has 2 power play goals which gives him 15 points on the power play. With the Brahmas having scored only 28 power play goals this season, Mousseau has contributed on 54% of the teams power play goals.

 

The Brahmas have the second best shootout scoring percentage in the league at 38.9% scoring 21 goals on 54 attempts. They also have the eighth best shootout against scoring percentage at 22.6% allowing 12 goals on 53 attempts.

 

Lone Star has the highest team shooting percentage scoring 126 goals on 1167 shots or 10.8%. Unfortunately, they have the fewest shots on goal by far. They are nearly 200 shots on goal behind Odessa who is the nearest competitor and nearly 700 shot on goal behind Fairbanks who leads the league with 1859.

 

Matt Lison 18G – 11A leads the Brahmas in scoring and goals scored and power play goals with 6. Anthony Mousseau leads with 24 assists.

 

Lukas Laub 15G – 13A leads Odessa in scoring and goals scored and is tied with former Brahma Leo Lumm for the lead in power play goals with 3. Alex Alger leads with 14 assists.

 

Lone Star has out shot Odessa in the season series 173 – 154 and outscored them 21 – 14.

 

Matt Beranek with 23 PIMs leads three Jackalopes with double digit penalty minutes against Lone Star. The other two are Jefferson Martin 17 PIMs and Razmuz Waxin-Engback with 16 PIMs. Liam Stirtzinger with 11 PIMs is the only Brahmas with double digits against Odessa. Stirtzinger is currently on a 6 game streak with at least one penalty.

 

When a game extends beyond regulation these two teams are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Lone Star is 2 – 1 in overtime and 8 – 3 in shootouts. Odessa is 0 – 1 and 1 – 4.

 

The Brahmas are 14 – 2 – 4 in one goal games while the Jackalopes are 5 – 7 – 5.

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