Lone Star Brahmas vs Wichita Falls Wildcats Preview


 

The Lone Star Brahmas will wrap up their inaugural 2013-14 NAHL season on the road in Wichita Falls Wednesday night. This has been a season of struggles for the Brahmas which began with the late start due to the purchase of the team and continued through the past several games playing with a banged up defense core. Along the way, the Brahmas have shown slow and steady progress to the point that they have strung together a .567 winning percentage over the past two months.

 

The Kay Yeager Coliseum has been a hostile environment for the Brahmas. Lone Star is 2 – 4 – 1 against the Wildcats this season with all three of their games in Wichita Falls going into the loss column by a combined score of 22 – 5. At the NYTEX Sports Centre the Brahmas have played Wichita Falls much tighter being outscored 8 – 7 in four games with two going to shootouts.

 

Captain Matt Lison 2G – 1A leads the Brahmas in scoring against Wichita Falls. Ryan Watson 1G – 2A and Michael Crowley 0G – 3A are the only other skaters to break the two point mark. TJ Black has a 1 – 3 – 0 record against Wichita Falls with a 3.07 GAA and a .919 SV% while Jett Salinas has no record in two games played, a 4.08 GAA and a .904 SV%.

 

Will Vosejpka 6G – 4A has feasted on Brahmas defense this season in the seven game series. Kyle Bauman 5G – 3A has pitched in with eight points. Tyler Ledford, Colin Staub and Kirk Van Arkel all have 3G apiece.

 

Last weekend the Brahmas were on the road in Odessa for their sixth consecutive series that ended in a split. On Friday Lison staked Lone Star to a lead in the first before Odessa came back with four straight. Roman Uchyn scored twice in the latter half of the second, but the Brahmas could get no closer with the game ending in a 4 – 3 loss. Saturday was much more to the Brahmas liking. Uchyn and Sebastian Vidmar potted first period goals and Anthony Mousseau added one in the third. Black picked up his fourth shutout of the season in the contest. Following the final horn on Saturday, the Jackalopes instigated a brouhaha that resulted in 137 PIMs and Leaving Player Bench majors and game misconducts for Kellen Wasell and Nick Blase who had come off the bench to celebrate the win. Watson and Hogan Davidson who was the initial target of the Jackalopes aggression were hit with Fighting Under 5 Minute Game Misconducts. The dust up could leave the Brahmas with a short bench against the Wildcats depending on league review of the event.

 

Wichita Falls also had a split over the weekend against division leading Amarillo. In game one, the Wildcats only goal in their 3 – 1 loss came from Captain Sam Piazza. David Zevnik made 27 saves in a losing effort. The following night Vosejpka and Ledford had second period goals on the way to a 2 – 2 tie through the overtime period. In the shootout, Zevnik stopped two of the four shots he faced while Rudy Junda, Ben Kucera, Piazza and Josh Haverstrom all found the back of the net for the Wildcats.

Last 5 Games

W

L

OTL

Pts

Brahmas

3

2

0

6

Wildcats

3

2

0

6

 

Special Teams

 

Lone Star’s power play that has struggled all season has been especially snake bit against the Wildcats, failing to score on 34 opportunities. On the other hand, Wichita Falls has converted on 6 of 28 opportunities as well as scoring a short handed goal.

 

The Brahmas’ road power play has worked its way out of the basement over the past few road trips and now sets at 22nd in the league with 10 goals on 104 opportunities or 9.6%. They will be facing the fifth best home penalty kill in the league at 89.3%. The Wildcats have allowed 14 goals on 131 penalty kills at home.

 

On the road to Brahmas are clocking in at number 23 on the penalty kill. They are at 78.7% having killed off 96 of 122 opponents power plays. They will have a chance to build on their recent uptick in play as the Wildcats home power play is 21st in the league. In 111 man advantages Wichita Falls has converted 14 times or 12.6%.

 

Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games

 

 

W

L

OTL

SO

GA

GAA

SV

SV%

Brahmas

3

2

0

1

15

3.00

171

.919

Wildcats

3

2

0

0

12

2.40

127

.919

Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)

 

Brahmas

G

A

Pts

Roman Uchyn

3

1

4

Conner Enciso

2

2

4

Sebastian Vidmar

1

3

4

Thomas Aldworth

2

1

3

Two tied at

1

2

3

 
Wildcats

 G

A

Pts

Sam Piazza

4

0

4

Colin Staub

0

4

4

Tyler Ledford

2

1

3

Will Vosejpka

2

1

3

Ben Kucera

2

1

3

Inside the Game

 

Andrew Kerr is 2nd in the league in PIMs with 158 in 55 games played. Nick Blase 152 minutes in 52 games and Liam Stirtzinger 143 minutes in 47 games are 3rd and 4th. Kerr’s 8 majors also have him tied for the league lead in that category with teammate Stan Sojka.

 

With the rash of penalty minutes following last Saturday’s game, the Brahmas have now taken over the league lead in PIMs with 1461. They also lead the league in Game Misconducts with 21.

 

David Zevnik and Chase Munroe are tied for 15th in the league at a 2.32 GAA, TJ Black is 19th with a 2.37 GAA. However, Black has a .922 SV% compared to a .911 for Munroe and a .909 for Zevnik. Black has also doubled the Wildcats tandem in shutouts with 4 to their combined 2.

 

Sam Piazza 11G – 24A and Anthony Mousseau 4G – 25A are among the league leaders in defenseman scoring. Pizza sits at number 5 while Mousseau is tied for 13.

 

The Wildcats are league leaders in short handed goals with 11.

 

Both teams have performed well in games that extend beyond regulation. They have identical 2 – 1 overtime and 8 – 3 shootout records.

 

The Brahmas have 10 points out of the 30 games that they trailed after two periods with 4 wins and 2 overtime losses.

 

Liam Stirtzinger is riding an eight game penalty streak which is the fifth longest streak in the league this season.

 

Lone Star is currently holding down the fifth spot in the NAHL South two points ahead of Corpus Christi. However, the Icerays have one game in hand, but the Brahmas hold the first tie breaker with the most regulation wins. The three scenarios for the Brahmas against Wichita Falls and the impact on final standings are as below.

  • With a win over Wichita Falls the Brahmas ensure that they maintain their current position.
  • With an overtime loss against Wichita Falls, Corpus Christi could overtake the Brahmas with a sweep of Rio Grande this coming weekend.
  • With a loss to the Wildcats the Brahmas would remain in fifth place unless the Icerays get at least a win and an overtime loss against Rio Grande.

 

 

 

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