The Lone Star Brahmas and Topeka Roadrunners will faceoff this weekend at the NYTEX Sports Centre for their first meeting of the season. The series will pit two of the top teams in the league in an NAHL South Division slug fest.
Lone Star was off this past weekend giving them two weeks to prepare for Topeka who will come in as the number one team in the league. While it is early in the season, this series is important to the Brahmas in their pursuit of an NAHL South Division Title. Topeka has had a blistering start with 31 points a full 14 points ahead of Lone Star. However, the Brahmas have played five fewer games. Nevertheless, if Lone Star wants to make a run at the top of the standings they can ill afford to spot the Roadrunners another four points.
Topeka rolled into Amarillo over the weekend and walked out with two lopsided wins. Friday night saw the Roadrunners grab a 6 – 2 win with goals from five different players and 28 saves from Drew Vogler. They followed that up on Saturday scoring three times on 17 power plays to cruise to a 7 – 1 win. Daniel Brickley and Daniel Rzavsky each had two goals in the game and Vogler once again picked up the win facing 28 shots on goal.
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Special teams play is fairly even for these two teams with Topeka holding the slightest of an edge on the power play. If the Brahmas power play can play like they have on the road that slight edge disappears. Lone Star will have to work to cut down their penalties against Topeka. The Brahmas are the second most penalized team in the league averaging 25.77 minutes per game while the Roadrunners are 13th at 15.56 minutes.
The Brahmas’ power play overall is setting at 20.5% while the home unit is 12th in the league at just 17.1% having scored 6 goals on 35 opportunities. They will be skating against a Topeka road penalty kill that is 10th in the league at 86.0% allowing 7 goals on 50 penalty kills.
When they find themselves down a man, the Brahmas home penalty kill is at 86.7% which is good for 4th in the league. They have allowed 4 goals on 30 penalty kills. Topeka’s 8th ranked road power play is setting at 22.2% having scored 12 times on 54 opportunities.
Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games
Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)
Inside the Game
The series will see three of the league’s top 12 scorers. Topeka’s Jasen Fernsler 3G – 17A is tied for 5th, Daniel Rzavsky 8G – 11A is tied for 8th and Sebastian Vidmar 13G – 5A is tied for 12th although Vidmar has played 5 fewer games.
Sebastian Vidmar’s 13 goals and 5 game winning goals both lead the league in those categories.
Eric Carreras and Daniel Rzavsky are tied for 2nd in the league with 5 power play goals.
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Sebastian Vidmar and Cam Strong are both on three game goal scoring streaks tied for the longest active streak in the league. Ludvig Larsson is on a 5 game point streak.
The Brahmas have one of the best goaltender tandems in the league. They have a 2.38 GAA which is 3rd in the league and a .908 SV% good for 5th. Jake Kupsky is 5th in GAA at 2.02 and 8th is SV% at .920. TJ Black has a 2.75 GAA and a .896 SV% which are 19th and 25th.
Topeka’s Matej Tomek is leading the league with a 1.10 GAA and a .957 SV% but will likely miss the series as he recovers from injury. Drew Vogler is 11th in GAA at 2.36 and 14th in SV% at .912.
NYTEX Sports Centre has seen an average attendance of 1,766 per game which is more than 400 over the league average and good for 6th in the league.
The first goal will be critical in this series the two teams combined are 20 – 1 – 1 when scoring first with Topeka winning all 13 games in which the scored first.
The Brahmas are 5th in the league in goals for per game at 3.46 and 3rd in goals against per game at 2.38. Topeka is 2nd and 1st with 4.11 goals for and 2.00 goals against.