The puck dropped at the NYTEX Sports Centre on Saturday night with the Lone Star Brahmas riding a six game win streak and looking to continue their perfect record on home ice. Game one of the series with the visiting Rio Grande Killer Bees saw the home team get off to a sluggish start, but they came to life when Rio Grande jumped out to a one goal lead early in the third period. From that point on the Brahmas controlled play and stormed back for a hard fought 2 – 1 win.
It looked as though the Brahmas were going to continue their momentum from late the night before into Saturday’s game. At 5:22 of the first the Brahmas had the offense set up in the zone and Pat Egan slid it behind the net to Sebastian Vidmar in the near corner. Vidmar gave it to Alexey Solovyev at the point for a cannon into the twine, but Referee Steven Rouillard waived it off claiming there was a player in the crease. Then with 1:53 to go in the opening frame the Brahmas went into the zone on a 3 on 1 in which Vidmar drove down the near side slid the puck across to Egan and he burried it just as Rio Grande defenseman Rob Click slid into Nick Schmit knocking the net off the moorings. Rouillard once again waived off the goal allowing the Killer Bees to escape the period with the scored knotted at zero. They would not be so fortunate in the second.
With 5:40 gone in the second the Brahmas finally got one that the referee could not take away from them. This time the goal came off the stick off Ludvig Larsson after Anton Santesson had stole the puck in neutral ice. Santesson slid it across to Larsson who went steaming into the zone looked off the defenseman Wayland Williams then blasted it past Schmit’s glove hand. Solovyev added a shorty to the scoring on a romp down the middle. He weaved his way around one defender, split two more and put it five hole on the backhand. Time of the goal was 7:28.
Rio Grande got on the board at 9:39 on a deflection of a deflection in front by Dallas Gerad of a Parker Wood shot from the point. Kyle Stephan scored just 10 seconds later from Anthony Croston when he went back across the grain on Jake Kupsky to tie the score at two.
Lone Star reestablished the lead with just under five minutes gone in the third. Vidmar skated the puck down the near side cut across to the far hash and ripped it off of Schmit. Eric Carreras followed the play and put the rebound top shelf for what turned out to be the game winner.
The Brahmas controlled play all night long with the exception of the brief period in the second when Rio Grande came up with their two goals. Lone Star won the shots on goal battle 35 – 15. Neither team was able to score on the power play with Rio Grande 0 – 2 and Lone Star 0 – 1. However, the Brahmas did have the short handed goal in the second.
Lone Star has now won 7 in a row and 9 of their last 10. The 7 game win streak is the longest active streak in the league. The Brahmas have yet to lose on the NYTEX Sports Centre ice this season. They will look to extend the streak next weekend against the visiting Amarillo Bulls who were the last team to defeat the Brahmas. With the sweep of Rio Grande coupled with Wichita Falls and Corpus Christi being idle the Brahmas have moved into second place in the South Division. They have picked up seven points on the division leading Topeka Roadrunners over the past two weekends. Lone Star still trails Topeka by 7 points, but the Brahmas have 5 games in hand.
Elsewhere Around The NAHL South Division
Topeka – Springfield
The Roadrunners road woes continued as the Jr Blues tallied in each period to upend Topeka 3 – 2. The Roadrunners had goals from Carlos Fornaris and Sam Rennaker, but it was not enough. Drew Vogler allowed three goals on 33 shots faced for the loss.
Odessa – Amarillo
The Jackalopes pushed the Bulls to overtime in the Budweiser Bullpen in Amarillo. Cody Gylling had two goals on the night for Amarillo with one in the first and the overtime game winner on the power play. Anton Martinsson picked up the win in net for Amarillo.
Wenatchee – Fairbanks
After snapping the Icedogs win streak at 10 games on Friday night, the Wild entered Saturday looking for the sweep. It took going to a shootout to get the job done, but the Wild will head back to Washington with four points in hand. David Powlowski had a late first period goal to pull the Wild even and that is where the score stayed through overtime. Powlowski scored as Wenatchee’s first shooter in the shootout then Brendan Harris closed it out in round four. Zach Quinn got the win in net making 30 saves on the night.
Current NAHL South Division Standings