The Lone Star Brahmas will host the Amarillo Bulls for three games over a six day period starting this Friday evening. The NYTEX Sports Centre will also be hosting three Promo Nights starting with Youth Hockey Night on Friday followed by 80’s Night and concluding with Military Appreciation Night on Wednesday. The Brahmas will wear special camouflage jerseys on Wednesday which will be auctioned off after the game.
The Brahmas and Bulls have faced each other twice already this season splitting the series in Amarillo. In game one the Bulls jumped out to a two goal lead in the first then held on for the 2 – 1 win as Eric Carreras’ second period power play goal was all the Brahmas could muster. Lone Star turned the tables on the Bulls in a big way in game two. Carreras was the offensive star once again picking up a hat trick with power play goals in each period to go along with goals from Sebastian Vidmar, Bud Madej and AJ Vanderbeck who had a pair of goals. Jake Kupsky picked up the 7 – 2 win with 19 saves.
Last weekend the Brahmas ran their win streak to seven straight and 10 of 11 with a tough fought sweep of the Rio Grande Killer Bees. Game one went over 42 minutes with no scoring before the Killer Bees took the lead in the third. Anton Santesson pulled Lone Star even with a power play goal and then Vanderbeck potted the game winner with just over five minutes to go. TJ Black was in net for the win facing 20 shots. Game two was another one goal win for the home team with goals from Ludvig Larsson, Alexey Solovyev and Carreras. Larsson’s and Solovyev’s goals were both selected to be included in the NAHL Plays of the Week. Kupsky logged the win with 13 saves including a huge save on a two on one break.
Amarillo enjoyed a sweep of their own over the weekend with a pair of wins over the Odessa Jackalopes. On Saturday night, the Bulls Cody Gylling pulled Amarillo even with a goal in the first and the game went through regulation tied at one. It was Gylling once again who would come through for the Bulls with a goal in overtime for the 2 – 1 win. In the Sunday matinee the Bulls scored four times in the first and never looked back on the way to a 6 – 1 win. Amarillo goals came from Gylling, Kasper Emanuelsson, Riley Christensen and Will Harrison. Christensen and Harrison had two goals apiece in the contest. Anton Martinsson was in net for the game one win while Jacob Weatherly got the win in game two.
|Last 5 Games
In their previous head to head meeting, the Brahmas won the special teams play handily. Lone Star scored five times in 15 opportunities while holding Amarillo to two goals on 17 power play chances.
Overall the Brahmas’ power play is ranked 9th in the league at 19.2%. Their home unit is 13th in the league at 16.7% having scored 6 goals on 48 opportunities. They will have an opportunity to fatten their number against the Bulls who enter with the 21st ranked road penalty kill at 76.3% allowing 9 goals on 38 kills. Overall Amarillo’s penalty kill ranks 19th in the league at 77.0%.
When they find themselves down a man, the Brahmas overall are 6th in the league at 86.3%, on home ice they are at 89.1% allowing only 5 goals on 46 times shorthanded. The home unit currently ranks 2nd in the league. Amarillo has also struggled with their road power play unit with only 3 goals on 27 opportunities or 11.1% to rank 21st in the league. Overall they are not much better, setting at 19th in the league at 14.0%.
Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games
Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)
Inside the Game
The Brahmas goal tending duo of TJ Black and Jake Kupsky have played their way to the top of the heap in the league. Their combined 2.12 GAA is the best in the league and their .914 SV% is good for fifth. Kupsky is third in the league with a 1.90 GAA and sixth with a .921 SV% while Black has a 2.34 GAA which is 13th and a .907 SV% which is 20th.
Sebastian Vidmar continues to lead the Brahmas in scoring and his 14G – 9A has him sixth in the league. He is leading the league in goals scored and game winning goals.
Caleb Thompson has a +13 plus/minus rating which is good for fifth in the league overall and tied for the lead among defensemen. Over the last five games Alexey Solovyev and Bud Madej are both +7 while Cody Wickline is a +6.
Amarillo is off to a very bumpy start to the season and has made several roster moves in an attempt to shake things up. Since the mid October meeting between the two teams, the Bulls have traded or released seven players who played against the Brahmas. In November they have traded their leading scorer Ruslan Rakhmatov and their Captain Mitchell McPherson.
The Bulls lead the league in penalty minutes with 653, minor penalties with 159 and 10 minute misconducts with 19. They have also allowed the most power play goals against with 29. Because of their penchant for the penalty box, the Bulls has been short handed 126 times this season compared to just 80 times for the Brahmas.
Lone Star is 9 – 1 – 0 as the home team with their one loss coming at the NAHL Showcase Tournament in Blaine, MN. They have outscored their opponents 38 – 20 in those ten games. Amarillo is 1 – 6 – 0 in seven road games and have been outscored 24 – 12.
Amarillo has a -7, -8 and -10 goal differential by period. On the other hand, Lone Star has goal differentials by period of +8, +1 and +13. The Brahmas allow the fewest goals against per game with just 2.12 while the Bulls are 23rd in the league allowing 4.52 per game.
The Brahmas have a +24 shots on goal differential compared to the Bulls who are a -105. Lone Star’s 24.59 shots against per game is the second lowest in the league.