The Lone Star Brahmas will travel to Topeka to face the Roadrunners on Friday and Saturday night with the opportunity to take control of first place in the NAHL South Division. They last faced Topeka at the NYTEX Sports Centre on November 7 and 8 in games four and five of their current 10 game win streak. Lone Star outscored Topeka 8 – 2 in those two games.
This last week the Brahmas hosted the Amarillo Bulls for three games. On Friday night the Brahmas got two goals each from Bud Madej and Nick Ford to go along with an 18 save performance from TJ Black for a 5 – 2 win. Saturday night went through two periods with no scoring before Lone Star got power play goals from Sebastian Vidmar and Liam Stirtzinger then an empty netter from AJ Vanderbeck to secure the 3 – 1 win in front of Jake Kupsky who made 17 saves for his sixth straight win. In the series finally, Pat Egan had two goals and Oskar Andren pitched in three points with a goal and two assists to lead the offense. Ludvig Larsson, Quinn Carroll and Vanderbeck also had goals in the 6 – 1 victory. Black was between the pipes again for his fifth straight win.
Topeka hosted the Springfield Jr Blues over the weekend and ended up with a split for their efforts. In game one the Roadrunners came away with a 4 – 0 shutout win on goals from Daniel Brickley, Mike Gornall, Daniel Rzavsky and Sam Rennaker. Matej Tomek picked up the win in net in his first game back from an injury layoff. In game two Topeka held a two goal lead going into the third on goals by Brickley and Rzavsky only to see Springfield score three times in the third for a 3 – 2 win.
|Last 5 Games
Lone Star’s power play is currently ranked seventh in the league and the power play is fifth on the penalty kill. Topeka comes in at sixth on the power play and ninth on the penalty kill. When they faced each other earlier in the month each team had one power play goal. The Brahmas had eight opportunities and the Roadrunners had eleven.
On the road the Brahmas’ power play is at 22.5% on 9 goals in 40 opportunities which has them ranked fifth in the league. They will be skating against a Topeka home penalty kill ranked eighth at 86.7% allowing 6 goals on 45 penalty kills.
The Brahmas road penalty kill has allowed 6 goals on 34 kills which ranks 16th in the league at 82.4%. They will have their hand full with a Topeka home power play that is tied for second in the league at 25.0% tallying 13 goals on 52 opportunities.
Lone Star’s home power play is at 16.3% of 13th in the league converting 7 of 43 opportunities. They will be up against a Rio Grande road penalty kill which is 17th in the league allowing 6 goals on 34 penalty kills for 81.8%.
Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games
Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)
Inside the Game
The Brahmas trail Topeka by three points in the NAHL South Division, but have four games in hand. If Lone Star can sweep the weekend series allowing Topeka only one point of less over the two games, they will have fought their way to first place in the division.
Sebastian Vidmar 15G – 14A is tied for third in the league in scoring and is tied for the lead in goals scored and is leading in game winning goals with 5. He is riding a 10 game win streak and has 17 points in the streak.
Mike Gornall 7G – 17A leads the Roadrunners in scoring with 24 points good for 13th in the league.
Liam Stirtziner has the highest shooting percentage in the league at 38.5% with 5 goals on 13 shots on goal.
Topeka’s Jason Fernsler is tied for fourth in the league in assists at 19 with 11 coming on the power play which is tied for the league lead.
Caleb Thompson is third in the league in +/- rating at +16 which leads defensemen, while Sebastian Vidmar and Ryan Polin of Topeka are tied for fourth at +15.
Willie Brown has been whistled for 17 minor penalties which is the second highest in the league.
The series will have three of the top six goalies in goals against average. Matej Tomek leads the league at 1.19 GAA, Jake Kupsky is third with a 1.80 GAA and TJ Black stands at a 2.18 GAA.[Related-Category]
Matej Tomek leads the league in shutouts with 3 and Drew Vogler is tied for second with 3 shootout wins.
Topeka has been a second period team this season outscoring opponents 35 – 13 in the middle frame. Lone Star’s strong suit has been period three where they hold a 29 – 12 advantage. This may bode well for the Brahmas since the only period in which the Roadrunners have been outscored in the third where they have been outscored by eight goals at 13 – 22.
The Brahmas are Roadrunners are third and fourth in goals scored per game at 3.60 and 3.54 per game. They are one and two in goals against per game at 2.00 and 2.17.
The two teams are a combined 27 – 3 – 1 when scoring first, so the all-important first goal of the game will be even more so in this series.