The NAHL released their Easton’s Stars of the Week for the week ending December 7th and two Lone Star Brahmas‘ players were recognized in the South Division. Defenseman Bud Madej was named Second Star and Forward Sebastian Vidmar received Honorable Mention. Combined the two accounted for three goals and five assist in the weekend sweep of the Rio Grande Killer Bees.
On Friday night Madej got one of the biggest series by a Lone Star Blueliner started when he dropped the gloves with Connor Wood at 13:07 of the first period drawing 25 penalty minutes. Despite spending the balance of the first period and all but 1:53 of the second period locked away in the penalty box Madej had a big impact of the Brahmas come from behind win. At 7:49 of the third the Chicago native found the back of the net to tie the game at two goals apiece. Just 4:32 later he completed the Gordie Howe Hat Trick with an assist on a power play goal by Vidmar that turned out to be the game winner. In addition to his third period game winner, Vidmar also had a first period assist on a goal by fellow Swede Oskar Andren.
Saturday night was Teddy Bear Toss Night at the NYTEX Sports Centre and Madej’s power play goal was the catalyst for the ice being littered with stuffed animals just 1:51 into the contest. Jake Kupsky was between the pipes for the Brahmas and Madej’s goal was all the offense he needed to get the win. For the second night in a row, Vidmar was involved in the game winner with an assist on the Madej goal. At 19:05 of the second, Madej had the only assist on a goal by AJ Vanderbeck which ended up being the only scoring of the middle frame. Vidmar added another point early in the third assisting on Andren’s second goal of the series.
Madej and Brahmas veteran goaltender TJ Black have known each other for several years and Black has a lot of respect for his friend. “Bud has been on my team for the past six years,” said Black. “He has always been my favorite defenseman because he’s one of those guys who goes into battle for you and will lead the charge.”
In an interview prior to the season Vidmar put forward some lofty plans for the season. “Fans will see me doing my best to be as painful for our opponent’s defense as possible,” he said. “I will also help and give time to my teammates and hopefully set up some nice plays for them. All I know is that I’m going to give whatever it takes for the team to be successful.” So far he has lived up to his goals.
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The award was Madej’s first of the season. Vidmar on the other hand has become somewhat of a regular recipient having received First Star recognition three times, Second Star once and Honorable Mention once. Lone Star players have been recognized a total of 11 times in 13 weeks so far. There have been only five weeks in which at least one Brahmas play has not been honored. However, In two of those weeks the Brahmas had no games scheduled and in one week they played only a single game.