This weekend presents the Lone Star Brahmas with what could be the closest thing to a must win series at this point in the season. They will play a two game series against the division leading Topeka Roadrunners at the Kansas Expo Center. Lone Star currently sets six points behind Topeka with three games in hand. However, if the Brahmas are going to make a run at the top spot in the division they can ill afford to fall further behind Topeka.
These two teams have met four times so far this season with the home team winning all four. Lone Star won games one and two at the NYTEX Sports Centre in early November while the Roadrunners took games three and four in Topeka. Six Brahmas players have three or more points scored in the four games. Lone Star’s power play is 3 for 17 against Topeka. Four Topeka skaters have three points against the Brahmas and their power play is 3 for 20.
11/07/14 Topeka 1 at Lone Star 5
11/08/14 Topeka 1 at Lone Star 3
11/28/14 Lone Star 2 at Topeka 4
11/29/14 Lone Star 1 at Topeka 2
Looking at games against the most recent common opponent the Wenatchee Wild doesn’t shed much more light on the upcoming series. Topeka played a three game series at home against the Wild starting on New Year Day. They went 2 – 1 – 0 with one win coming via a shootout. This past weekend it was the Brahmas shot at the Wild. The Brahmas won 6 – 5 on Friday night and then saw their home win streak end at 19 games when they dropped a 3 – 2 decision in overtime.
In game one against Wenatchee the Brahmas found themselves down three goals going into the first intermission. The offense came alive in the second as the Brahmas outscored the Wild 5 – 1 to carry a lead into the third. Wenatchee knotted the game up at five before Oskar Andren potted the game winner with 17 seconds left. Andren had a total of four goals in the contest while Sebastian Vidmar and Quinn Carroll scored one each. TJ Black picked up his 14th win of the season in net. Game two got off to a much better start for Lone Star, Cody Wickline scored just 38 seconds into the contest and then Andren buried his fifth of the weekend in the second. Unfortunately Wenatchee scored twice in the third to force overtime where they scored the game winner at 2:23 to snap the Brahmas’ home win streak.
While the Brahmas and Wild were battling it out at NYTEX, Topeka was in Wichita Falls for two games. On Friday night Topeka scored four times on goals from Carlos Fornaris in the first, a pair of goals from Daniel Rzavsky in the second and Mike Gornall in the third, but found themselves on the wrong side of a 7 – 4 final. Matej Tomek played the first two periods and was saddled with the loss. Saturday night both teams scored in the first and second periods to go into the third tied at two. Daniel Brickley scored in the first for Topeka and Cam Strong in the second. As in the Friday game, Gornall came through in the third for the game winner. Tomek again go the start and this time came through for the win.
|Last 5 Games||W||L||OTL||Pts|
Special Teams have been a big part of the success of the Brahmas and Roadrunners this season. They have played to the point that you could throw a blanket over both. The Brahmas power play is currently 4th in the league at 22.0% while Topeka is 3rd at 24.7%. On the penalty kill, the numbers are much the same with Lone Star holding down the 4th spot at 87.3% and Topeka is 6th at 85.1%. Lone Star is slightly more likely to go on the man advantage having been on the power play 173 times in 35 games played compared to 170 times in 38 games played for Topeka. The two teams are nearly equal on the number of times they have been on the penalty kill with the Brahmas being a man down 158 times in 35 games and the Roadrunners 161 times in 38 games.
On the road the Brahmas’ power play is clicking at 20.6% on 14 goals in 68 opportunities good for 4th in the league. They will be facing the 7th ranked home penalty kill unit at 85.9%. Topeka has allowed 13 goals on 92 times shorthanded. When on the road, the Brahmas penalty kill ranks 5th in the league allowing only 9 goals in 64 kills for 85.9%. The Roadrunners come in with a strong home power play setting second in the league at 28.7% on 27 goals on 94 opportunities.
Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games
Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)
Inside the Game
The Brahmas enter the game having slipped from the number one spot in fewest goals allowed per game. They now rank 2nd in the league with a 2.09 GAA to go along with a 0.908 Save Percentage that is good for 7th in the league. On offense they are averaging 3.60 goals scored per game which is 3rd in the NAHL. Topeka is currently ranked 4th in all three categories. They have a 2.24 GAA, a 0.915 Save Percentage and average 3.53 goals scored per game.
The Brahmas are 6 – 2 – 2 in their last 10 games while the Roadrunners are 8 – 2 – 0.
Both teams have players in the top 25 in scoring. The Brahmas Sebastian Vidmar 23G – 29A leads the NAHL while Ludvig Larsson 11G – 22A is tied for 23rd. Jasen Fernsler 11G – 29A leads Topeka and is tied for 4th in the league, Mike Gornall 10G – 28A is tied for 10th and Daniel Rzavsky 16G – 18A is tied for 19th. Vidmar’s 23 goals, +30 rating and 7 game winning goals are all tops in the league.
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On the defensive side there is one player from each team in the top 15 in defenseman scoring. Topeka’s Daniel Brickley 9G – 17A is 6th and the Brahmas’ Alexey Solovyev 6G – 15A is 12th.
Roadrunner’s defenseman Brickley is 4th in the league in shots on goal with 118 in 36 games played. Vidmar leads the Brahmas in shots on goal with 84 which is 56th in the league. However, Vidmar is 2nd in the league in shooting percentage at 0.274 while Liam Stirtzinger is 5th at .241.
Lone Star is averaging 23.40 penalty minutes per game compared to 14.26 for Topeka. The Brahmas have been whistled for 192 minor penalties while the Roadrunners have had 191 minors. The big difference comes in majors and misconducts. The Brahmas have had 17 majors and 21 misconducts in contrast to Topeka’s 6 and 8.
Lone Star allows the fewest shots on goal per game at 22.71 and Topeka is 6th allowing 26.76.
The second period is where Topeka has done the most damage this season scoring 54 goals while allowing 29. For the Brahmas it has been the third period, scoring 55 times while allowing 22. Lone Star has a +53 goal differential for the season and Topeka has a +49 goal differential.