The Lone Star Brahmas kicked off their weekend series against the Topeka Roadrunners at Landon Arena on Friday night. The Brahmas were joined by defenseman Alex Carle. Carle is a 5’ 11” – 185 native of Anchorage, AK and the younger brother of 2006 Hobey Baker winner and current Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Matt Carle. Carle spent three seasons at Kimball Union Academy and is committed to NCAA D-I Merrimack College where he will be a teammate of Ludvig Larsson.
Once the puck dropped, Topeka controlled play early and pumped several shots at Jake Kupsky before the Brahmas ever got a shot on Matej Tomek at 15:46. On the ensuing faceoff, the Roadrunners took the puck the other way and Tyler Irvine put a pass of the tape of Mike Gornal on the doorstep for a backhander giving Topeka a quick one goal lead at 4:32. Daniel Rzavsky was awarded the secondary assist on the goal.
The Brahmas evened it up at a goal apiece when AJ Vanderbeck sent a puck from the near point that Tomek pushed aside, but Roman Uchyn was stationed just outside the paint to push it into the open net at 8:09. With 5:32 to go in the first Liam Stirtzinger jarred the puck away from Jasen Fernsler along the endboards and Hogan Davidson circled behind the net to the far wall then slid it through the slot to Stirtzinger on the near side. Stirtzinger put it off of Tomek’s back and in for the
Going into the middle frame with a one goal lead was important for the Brahmas as the second period has been Topeka’s biggest period of the season by far and the Brahmas worst. Topeka almost got things knotted up at 19:01 as Gornal dropped the puck to Rzavsky in the high slot and he blew past the defense but Kupsky came up with a huge glove save to protect the lead. The Roadrunners went on the power play early in the second and with just three seconds left, Topeka just managed to keep in a clearing attempt at the blueline and it went to Carlos Fornaris on the left wing for a wrister that was redirected in front by Irvine at 3:44.
The Brahmas went on a power play of their own at 14:46, but just 12 second later a weak interference call on Oskar Andren nullified the man advantage.
At 19:15 they lined up for a faceoff to Kupsky’s left which was controlled by Rzavsky and he pulled it to the middle then fired it through traffic for the late goal and one goal lead.
Lone Star had come up big in the third period all season and would need another strong effort to come back in this one. With 3:56 left in the period Sebastian Vidmar pulled the puck out of the corner, carried it to the front and had Tomec beat glove side but rang it off the pipe.
At 18:36 Topeka sent the puck deep into the zone and it hit a seam on the endboards, bouncing out front onto the stick of Dominic Lutz who had a wide open net. Kupsky dove back across the goal mouth making a highlight reel glove save. Unfortunately it was all for naught as the Brahmas were unable to find the equalizer and fell 3 – 2.
Topeka outshot the Brahmas 25 – 22 and had the only power play goal on the night. The Roadrunners were 1 – 4 with the man advantage while Lone Star was 0 – 4.
Elsewhere Around The NAHL South
Odessa – Amarillo
Brady Crabtree, Charlie Combs and Luke Novak staked the Bulls to a three goal lead in the second and then Will Harrison added an empty netter late in the third for a 4 – 1 win. Anton Martinsson was in net and made 36 saves for the win.
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Rio Grande – Wichita Falls
The Brahmas got some help from the Killer Bees and Parker Wood who scored the only goal of the game midway through the second period. Nick Schmit picked up the shutout win with 33 saves.
Corpus Christi – Wenatchee
The Wenatchee Wild held a 3 – 1 lead over the visiting Corpus Christi Icerays Through two periods. Brendan Harris scored twice for the Wild in the second period before Ryan Chiasson added a goal to take a three goal lead. The Icerays got one back late in the period to cut the lead to two. Harrison completed the hat trick with a shorty in the third to make it 4 – 1. Zach Quinn picked up the win making only 14 saves.
Current NAHL South Division Standing