The Lone Star Brahmas will face off against the Wichita Falls Wildcats at the NYTEX Sports Centre on Friday and Saturday with one point separating them in the NAHL South Division standings. The series will be the first meeting between the teams since October 4, but will certainly not be the last. The Brahmas will see the Wildcats six times over their final 22 games including a Wednesday tilt in Wichita Falls.
In their two previous meetings in Wichita Falls the Brahmas came out with three of a possible four points losing in overtime in game one before rebounding for a comfortable win in game two.
10/03/14 – Brahmas 2 at Wildcats 3 OT
10/04/14 – Brahmas 5 at Wildcats 1
Lone Star had this past weekend off after going 2 – 1 – 0 against the Topeka Roadrunners and Amarillo Bulls the week before.
The Wildcats are coming off an eight game home stand that saw them welcome the Corpus Christi Icerays last week. On Thursday night, Wichita Falls jumped out to a 2 – 1 lead through the first on power play goals by Austin Beaulieu and Jake Townsend. In fact the first five goals of the game came on the man advantage. Colin Staub scored for the home team in the second and they took a one goal lead into the third. Townsend notched his second early in the third followed by a Konstantin Chernyuk goal while Corpus Christi scored twice as well for the 5 – 4 Wildcats win. Austin Shaw made 26 saves on 30 shots faced for the win. Friday night the score was the same, but the outcome was reversed. Wichita Falls broke through with three in the middle frame on goals by Kevin Charyszyn, Max Reisinger and Nick Farmer. However, the Icerays found the back of the net four times in the period to carry a 5 – 3 lead into the third. Tommy Apap pulled the Wildcats within one but they could get no closer. David Zevnik got the start in net for Wichita Falls and allowed four goals on 13 shots faced before being replaced by Shaw. Shaw took the tough luck loss allowing one goal on five shots faced.
|Last 5 Games
Lone Star has struggled on the power play of late scoring just five goals on 40 opportunities in their last ten games. All five of the goals scored came against Odessa whose penalty kill ranks 21st in the league. As a result the Brahmas power play has slipped to 20.7% or 9th in the league. Fortunately, their penalty kill has continued to perform at a high level an remain 4th in the league at 87.3%. Wichita Falls’ power play is pacing the NAHL at 27.3%. Their penalty kill on the other hand comes in at 18th in the league at 80.3%.
At home, the Brahmas’ power play is slightly better than their overall at 22.4% on 24 goals in 107 opportunities good for 7th in the league. They will have a chance to get off the schneid against a Wildcats’ road penalty kill unit that has allowed 12 goals in 54 times short handed or 77.8% which ranks 19th.
Lone Star’s home penalty kill is ranked 3rd allowing only 11 goals on 99 kills or 88.9%%. They will be facing a strong Wichita Falls road power play which is tops in the league scoring 16 times in 55 opportunities or 29.1%
In their two head to head meetings, the Brahmas are 2 for 10 on the power play while holding Wichita Falls to 1 for 11.
Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games
Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)
Inside the Game
This series will provide an interesting matchup of the league’s second best defense versus the best offense. Lone Star enters the series with the second ranked defense as goalies TJ Black and Jake Kupsky have combined with the blueliners to put up a 2.05 Goals Against Average. They also are 6th in the league with a 0.911 Save Percentage. The Brahmas are 4th in the league in Goals Scored per game at 3.55. Wichita Falls’ 4.18 Goals Scored per game ranks 1st in the NAHL. They have not fared quite as well on defense with the 11th ranked Goals Against Average at 2.92 and a 0.899 Save Percentage which is 14th in the league.
At home the Brahmas’ offensive output jumps to 4.23 Goals Scored per game and their Goals Against Average falls to 1.86. On the road the Wildcats offense scores at a rate of 3.93 Goals Scored per game and allow a 3.47 Goals Against Average.
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With two of the top four offenses on the ice it is only logical to expect some of the league top scorers to be skating in the series and 7 of the top 35 will be involved. Sebastian Vidmar 24G – 31A leads the league and Ludvig Larsson 11G – 22A is 33rd. Wichita Falls’ Colin Staub 14G – 25A is 16th, Nick Farmer 16G – 22A is 20th, Matt Koch 4G – 33A is 23rd, Austin Beaulieu 15G – 19A is 30th and Kevin Charyszyn 20G – 13A is tied with Larsson for 33rd.
Vidmar’s 24 goals and 7 game winning goals both lead the league.
TJ Black is 2nd in the league with a 1.91 GAA while Jake Kupsky with a 2.19 GAA is 9th. Austin Shaw is 20th with a 2.72 GAA.
The Brahmas are currently third in the league in penalty minute average per game at 22.76 while Wichita Falls is 20th at 13.61. As a result, Lone Star has been short handed 173 times compared with Wichita Falls 147 times. At the same time, the Brahmas have been much better at drawing penalties as well. They have been on the power play 184 times while the Wildcats have had 150 power play opportunities.
The first goal scored will be big in this series as the Brahmas are 22 – 2 – 3 when scoring first while the Wildcats are 20 – 1 – 0 when scoring first.
The Brahmas are on a 21 game home point streak with a 20 – 0 – 1 record.