Lone Star Brahmas – Rio Grande Killer Bees Preview For Feb 12


This weekend the Lone Star Brahmas will be in Hidalgo, TX for a three game series against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees starting on Thursday. With the log jam atop the NAHL South Division and only 17 regular season games left to play, the series against the Killer Bees takes on added importance. Lone Star is currently in second place four points behind Topeka with one game in hand and three points ahead of Wichita Falls having played two more games than the Wildcats. The Brahmas and Killer Bees have played five times this season with Lone Star winning all five outscoring Rio Grande 16 – 5.

11/14/14 – Killer Bees 1 at Brahmas 2

11/15/14 – Killer Bees 2 at Brahmas 3

12/05/14 – Killer Bees 2 at Brahmas 4

12/06/14 – Killer Bees 0 at Brahmas 4

12/29/14 – Brahmas 3 at Killer Bees 0

Last Friday, the Brahmas lost a tough luck shootout to the Corpus Christi Icerays at the American Bank Center. Storm Wahlrab had given Lone Star a lead in the first, but Corpus Christi tied it up in the second before Hayden Hanson re-established the lead. The Icerays pulled even again with just one minute left in the game skating with the extra attacker. Roman Uchyn and Anton Santesson scored for the Brahmas in the shootout, but Corpus Christi had three goals to take the win. TJ Black faced 18 shots in the loss. On Saturday, the Brahmas rebounded for a 5 – 3 win with Uchyn and Oskar Andren both scoring twice to go along with a Ludvig Larsson tally in the second. Jake Kupsky made 23 saves in the win.

Rio Grande is coming off of four games against Amarillo over the past two weeks including a sweep of the Bulls at home last weekend. Game one saw the Killer Bees tie the game at 1 – 1 just over five minutes into the third period on a goal by Dean Balsamo. After a scoreless overtime period, Elliot Lorraine scored the only goal of the shootout in the fourth round to seal the win. Nick Schmit logged the win making 26 saves. In game two on Saturday, the Bulls scored less than 3:30 into the contest before Rio Grande ripped of four unanswered as Ben Johansson made 25 saves for the win. The Killer Bees’ goals came on a hat trick from Dallas Gerads and one from Logan Wendling.

Last 5 GamesWLOTLPts
Killer Bees3117

Special Teams

After another strong showing in Corpus Christi, the Brahmas special teams have continued their slow roll toward the top of the standings. The power play is now 6th in the NAHL at 22.61% scoring 45 times on 199 chances. The penalty kill unit is 3rd in the NAHL at 88.17%. Rio Grande has not seen near the success with the power play ranked 21st at 13.10% and the penalty kill 22nd at 77.35%. Against the Killer Bees, the Brahmas are 4 – 24 on the power play and have held Rio Grande to 1 – 20.

On the road the Brahmas’ power play is coming in at 20.5% on 18 goals in 88 opportunities which have them ranked 5th in the league. They will be skating against a Killer Bees home penalty kill ranked 20th in the league at 77.6% allowing 15 goals on 67 penalty kills. However, Rio Grande has allowed only one power play goal on home ice in their last 23 times shorthanded.

Lone Star’s road penalty kill has allowed 11 goals on 83 kills which ranks 4th in the league at 86.7%. Rio Grande comes into the series with a home power play ranked 11th in the league scoring 11 times in 62 opportunities at 17.7%

Lone Star also holds the advantage on shorthanded goal differential at +5 on the season compared to Rio Grande at a -3.

Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games

Killer Bees3110112.20133.924

Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)

Storm Wahlrab347
Ludvig Larsson516
Oskar Andren235
Johan Steen145
Two Tied at055
Killer BeesGAPts
Dallas Gerads325
Stathis Soumelidis145
Anthony Croston224
Elliot Lorraine044
Two Tied at202

Inside the Game

Despite recent struggles the Brahmas are still ranked among the league leaders both defensively and offensively. Lone Star is 3rd with a 2.21 GAA, 6th with a .907 SV%, 2nd with 23.77 Shots Allowed per Game and 4th with a 3.58 Goals Scored per Game. Rio Grande is middle of the road defensively at 13th with a 3.07 GAA, 17th with a .891 SV%, 10th with 28.28 Shots Allowed per Game. Offensively they are 20th with 2.47 Goals Scored per Game.

There is at least one member of the Brahmas roster in the top 7 of every offensive category except Shorthanded Assists, even though the highest ranking Brahma in shots on goal is Sebastian Vidmar at 60th. The two highest ranking Killer Bees are Anthony Croston tied for 32nd in Power Play Goals.

When you look at rankings of defensemen scoring, the Brahmas have at least one member in the top 10 of every offensive category except +/- ranking where Anton Santesson is 14th.

Parker Wood 1G – 2A and Anthony Croston 0G – 3A are the only Killer Bees with multiple points against the Brahmas in their five previous meetings. The Brahmas have 13 players with multiple points in the season series.

Lone Star is the only team in the NAHL with a goaltending tandem both ranked in the top 10 in the league. TJ Black is 4th with a 2.07 GAA and Jake Kupsky is 8th with a 2.23 GAA.

Head-to-head, the Brahmas have outshot the Killer Bees 139 – 75 in five games.

More from Dallas Sports

The Brahmas have three on the roster scoring at least one point per game and one just under a point per game. Sebastian Vidmar 24G – 36A in 41 games played leads the league in scoring, Ludvig Larsson 16G – 23A in 35 games played, Storm Wahlrab 3G – 5A in 7 games played and Oskar Andren 14G – 19A in 34 games played.

Storm Wahlrab is riding a 6 game point streak.

Rio Grande’s Connor Wood is 2nd in the NAHL in penalty minutes with 161. The Killer Bees are 5th in the league in penalty minutes per game, one spot behind the Brahmas.

Lone Star has a +17 / +7 / +39 goal differential by period. Rio Grande is -3 / – 21 / -1.

Rio Grande has added some offensive scoring since the last time the Brahmas played them in late December. They traded for Cam Bleck 14G – 9A and Austin Swingle 6G – 4A. Bleck comes over from Johnstown for his second tour in the NAHL South after playing in 11 games for Topeka during the 2012/13 season. Swingle was acquired from Aberdeen and is in his second season in the league.