The Lone Star Brahmas will be in Wichita Falls Wednesday for one game with the Wildcats. Lone Star currently sets three points ahead of Wichita Falls in the NAHL South Division standings. However, the Wildcats have three games in hand, so the outcome of Wednesday’s contest may have a big impact on the final standings. The importance of the two points at stake takes on even more significance when you consider that there are only 14 regular season games remaining on the Brahmas’ schedule.
In five previous meetings this season the Brahmas hold a 2 – 1 – 2 record head to head with the Wildcats.
10/03/14 – Brahmas 2 at Wildcats 3 OT
10/04/14 – Brahmas 5 at Wildcats 1
01/30/15 – Wildcats 3 at Brahmas 6
01/31/15 – Wildcats 4 at Brahmas 3
02/04/15 – Brahmas 3 at Wildcats 4 SO
This past week the Brahmas traveled to Hidalgo for a three game series against the Rio Grande Killer Bees with all three contests going beyond regulation. Thursday night the Brahmas held a two goal lead early in the second on goals by Anton Santesson and Caleb Thompson before the Killer Bees tied it up with 1:03 remaining in the third. After neither team could score in the overtime period they went to a seven round shootout before the first tally which unfortunately gave Rio Grande the 3 – 2 win. Friday night was a reversal through the first 60 minutes with Lone Star coming back from two down to tie the game on goals from Oskar Andren and Ludvig Larsson. Once again the game went to a shootout with Liam Stirtzinger and Santesson scoring for the Brahmas before Rio Grande won it in the bottom of the seventh round. Saturday, Lone Star knotted the score at one apiece with a third period power play goal from Sebastian Vidmar to send the game to overtime. AJ Vanderbeck ensured the game would not go to a shootout when he scored the game winner just over one minute into overtime. TJ Black was in net for game one and three while Jake Kupsky got the start in game two.
Wichita Falls was home for a pair against Odessa. In game one the Wildcats got a pair of goals from Evan Okeley and single goals from Matt Koch, Colin Staub and Nikita Litviak to grab a 5 – 4 win in front of Austin Shaw. Game two went a little easier for Wichita Falls when they got five goals from five different skaters before Odessa got on the board. The Wildcats goals came from Austin Azzinnaro, Alex Falconer, Tommy Apap, Jake Townsend and Max Reisinger. David Zevnik was in goal for the win.
|Last 5 Games||W||L||OTL||Pts|
The Brahmas will have their hands full when on the penalty kill. Wichita Falls boasts the number one power play unit in the NAHL at 26.71%. Fortunately, Lone Star comes in with the second best penalty kill in the league at 87.62%. The Brahmas power play has been hit and miss of late and currently rank 8th in the league at 21.60%. Wichita Falls penalty kill is playing at 79.01% which is 19th. Luckily for them they have been shorthanded the 3rd fewest times in the league.
On the road the Brahmas’ power play has fallen to 10th at 18.6% on 19 goals in 102 opportunities. They will be up against a Wildcats’ home penalty kill unit that has allowed 19 goals in 104 times shorthanded or 81.7% which ranks 16th.
Lone Star’s road penalty kill is ranked 6th in the league allowing 14 goals on 99 kills or 85.9%. They will need to be on their game against a tough Wichita Falls home power play unit which is 3rd in the league scoring 27 times in 102 opportunities or 26.5%
In their five head to head meetings, the Brahmas are 6 for 16 on the power play while holding Wichita Falls to 1 for 17.
Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games
Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)
Inside the Game
The game will feature a matchup of the league’s top ranked offense and 3rd ranked defense. Wichita Falls comes in as one of only two teams in the league averaging more than four goals per game at 4.19. The Brahmas’ defense is third in goals against average at 2.22 and behind only the Minnesota Wilderness in shots on goal allowed with 24.04. Lone Star’s offense will enter the game ranked 4th in the NAHL at 3.48 goals per game while Wichita Falls’ 3.00 goals against average is 12th and their 28.63 shots on goal allowed is 11th.
Sebastian Vidmar 25G – 38A is 2nd in the league in scoring Colin Staub 16G – 27A is the Wildcats’ leading scorer. Vidmar’s leads the league in goals scored, is 2nd is assists, 1st in +/- rating and 1st in game winning goals.
Looking at defenseman, Wichita Falls has three of the top 10 in scoring. Matt Koch 6G – 34A is 2nd, Jake Townsend 11G – 19A is 9th and Cam Knight 7G – 21A is tied with Alexey Solovyev 7G – 21A for 10th.
TJ Black is 4th in the league with a 2.02 GAA while Jake Kupsky with a 2.21 GAA is 8th. Austin Shaw is 24nd with a 2.82 GAA.
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The Brahmas are currently 21st in the league in penalty minute average per game at 21.59 while Wichita Falls is 4th at 13.65. Lone Star is whistled for 0.8 more minor penalties per game than Wichita Falls, so most of the difference in penalty minutes comes from major penalties and 10 minute misconducts. Lone Star leads Wichita Falls by 8 and 20 in those two categories.
Lone Star averages 4.63 power play opportunities and 4.39 times shorthanded per game compared to 3.74 and 3.77 for Wichita Falls.
Wichita Falls is riding a four game win streak.
Six Brahmas players have scored a point or more per game against Wichita Falls. Sebastian Vidmar 3G – 4A, Pat Egan 2G – 5A, Roman Uchyn 2G – 3A and Anton Santesson 0G – 5A all in five games played. As well as Storm Wahlrab 2G – 3A and Ludvig Larsson 4G – 0A in three games played. Only two Wildcats players have scored a point or more per game against Lone Star. Austin Beaulieu 4G – 2A and Jake Townsend 2G – 3A both in five games played.
Both the Brahmas and Wildcats know how to finish games. When leading after two periods the Brahmas have a 22 – 0 – 4 record while the Wildcats are 25 – 1 – 0.