The Lone Star Brahmas knew after last night that they had to come out strong and take it to the Roadrunners to remain in contention for the top spot in the NAHL South Division and that is exactly what they did. With a boisterous sell out crowd of 2,530 cheering them on the Brahmas controlled play from the opening faceoff.
Lone Star opened the scoring at 6:13 of the first period. Pat Egan took a pass from Quinn Carroll below the goal line on the near side and sent it to Anton Santesson at the far point. Santesson unleashed a slapper that was in the back of the net before Drew Vogler could react.
Topeka responded at 13:07 while on a 5 on 3 power play. Sam Rennaker took a shot from the point that took a wicked bounce off the shaft of Mike Gornal’s stick in front and changed directions past Jake Kupsky. Daniel Brickley was credited with the secondary assist on the play. The rest of the period saw a lot of back and forth with the Brahmas having the best scoring opportunities, but the teams went to the first intermission tied at one apiece.
Just 47 seconds into the second period with the Brahmas on the PK, Sly Sutter fanned on a pass turning Carroll loose on a lone man rush. Carroll turned on the jets, blew past Sutter and beat Vogler five hole. Just 11 seconds later with the Brahmas back to full strength Sebastian Vidmar picked off a Ryan Polin pass deep in the offensive zone and pushed it past Vogler’s right skate.
With 8:21 to go in the middle frame Will Scherer moved the puck point to point and Polin ripped one on net from the near side wall. Kupsky flashed out the right pad to make the save, but Jasen Fernsler tapped home the rebound to pull Topeka within one.
At 18:35 Ludvig Larsson moved the puck to Oskar Andren deep on the left wing. Andren slid it to Vidmar behind the net. Vidmar bulled his way through three defenders as he carried it out front, spun and fired one into the twine glove side for his NAHL league leading 27th goal of the season.
Lone Star went up 5 – 2 at 6:29 of the third on the power play. Andren controlled a loose puck at the far halfwall then fed it to Santesson at the left wind point. Santesson fired a shot from the far point and Hunter Stanley tipped in tin front past the right pad of Vogler. Lone Star ended up with a 5 on 3 of their own with 2:36 to go. Larsson put the icing on the cake when he burried a rebound at 18:42. On the play Santesson took a pass form Larsson at the near point and then he and Alexey Solovyev traded places along the blueline. Santesson gave Solovyev the puck at the top of the right wing circle and he unloaded a bomb that Vogler somehow managed to knock down. However, Larsson swooped in to put the puck behind the Topeka netminder.
Lone Star dominated the night on the scoreboard and on special teams going 2 – 10 plus the Carroll shorthanded goal while holding Topeka to 1 – 7. The Brahmas also outshot the Roadrunners 34-28 in the contest. With the win, the Brahmas became the second team in the NAHL South to clinch a playoff spot.
Elsewhere Around The NAHL South
Wichita Falls – Amarillo
After getting roughed up by the Bulls on Friday night, the Wildcats made sure to avoid the sweep taking a three goal lead into the final frame on two goals by Erich Jaeger along with single tallies by Evan Okeley and Cam Knight. Tommy Apap added a third period goal and Wichita Falls held on for a 5 – 3 win in front of Austin Shaw who made 37 saves.
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Rio Grande – Corpus Christi
The icerays and Killer Bees were locked in a defensive battle for 65 minutes with neither team able to solve the opposing netminder sending the game to a shootout in a zero – zero tie. After no goals for through overtime, the shootout brought five. Anthony Cortese opened the scoring for Corpus Christi in the first round while Wes Michaud and Ryan Cusin scored in the third and fourth rounds to hand Andrew Lindgren the 26 save shutout win.
Wenatchee – Odessa
The Wild scored twice in each period to defeat the Jackalopes 6 – 4. It was Brendan Harris and David Powlowski finding the back of the net in the first. Donovan Ott and Harris scored in the middle frame before Andre Pison and Dakota Raabe closed out the scoring in the third. Michael Bullion was in net for the win facing only 19 shots on goal.
Current NAHL South Division Standings