Lone Star Brahmas Complete Sweep Of Killer Bees In OT


On Friday night the Lone Star Brahmas shutout the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees to give them three points in the first two games of the three game road trip. Saturday presented the opportunity to pick up points four and five if they could get past the Killer Bees once more.

Neither team was able to generate much in the way of offensive pressure through the first 20 minutes. A big defensive play by Sean Giles hustling to chase down Cam Bleck on an odd man rush in the final second of the period helped send them into the intermission in a scoreless tie.

Lone Star had two early chances in the second, but it was Rio Grande was first to find the back of the net at 7:59 on the power play. Rio had the Brahmas chasing in the defensive zone when a shot from the far point was blocked with the puck jumping into the high slot for Dallas Gerads. Gerads pulled the puck across the crease using Johan Steen as a screen and fed it past TJ Black’s right pad. Anthony Croston and Evan Bell picked up the assists on the play.

It took Hunter Stanley just over four and a half minutes to respond. The play started with AJ Vanderbeck sending the puck from the near corner to Storm Wahlrab at the point for a blast off of Ben Johansson. Stanley cruised through the crease grabbing the rebound and put a backhander top shelf.

At the 17:20 mark the teams set up for a faceoff to Black’s right. Parker Wood pulled the draw back to Bell for a quick shot on net. Black made the initial save, but Stathis Soumelidis emerged from the scrum in front to poke it into the net. Once play got back underway, Austin Swingle took a run at Ludvig Larsson pasting him against the endboard with a hit up high. Caleb Thompson immediately stood up for his teammate and went straight to Swingle. The two dropped the gloves and tied up in the near corner. Swingle threw a right then Thompson came back with one of his own which took him off balance and Swingle pulled him down to the ice.

Lone Star ratcheted up the intensity early in the third, but could not solve Johansson despite several good scoring chances. At 10:42, Wood landed a wicked elbow on Giles behind Black’s cage which left the Brahmas’ defenseman on the ice for a couple of minutes. With time winding down in the period and the Brahmas down one on the scoreboard Vanderbeck got the equalizer. Cody Wickline sent the puck up the far boards where Thompson swept it back in just before it crossed the blueline. Vanderbeck picked it up at the leftwing hash mark, stick handled around Dean Balsamo out front the put a laser over the glove hand. Time of the goal was 17:25.

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Nearly the entire overtime period was played in the Rio Grande end of the ice. Once the Killer Bees gained possession of the puck they started up ice, but Oskar Andren poked the puck off the stick into neutral ice where Wahlrab was waiting. He went weaving into the zone, deked Soumelidis and launched it into the twine just 1:01 into the extra frame.

The Brahmas won the shots on goal contest 26 – 18 but once again the power play was 0 – 3 while allowing Rio Grande to go 1 – 4.

Vanderbeck made a case for the NAHL South Star of the Week honors putting up 4G – 2A and a +4 on the road trip. Stanley and Wickline also had a productive week with Stanley logging 1G – 4A while Wickline had 1G – 3A with both being +5. Jake Kupsky was on his game with a 1 – 0 – 1 record with a 0.836 GAA and a 0.935 SV%.

With the sweep, the Brahmas were able to pick up two points on Topeka and one point on Wichita Falls over the weekend. Neither the Roadrunners or Wildcats have enough games in hand to overcome the deficit and will need Lone Star to losses in order to catch them in the standings. From this point on the Brahmas control their own destiny.


Elsewhere Around The NAHL South Div.

Wenatchee – Amarillo

Mike Coyne scored for the Wild just seven seconds in before many fans had taken their seats. Amarillo evened it up in the second setting the stage for a big third period Wenatchee. August Von Ungern-Sternberg scored twice midway through the period followed by goals from Kyle Stephan and empty netter by Chris Jones for a 5 – 2 win. Zach Quinn made 22 saves in a winning effort.

Wichita Falls – Corpus Christi

Colin Staub scored in the first and second period and then Kevin Charyszyn added one in the third. Austin Shaw stopped 19 of the 21 shots he faced to pick up the win.

Topeka – Odessa

After an embarrassing 9 – 2 loss on Friday night the Jackalopes came ready to play in the series finale. Topeka held a one goal lead going into the second period, but former Brahma Eric Carreras tied it up then Kenny Hausinger and Derek Brown put Odessa up two. Zach Zech added an insurance goal at the midpoint of the third and Tanner Creel made it stand up turning aside 40 of the 42 shots faced.

Current NAHL South Div. Standings

xLone Star5637118820.732
xWichita Falls5437143770.713
Corpus Christi5529215630.573
Rio Grande55222310540.491

x – Clinched Playoff Berth
y – Clinched Division Title