The NAHL regular season is winding to a close and the Lone Star Brahmas find themselves sitting atop the South Div. with a four point lead over Topeka and a five point lead over Wichita Falls. However, Topeka has two games in hand while Wichita Falls has three games in hand. So, Lone Star holds their fate in their own hands. Pick up seven points in their final four games and they will lock down the division crown. Fail to earn the seven points and they will have to settle for second or third unless they get some help via Topeka and Wichita Falls opponents.
The Brahmas will be traveling in style this week as they fly to the Pacific Northwest for their only visit of the season to the Town Toyota Center for a two game series against the Wenatchee Wild. The teams have played each other only twice previously this season with the Brahmas taking three of a possible four points. The overtime loss in game two of the series snapped Lone Star’s 19 game home win streak.
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01/09/15 Wild 5 at Brahmas 6
01/10/15 Wild 3 at Brahmas 2 OT
Lone Star played three games this past week in South Texas. On Wednesday they were in Corpus Christi and came up on the short end of a 4 – 3 overtime loss. After going down two goals in the first, AJ Vanderbeck poured in three second period goals for a natural hat trick and a one goal lead. However, the lead was short lived with the Icerays knotting it up just over four minutes later to send the game to overtime where Corpus Christi scored the game winner. Jake Kupsky took the loss allowing two goals on 12 shots faced in relief of TJ Black.
Following the single game in Corpus Christi the Brahmas boarded the bus to Hidalgo to face the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. The Brahmas rolled into the State Farm Arena with a bit of a chip on their shoulder from the disappointing loss in Corpus Christi. They played a physical game from the drop of the puck. Sebastian Vidmar scored in the first and second period then Cody Wickline potted one in the third. All the while Kupsky was busy stopping all 19 shots he faced for his second shutout of the season. On Saturday night, the Brahmas came back from one goal down twice to send the game to overtime. Hunter Stanley scored in the second period to tie it up the first time and Vanderbeck scored with only 2:35 left in regulation to reach the extra period. Storm Wahlrab made quick work of the overtime period scoring one minute in to capture the win. Black was in net for the Brahmas and made 16 saves in the winning effort.
Wenatchee was in the Texas Panhandle over the weekend and came away with a split in their series against the Amarillo Bulls. In game one the Wild built a two goal lead on tallies from Stevie Bryant and August Von Ungern-Sternberg only to see the lead slip away. Amarillo did just enough to grab a 3 – 2 win. Michael Bullion started in goal for Wenatchee, but his night ended early after he was whistled for an Unsportsmanlike Conduct and an Abuse of Officials Misconduct in response to the Bulls final goal at 10:12 of the third. The next night Wenatchee’s Mike Coyne scored in the first, but Amarillo pulled even in the second. The Wild opened up the offense in the final period scoring four times on a pair of goals by Von Ungern-Sternberg an even strength goal from Kyle Stephan and an empty netter by Chris Jones. Zach Quinn picked up the win in net for the Wild.
Last 5 Games
With the Brahmas recent power play woes they have slipped one spot overall to 8th in the league at an even 20.00% on 53 goals in 265 attempts. The series in Wenatchee may give them a chance to right the ship facing a Wild penalty kill that is 11th in the league allowing 29 goals on 172 penalty kills at 83.14%. Unfortunately, Wenatchee is the least penalized team in the NAHL. On the penalty kill the Brahmas continue to be a force ranking 2nd in the league at 88.14% after allowing only 30 goals on 253 penalty kills. They will be up against the 16th ranked power play at 14.75% on 32 goals in 217 opportunities.
On the road, Lone Star’s power play unit is 10th in the league. In their last five road games the Brahmas have scratched out only one power play goal on 22 opportunities. They are now at just 18.3% on 22 goals in 120 power play opportunities. Wenatchee comes in with the 12th ranked home penalty kill at 83.1%. They have allowed 13 goals in only 77 times shorthanded.
The Brahmas’ road penalty kill is currently at 86.3%, killing off 101 of 117 penalty kills to rank 6th in the league. Wenatchee has struggled to score power play goals at home and come in with the 19th ranked home power play. They have 12 goals on 101 opportunities or 11.9%.
Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games
Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)
Inside the Game
The Brahmas’ defense and goaltending has been outstanding all season and currently has the 2nd best goals against average and shots against average of 2.14 GAA and 23.95 Shots Against. They are 5th in the league in both save percentage and goals scored per game with a 0.911 SV% and 3.46 Goals per game. Wenatchee’s 2.85 GAA is 10th in the NAHL and they allow the 6th fewest shots on goal at 25.98. Their save percentage is 19th in the league at 0.890 while they score 2.96 Goals per game.
Both TJ Black and Jake Kupsky rank in the top five of NAHL goaltenders. Black has a 1.96 GAA and Kupsky has a 2.13 GAA. Wenatchee’s Zach Quinn is 20th with a 2.73 GAA.
Sebastian Vidmar (31G – 44A) leads the league in scoring and is one of only two players with more than 70 points on the season. Vidmar’s 31 goals and 10 game winning goals both lead the league.
Wenatchee is 10 – 10 – 5 at Town Toyota Center while Lone Star is 11 – 8 – 7 on the road.
The Wild are second in the league in attendance with 73,924 total attendance in 25 dates which is an average of 2,956 per game.
The Brahmas average 20.43 PIMs per game compared to Wenatchee who averages 13.47.
Wenatchee is 12 – 5 – 4 against teams outside the division and 12 – 19 – 3 against South Division teams.
Lone Star has a +21 / +13 / +43 per period goal differential. Wenatchee comes in at +3 / -1 / +4.
The Brahmas have points in every game they led after two period with a 27 – 0 – 4 record. The Wild have not fared quite as well with a 13 – 5 – 2 record in games they led after two.
Lone Star is riding a 13 game Road Non-Loss streak.
The Brahmas have points in 8 straight games picking up 15 of a possible 16 points in that stretch.