The Lone Star Brahmas saw their season high 10 game win streak come to a halt in Topeka last weekend as they were swept by the Roadrunners. This weekend the Brahmas will host the Rio Grande Killer Bees at the NYTEX Sports Centre on Friday and Saturday. Saturday night will be the ever popular Teddy Bear Toss sponsored byAllen Samuels Dodge. Fans are encouraged to bring new unwrapped stuffed animal to the rink to throw on the ice after the Brahmas score their first goal of the night. The stuffed animals will be donated to the Community Enrichment Center.
Rio Grande will be making their second visit to NYTEX. The Brahmas took a pair of one goal wins from the Killer Bees in mid-November as part of their win streak. In those games the Lone Star offense was led by both Eric Carreras and Anton Santesson with 1G – 1A apiece. Cody Wickline and Caleb Thompson pitched in 2A each as well. TJ Black and Jake Kupsky each picked up a win in the series with Black posting a .950 SV% in a strong performance. The Brahmas and Killer Bees each had five power play opportunities in the head to head matchup, but only Lone Star was able to find the back of the net going 1 – 5.
Game one in Topeka had the Brahmas jump out to an early lead on a goal from Alexey Solovyev at 1:40 of the first period. However, Topeka responded with one in the first and two in the second to go into the final period holding a two goal lead. Roman Uchynnetted a late goal to pull within one, but an empty netter put the game away for the Roadrunners. In game two, Uchyn scored with just 12 seconds left to prevent a shutout and set up a mad flurry in front of the Topeka net as time expired on the 2 – 1 Roadrunner win. Kupsky got the start on Friday while Black was in net on Saturday.
Rio Grande had a big two game sweep of the Corpus Christi Icerays over the weekend. Their 1 – 0 win on Friday ended a six game slump for the Killer Bees. Evan Bell scored the game’s only goal in the opening frame and Ben Johansson made it stand up turning aside all 19 shots that he faced. On Saturday night Rio Grande got goals from Guy Roby, Anthony Croston, Dallas Gerads, Stathis Soumelidis and Parker Wood on their way to a 5 – 3 win. Once again Johansson was in goal for the win. The Killer Bees will face the Icerays again on Wednesday night in Corpus Christi before heading to the NYTEX to face Lone Star.
*Info below does not include Rio Grande’s Wednesday game against Corpus Christi
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Overall, Lone Star’s power play is currently ranked eighth in the league at 20.18% and is fifth on the penalty kill at 86.54%. Rio Grande comes in at seventeenth on the power play with 14.89% and twentieth on the penalty kill at 77.66%.
On home ice, the Brahmas’ power play is at 18.5% on 12 goals in 65 opportunities which has them ranked tenth in the league. They will be skating against a Rio Grande road penalty kill ranked thirteenth at 83.3% allowing 9 goals on 54 penalty kills.
Lone Star’s penalty killing unit has been strong all season. At home they have allowed 6 goals on 61 kills which ranks second in the league at 90.2%. They should be able to improve on those numbers somewhat facing a Rio Grande road power play that is tied for nineteenth in the league at 14.3% potting 8 goals on 56 opportunities.
Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games
Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)
Inside the Game
The Brahmas are currently seventh in the NAHL in attendance averaging 1,852 per game, just 17 shy of Topeka.
Jake Kupsky is third in the league with a 1.92 GAA and TJ Black is fifth with a 2.17 GAA making them the best goalie tandem in the NAHL.
Ben Johansson is leading the way for Rio Grande with a 2.61 GAA which is 19th in the league and a .898 SV%. Nick Schmit brings a 3.90 GAA and a .884 SV% into the series.