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Brahmas – Corpus Christi IceRays Preview Feb 6

The Lone Star Brahmas will be looking to get back into the win column when they open a two game series against the Icerays Friday at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi. In three previous meetings this season the Brahmas hold a 2 – 1 – 0 advantage over Corpus Christi. Two of the three games have been decided by a single goal.

09/27/14 – Brahmas 1 at Icerays 2

10/10/14 – Icerays 2 at Brahmas 3 OT

10/11/14 – Icerays 2 at Brahmas 5

This past week the Brahmas played three games against Wichita Falls in a battle between second and third place teams in the NAHL South Division. In game one the Brahmas fell behind 2 – 0 early then came storming back to outscore the Wildcats 6 – 1 the rest of the way to pick up the 6 – 3 win. Ludvig Larsson logged his second hat trick of the season, Alex Carle registered is first goal as a Brahma to go along with goals from Johan Steen and Pat Egan. Game two had the Brahmas going into the final period down four goals. Midway through the third Storm Wahlrab netted his first since joining Lone Star followed by goals from Roman Uchyn and Larsson. Despite a frenetic push in the final minute the Brahmas could not cash in the equalizer and fell 4 – 3. In game three on Wednesday night, history repeated itself as the Brahmas fell behind by two early in the going. Alexey Solovyev and Wahlrab tallied late in the first to pull the Brahmas even, but Wichita Falls went back on top by one in the second. AJ Vanderbeck scored the only goal of the third to send the game to a scoreless overtime. For the first time this season Lone Star went to a shootout where they came up short with Sebastian Vidmar having the only goal out of five shooters. TJ Black was 1 – 1 – 0 in the series allowing seven goals on 60 shots faced while Jake Kupsky was saddled with the shootout loss allowing three goals on 33 shots in regulation and two of four in the shootout.

Corpus Christi also played three in Odessa last weekend sweeping the Jackalopes in the process. On Thursday, Brad LeLievre put the Icerays up in the second, but it took a Trevor Heuser goal late in the third to send the game to overtime where a Nathan Bryer goal gave Corpus Christi the 3 – 2 win. Friday had the teams tied at two going into the second intermission with the Icerays’ goals coming from Tanner Lomsnes and Maskim Dzhioshvili. Corpus Christi opened up the offense down the stretch scoring five times over the final 15 minutes. Dzhioshvili scored twice to complete the hat trick followed by power play goals from Matt Colford, Connor Kelly and Ryan Cusin as Corpus Christi cruised to a 7 – 3 win. The Icerays won 6 – 4 on Saturday night with goals from Cusin, Anthony Cortese, Kelly, Mason Kreuger, Dzhioshvili and Wes Michaud. The Cortese and Dzhioshvili goals came on the power play while Michaud’s was an empty netter. Andrew Lindgren got the wins in games one and three making 54 saves on 60 shots faced. Luke Pickar was the winner in game two facing 36 shots and making 33 saves.

Last 5 Games (W-L-OTL, PTS)
Brahmas (3-1-1, 7)
IceRays (4-1-0, 8)

Special Teams

Lone Star’s power play had been struggling going into the Wichita Falls series having scored just five times on the previous 40 opportunities over a 10 game stretch. With the drought the power play had slipped to 9th in the league at 20.7%. Against the Wildcats the power play came to life converting four of six opportunities to jump to 22.1% and 7th in the league. While the power play was rebounding the penalty kill continued a strong season pitching a shutout against the number one power play unit in the league killing all six Wildcats opportunities. The penalty kill now stands 3rd in the NAHL at 87.7%.

On the road the Brahmas’ power play is hitting at 19.0% on 15 goals in 79 opportunities which has them ranked 10th in the league. They will have their work cut out for them if they want to keep the current hot streak going. Corpus Christi comes in with a home penalty kill ranked 4th in the league at 87.6% allowing 11 goals on 103 penalty kills.

When a man down on the road, the Brahmas’ penalty kill has allowed 11 goals on 76 kills which ranks 6th in the league at 85.5%. The Icerays home power play is currently 9th in the league scoring 15 times in 76 opportunities or 19.7%

Head to head this season the Brahmas are 1 – 17 on the power play while the Icerays are 2 – 15. Lone Star also has a shorthanded goal scored against Corpus Christi.

Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games

               W  L  OTL  SO  GA  GAA   SV   SV%
Brahmas 3   1    1       0    13   2.60  144   .917
IceRays  4   1    0       0    18   3.60   142  .888

Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)

Brahmas              G   A   Pts
Storm Wahlrab     2    4    6
Alexey Solovyev   1   5    6
Ludvig Larsson     4   0    4
AJ Vanderbeck     3   1    4
Three Tied at        1   3    4

IceRays                      G   A   Pts
Anthony Cortese         3   7   10
Ryan Cusin                 3   5    8
Wes Michaud              1   7    8
Maskim Dzhioshvili     5   2    7
Tanner Lomsnes         4   3    7

Inside the Game

Following their three game series with Wichita Falls, Lone Star is now in third place in the NAHL South Division. The Wildcats and Brahmas both have 58 points, but Wichita Falls holds the first tie breaker with the most wins. Corpus Christ is setting in 4th place at 51 points while Topeka continues to lead the division with 63 points. The Roadrunners have played one more game than the other three teams.

The Brahmas’ are 2nd in the league in Goals Against Average at 2.17, 6th in Save Percentage at 0.909 and 2nd in Shots on Goal Allowed at 23.83. Offensively they are 4th in Goals Scored per Game at 3.59. Corpus Christi’s 3.15 Goals Against Average ranks 17th. They have a 0.898 Save Percentage ranking 14th and allow 30.73 Shot on Goal which is 14th in the league. On offense the Icerays are averaging 3.24 Goals Scored per Game which has them tied with Soo at 8th in the NAHL.

The Brahmas can expect a raucous crowd at the American Bank Center. Corpus Christi is second in the league in attendance averaging 2,735 per game.

Six of the top 30 scorers in the NAHL will be participating in the series. The Brahmas’ Sebastian Vidmar 24G – 33A in tied for 1st and Ludvig Larsson 15G – 22A is tied for 29th. For the Iceray’s it is Wes Michaud 15G – 34A at 6th, Anthony Cortese 13G – 30A tied for 12th, Tanner Lomsnes 18G – 23A tied for 18th and Ryan Cusin 15G – 23A tied for 27th.

Sebastian Vidmar leads the league in goals scored, game winning goals and +/- rating.

Wes Michaud’s 34 assists and 16 power play assists are both good for 2nd in the league.

The Icerays’ Travis Howe leads the league in penalty minutes with 178 and major penalties with 6. Liam Stirtzinger leads the Brahmas in penalty minutes with 119 which is 7th most in the league.

Anthony Cortese’s 43 points leads all defensemen in scoring. Alexey Solovyev 7G – 20A comes in tied for 9th.

Storm Wahlrab has six points in his last four games played on 2G – 4A. Three of his six points have come on the power play.

Anthony Cortese is on a 9 game point streak registering 15 points on 3G – 12A over that stretch.

The newest member of the Brhamas’ roster, Chad Guderian, has scored 4 of his 16 points against the Icerays this season with 2G – 2A.

TJ Black with a 2.08 GAA at 4th and Jake Kupsky at 2.18 GAA is 8th giving Lone Star the only goaltending tandem in the league with both goalies ranked in the top 10. Corpus Christi’s Luke Pickar is 28th with a 2.90 GAA and Andrew Lindgren is 29th with a 2.95 GAA. Black and Lindgren are tied at 8th in the league in wins with 16 each.

The Brahmas and Icerays are 4th and 5th in penalty minutes per game. Corpus Christi has 5 more minor penalties and 8 more 10 minute misconducts while the Brahmas have 4 more majors and 6 more game misconducts.

Both teams have a big split in their home and road records. The Brahmas are 21 – 2 – 1 at the NYTEX Sports Centre and 6 – 8 – 3 on the road. The Icerays are 18 – 2 – 0 at home and 5 – 11 – 5 away from the American Bank Center.

12 of the Icerays’ 41 games have gone beyond regulation with 7 decided in OT where Corpus Christi is 6 – 1 and 5 going to a shootout where they are 1 – 4. The Brahmas have gone to OT 4 times holding a 1 – 3 record and an 0 – 1 record in their lone shootout.

Corpus Christi has been outscored in the first and third periods this season and have a -3 / +6 / -1 goal differential per period. The Brahmas on the other hand have won each period and have a +15 / +5 / +41 goal differential per period.