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 Bleckon 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 Bellpicked 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 Balsamoout front the put a laser over the glove hand. Time of the goal was 17:25.
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