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Weekend Preview: Amarillo

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – The Battle of the Cattle has been a prominent portion of the Brahmas schedule so far this season and the two teams are headed to battle again this weekend.

Here’s your preview as the two teams will play this weekend at NYTEX Sports Centre.

 

THE OPPOSITION: The Bulls are coming off of a weekend split with the division leading Wichita Falls Wildcats.  What makes their win against the ‘Cats so impressive is last Friday’s four goals were enough to hand Wichita Falls goaltender Justin Kapelmaster his first regulation loss all season.

After the series Amarillo still finds themselves in the bottom half of the division but wins this weekend for them would be monumental.  They’re hungry to beat this Brahmas team who has had their number thus far this season.

 

THE BRAHMAS: The team is coming off a rare off weekend, something they won’t have the privilege of enjoying against until March rolls around.  Then, that’ll be the only off weekend separating them from the end of the regular season.  It’s hard to fathom that the playoffs are already being brought up in discussion.

Now that it’s back to the task at hand though, it’s no secret the Brahmas have the Bulls number.  Claiming all five wins against them already this season, the game plan remains the same.  Lock down defense accompanied by even better backstops.  Kaczperski and O’Brien rank #3 & #4 in overall goaltending statistics and the Bulls haven’t been able to crack either of them for more than two goals.

Expect the boys to rifle the puck on net as well as when these two teams met Halloween weekend up in the panhandle the Brahmas racked up a team-high 46 shots on goal.  To further that, the Bulls are allowing a league-high 39 shots on goal per game a night.

 

THE DIFFERENCE:  Transitioning perfectly in to what sets these teams apart is overall defense.  The Bulls have had trouble solidifying a blue line as they’ve already ridded of four defenseman this season trying to find those who can play at the NAHL level.  On the other hand, the Brahmas have seven defensemen who could all very well be defined as “top-tier” and so much so that there’s an even rotation to who draws out of the lineup on a nightly basis.  Not a bad problem to have.

In the crease it’s largely been Anton Martinsson for the Bulls.  The Swede leads the league in total minutes played and saves while appearing in 16 out of 19 games this season.  The Brahmas did see Jacob Weatherly back during the home opening weekend but rattled him for six goals.

On the home side, similar to the defense, two equally talented goaltenders have been splitting time.  Dan Wildfong could opt to go with O’Brien or Kaczperski and do so with full confidence thanks to the fact that statistically the two are both in the top goaltenders in the entire NAHL.

 

PROMOTIONS: Puck drop is 7:30 at NYTEX on both Friday and Saturday and both nights should be entertaining for the fans.  Friday is Local Heroes and Mascot Night and Saturday is Michael Jackson Night and out Raising Cane's Shootout!  All ages are welcome and if you’re still in need of tickets, check the TICKETS tab at the top of the page, call 817-336-4ICE, or swing by the box office!