NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX — The Brahmas are headed back to Topeka for their second trip to the Kansas ExpoCentre this season. Their first visit, a two-game series earlier this month, went well for the Brahmas, who came away with a road sweep.
Peter Kessel led the Brahmas’ offense during that series, with five goals in two games. He missed last weekend’s series against Wichita Falls, but is eligible to return and is expected to be back in the lineup Saturday.
With Kessel ready to play and the emergence of Rubtsov as a top six forward who has proved to be a significant offensive threat on the power play, Head Coach Dan Wildfong has some flexibility in his lines as the Brahmas head into the weekend.
Lone Star is coming off of yet another weekend sweep. They pushed their win streak to ten games with two victories in against Wichita Falls. The biggest story of last weekend was probably the explosion of Brahmas offense, particularly on the power play.
After beginning 2017 with a 3-for-25 stretch on the power play, the Brahmas went 8-for-16 last weekend. All five goals scored on Saturday, in fact, came with the man advantage. That’s especially significant because the Brahmas were without defenseman Simon Loof, who is one of the team’s top contributors on the power play.
They’ll be without Loof again this weekend, as he suffered an injury during Friday’s game against Topeka.
Regardless, the Brahmas will look to keep their power play clicking in Topeka as they go for eleven straight wins on Saturday night.
Alec Calvaruso is expected to start in net for Lone Star on Saturday. Max Prawdzik will back up. With the trade of Erik Gordon to the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, the Brahmas are no longer juggling three goaltenders on the active roster.
The RoadRunners are coming off of a sweep of their own. However, before beating the Odessa Jackalopes in both games last weekend, the RoadRunners had been mired in a ten-game losing streak. They’ll be looking to build some momentum with a win or two this weekend, but that’s no small task against the Brahmas.
Both games will be streamed on HockeyTV.com. Puck drop on Saturday will be 7:05 PM. Sunday’s game is a rare afternoon slot, with a 2:05 PM start time.