NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX — After snapping a three-game slide and clinching a playoff berth against the Odessa Jackalopes on Saturday night, the Lone Star Brahmas have their sights set on their next goal: Securing home ice advantage as South Division champs.
They’ll head to Corpus Christi this weekend for their penultimate road trip of the regular season, where they’ll take on the red-hot IceRays, who have won nine of their last ten and seven straight.
While the Brahmas still have a sizable lead on the division, the second through fourth positions in the standings are very tightly bunched. The Shreveport Mudbugs and Wichita Falls Wildcats both have 53 points on the season (the ‘Bugs have the slight edge with a game in hand), while the IceRays are just behind with 52 points in 43 games played.
This all adds up to a very motivated IceRays team who are looking to continue their streak and their march up the standings.
The Brahmas, of course, know a thing or two about streaks, and would probably like to stop the IceRays in their tracks if at all possible.
Corpus Christi is firing on all cylinders right now, with leading scorers Mason Krueger and Brad Power registering five and six points in their last two games respectively.
Additionally, IceRays goaltenders Cam Burggrabe, Chad Veltri, and Tomáš Vomáčka have combined for a 1.71 GAA and a .947 SV% in the past seven games.
For a Brahmas team that is scuffling for offense, hot goaltending isn’t quite what the doctor ordered.
However, part of the Brahmas’ offensive struggles is due to illnesses and injuries that have kept key players like Drake Glover, Hunter Stanley, Troy York, and Simon Loof out of the lineup. All of them are drawing closer to a return, and if the Brahmas happen to get any of those four back this weekend, it will no doubt provide a boost.
In the event that the team — rightfully — continues to play it safe instead of risking rushing anyone back to game action before they’re ready, Lone Star should still be equal to the task.
Alec Calvaruso started both games against Odessa and was strong all weekend, falling victim to some unfortunate bounces but allowing only three goals in two games.
Lone Star also lived up to their reputation as a high-volume shooting team last weekend, getting off 63 shots on goal. There were more than a few high danger scoring chances amongst those, and only Odessa goaltender Jonny Hogue’s heroics kept the puck out of the net. If the Brahmas continue to play their game, spending time in the offensive zone and getting shots on net, pucks are bound to go in, even against a streaking Corpus Christi squad.
Both games this weekend are scheduled for a 7:05 puck drop and will be streamed on Hockey TV.