NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX — What is the hockey equivalent to the ball being in your court? Maybe a puck being in your offensive zone? Well, the puck was certainly in the Brahmas’ offensive zone as they headed to Wichita Falls for Game 3 of their South Division Semifinal.
With two wins at NYTEX Sports Centre, the Brahmas pushed the Wildcats to the brink of elimination. Friday was a must-win game for Wichita Falls, but the Brahmas went in determined to finish up the first round sweep.
As it turned out, they did complete the sweep, but it took a bit of work.
The Wildcats got on the board before the Brahmas with an Aleksi Poikola goal, taking their first lead of the series. The 1-0 lead didn’t last long, thanks to some good work by the Carson Kelley line.
Kelley intercepted a Wichita Falls pass and centered Troy York, who took the shot. Wildcats goaltender Evan Moyse stopped the initial attempt, but Hunter Stanley found the puck before Moyse did and poked it in for the equalizer just before the end of the first period.
For the next two goals, Lone Star’s special teams were on full display. Drake Glover picked up a power play goal in the second period to put the Brahmas up by one, and a shorthanded snipe by Carson Kelley extended the lead in the third.
The Wildcats, however, scored two unanswered goals in the third to push the game to overtime.
Both teams had chances in the extra period, but in the end, it was the Brahmas who prevailed. After gaining the zone, Hunter Stanley found Simon Loof open. Loof took the point shot, and Austin O’Rourke deflected the puck for the game winning goal to send the Brahmas to the second round.
This win was an important one for a Brahmas team that showed plenty of resilience after a few setbacks in Game 3. Max Prawdzik was once again strong in net, stopping 34 of 37 shots for the win. The team also did well regrouping after Wichita Falls tied the game late, coming into overtime focused and driven.
The Brahmas will face the Corpus Christi IceRays in a best-of-five series. Thanks to their first place finish in the South during the regular season, the Brahmas have home ice. Games 1 and 2 of the South Division Final will be played at NYTEX Sports Centre on April 28 and 29. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 PM. Tickets can be purchased online and at the box office all week.