The Lone Star Brahmas’ goaltending tandem of TJ Black and Jake Kupskyaccomplished something that may never have happened before in the NAHL. They were recognized by the league in the NAHL Easton Player of the Week selection in the same week with both receiving honorable mention.
The pair teamed up to hold the explosive offense of the Topeka Roadrunners in check as the Brahmas completed a weekend sweep of the league leaders. Coming into the weekend series, Topeka was averaging just over four goals per game but managed just one goal per game against Lone Star.
On Friday night Black got the start and faced 23 shots turning aside 22 to claim the 5 – 1 victory. Black received a big assist from the defense and special teams who stymied six of the seven Roadrunners’ power play attempts. This included a four minute man advantage to open the second period on which Topeka was not allowed a single shot on goal. The Brahmas got goals from Hogan Davidson, Hunter Stanley, Alexey Solovyev and a pair of tallies by Pat Egan.
Kupsky was in net on Saturday and the Roadrunners had revenge on their mind. After a scoreless first period both teams notched a second period goal going into the final 20 minutes tied at one. Early in the third Kupsky faced down a two on one rush from Topeka with the help of Caleb Thompson, he denied the scoring chance to preserve the tie and generate some momentum for his offense. Down the stretch, the Brahmas got goals from Oskar Andren and Sebastian Vidmar on top of Liam Stirtzinger’s first period tally to ice the game away. Kupsky made 23 saves to pick up the 3 – 1 win.
After a bumpy start to the season, Black has now won four of his last five decisions. He has held opponents to two or less goals over that stretch. He has dropped his goals against average to 2.52 good for 15th in the league while his save percentage has climbed to .903 which has him 17th in the league.
Kupsky has been solid since day one and has won six of seven decisions this season with his one loss coming in overtime. He ranks 5th in the league with a 1.88 goals against average and 7th in save percentage at .925.