NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – The Lone Star Brahmas enter play this weekend knowing that they have already punched their ticket to the post season. Now they can focus on chasing down the Roadrunners and capturing the top spot in the NAHL South Division.
That effort begins with a series against the Odessa Jackalopes at the Ector County Coliseum. The Brahmas have had their way with the Jackalopes for the most part this season. If they play their game, Lone Star has a great opportunity to come away with four points again this weekend. In all the Brahmas and Jackalopes have faced-off eight times with Lone Star taking 14 of a possible 16 points and outscored the Jackalopes 40 – 17 in the process.
10/24/14 Odessa 2 at Lone Star 5
10/25/14 Odessa 3 at Lone Star 6
12/12/14 Odessa 1 at Lone Star 5
12/13/14 Odessa 3 at Lone Star 6
12/26/14 Lone Star 6 at Odessa 2
12/27/14 Lone Star 2 at Odessa 4
01/02/15 Odessa 0 at Lone Star 5
01/03/15 Odessa 2 at Lone Star 5
Lone Star welcomed the division leading Topeka Roadrunners into the NYTEX Sports Centre Friday night and took a one goal lead in the first on an Oskar Andren drive by rebound goal. Unfortunately the Roadrunners tied it up just over two minutes later then scored a second period power play goal with both Topeka tallies coming on questionable calls. From there the Roadrunners dodged several bullets to hang on for a 2 – 1 win. TJ Black was the victim of the calls that went Topeka’s way taking the loss despite making 29 saves. Saturday saw the Brahmas take the game to Topeka leaving little doubt that they meant business. Anton Santesson got the Brahmas on the board first and they took a 1 – 1 tie into the first intermission. Quinn Carroll scored a shorty just 37 seconds into the second followed by a Sebastian Vidmar goal just 11 seconds later. Vidmar found the twine again in the closing minutes of the second. Hunter Stanley and Ludvig Larsson added power play goals in the final period and Jake Kupsky’s 26 saves were more than enough for the 6 – 2 win.
Odessa was at home against the Wenatchee Wild last weekend and suffered two setbacks. In game one Wenatchee carried a 4 – 0 lead into the third period before Derek Brown potted two in the third for the Jackalopes. Game two was a better outing for Odessa but the results were the same. Dakoda Menslage scored in the first and Taylor Gatto added two in the second to leave the Jackalopes down one going into the third. Brown scored early in the third to tie it up, but Wenatchee got two in the latter half of the period for the 6 – 4 win. Tanner Creel took both losses for the Jackalopes making 64 saves on 72 shots faced.
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Lone Star’s holds a distinct advantage over Odessa where special teams are concerned. The Brahmas’ power play is currently ranked 7th in the NAHL overall at 21.46% compared to the Jackalopes who come in 15th. In addition the Brahmas have been extremely adept at drawing penalties with 233 power play opportunities which is the 2nd highest total in the league. Odessa on the other hand is has been on the man advantage 184 times and are converting at a 15.22% pace. The numbers are even more in the Brahmas’ favor when it comes to the PK. Their penalty kill is 3rd in the NAHL at 87.88% while Odessa is at 74.31% which is next to last. Head-to-head this season the Brahmas are 15 – 46 at 32.6% plus two shorthanded goals against the Jackalopes while holding Odessa to just 6 – 34 or 17.6%. Odessa has managed one shorty.
On the road the Brahmas’ power play is at an even 20.0% with 21 goals in 105 opportunities which have them ranked 7th in the league. Odessa will counter with a home penalty kill ranked 24th at 71.4% after allowing 26 goals on 91 penalty kills.
Lone Star’s road penalty killing is at 86.1% good for 6th in the NAHL. The Brahmas have allowed only 14 power play goals on 100 kills. They will be facing a Jackalopes home power play unit which is ranked 14th in the league scoring 12 times in 77 opportunities or an 15.6%
Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games
Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)
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Inside the Game
Lone Star is ranked 3rd in the NAHL in Goals Against Average at 2.22, 6th in Save Percentage at .908, allow the 2nd fewest Shots on Goal Per Game at 24.22 and 4th in Goals Scored Per Game at 3.49. Odessa is 24th in both Goals Against Average and Save Percentage at 4.50 and .865 and 19th in Shots on Goals Allowed Per Game at 33.25. They are 16th in Goals Scored Per Game with 2.77.
The Brahmas have seen an uptick in their road play. After gaining just 12 points in their first 15 road games, they have picked up 12 points in their last 8 road games and pushed their road record over .500 at 9- 8 – 6.
The series will showcase three of the league’s top scorers. Sebastian Vidmar 27G – 39A is leads the NAHL in scoring while Kenny Hausinger 16G – 37A is 6th. Ludvig Larsson 19G – 27A is tied for 11th.
Sebastian Vidmar tops the league in goals scored, game winning goals is 2nd in assists and +/- rating. Ludvig Larsson is 2nd in power play assists and Kenny Hausinger is 3rd in assists.
Alexey Solovyev 8G – 21A is tied for 11th in defenseman scoring, Anton Santesson 7G – 20A and Christian Hausinger 6G – 21A are tied for 12th.
TJ Black is 3rd in the league with a 2.02 GAA and Jake Kupsky is 7th with a 2.22 GAA. Tanner Creel is 36th at 4.17 GAA and Robin Johansson is 37th at 4.30 GAA. The Brahmas are the only team in the NAHL with both goalies ranking in the top 10 in goals against average.
Dakoda Menslage is tied for 9th in the league with 122 PIMs. Liam Stirtzinger leads the Brahmas and is 11th with 121 PIMs.
Odessa leads the league with 26 major penalties and is 2nd in with a 24.71 average Penalty Minutes Per Game. Lone Star is 5th averaging 21.37 Penalty Minutes Per Game.
Odessa as allowed 56 power play goals on the season which is the most in the NAHL.
The Brahmas are 9 – 8 – 6 on the road and have outscored their opponents 62 – 57. The Jackalopes are 6 – 11 – 3 at the Ector County Coliseum and have been outscored 66 – 85.
Lone Star has a +6 differential in Short Handed Goals compared to Odessa who is -5.
The third period could be a big one in this series. Lone Star has outscored their opponents 69 – 28 in the third while Odessa has been outscored 49 – 79 a 71 goal swing between the two teams.
One area where the Jackalopes have outperformed the Brahmas is in shootout goals efficiency. Odessa has scored 6 goals on 14 attempts which is 42.9% while the Brahmas have 7 goals on 29 attempts or 24.1%
The Jackalopes have made wholesale changes to the roster since they last faced the Brahmas. Gone are 8 players ( Trent Williams, Chris Javens, Ian Mansfield, Jake Hamilton, Leo Lumm, Chad Guderian, Lane Valimont and Alex Alger) who played in 5 or more games against the Brahmas and accounted for 7G – 12A. They have 7 new players who have yet to face the Brahmas in Defensemen Drew Holcombe 0G – 0A in 5 games, Nate Werhane 0G – 0A in 6 games, and Dakoda Menslage 1G – 4A in 4 games. On offense they have Forwards Nick Keck 0G – 1A in 7 games, Eric Carreras 1G – 1A in 4 games, Taylor Gatto 2G – 0A in 4 games and Zach Zech 0G – 2A in 4 games.