The Lone Star Brahmas came into Sunday night looking for one more win to propel them into the NAHL Robertson Cup Finals against the Minnesota Wilderness. Their only obstacle, the Austin Bruins with whom they had split the first two games of their best of three Semi-Finals series.
Lone Star came out strong controlling play for several minutes of the opening period, just missing on multiple scoring opportunities. Then at the 7:56 mark, Roman Uchyn put another stamp on his post season scoring surge. Hayden Hanson, in only his third game back from a broken arm suffered March 14, got the play started from behind the Brahmas’ goal line. He fed Pat Egan with a breakout pass in front of the penalty boxes. Egan showed great vision and spotted Uchyn streaking down the near wall in front of the Bruins bench and hit him in stride with a cross ice pass. Uchyn went in on Evan Smith and buried it top shelf for the only scoring of the period. The goal was Uchyn’s seventh of the playoffs.
At 10:36 of the second, Sebastian Vidmar was whistled for a roughing call in a scrum in front of the Smith’s cage putting the Bruins’ red hot power play on the job. With just 17 seconds left on the power play Cory Dunn came off the bench on a line change and took a pass from Alex Jasiek just above the near hash mark and ripped in past Jake Kupsky to knot the score. Alex Pettersson picked up the secondary assist.
At 13:54 the Brahmas retook the lead when Ludvig Larsson picked off a clearing attempt, spun and fired it five hole on Smith for an unassisted tally.
Vidmar was hit with another penalty on a very questionable interference call on a faceoff to Smith’s left, when a Bruins player climbed up his back with the puck 50 feet down the ice in the Brahmas defensive zone. Once again Austin cashed in on the man advantage with Trevor Boyd tipping in a centering pass from Ian Scheid at 17:16.
After a scoreless third period the contest went to sudden death overtime with the winner moving on to the championship series. With 7:09 gone in the overtime period Nico Sturm carried the puck into the Brahmas’ defensive end where he was stapled into the boards by Alexey Solovyev, but the puck came off the dasher to Pettersson and he fired it over Kupsky’s left shoulder for the game winner.
Shots on goal were 37 – 23 in favor of Austin and the Bruins were 2 – 2 on the power play while Lone Star was scoreless on their one opportunity. The Brahmas showed a lot of heart and battled to the end, but it was just not meant to be. While it is disappointing that they came one goal short of advancing, they had a tremendous season and should hold their heads high.