BLAINE, MN – In a storybook ending for one former Brahma, the boys from North Richland Hills suffered their first loss of the season, falling 1-0 (3-2 in the shootout) to the Fairbanks Ice Dogs.
The game undoubtedly grabbed the most attention at the showcase thus far as both teams came into the tilt with zeros in their loss column. Play began with a long stint of both teams attempting to feel each other out and solve the opposition’s defensive schemes. After the first 20, the Brahmas led 14-4 in shots.
Late in the second period the animosity was increased as both Fairbanks and Lone Star had players (Tomas Brejcha and Clay Cross) ejected for butt-ending. Things remained physical carrying into the third when Josef Ingman of Fairbanks jumped Cody Wickline from behind after the Brahmas center boarded an IceDog. Wickline received a boarding minor, Ingman was handed a fighting major and game misconduct.
As the contest moved into the second 3-on-3 overtime of the Showcase, Brandon Estes saw the best opportunity in the Fairbanks slot but missed the net.
In the shootout, Alex Berardinelli and Kyle Patava both found the back of the net in rounds four and five respectively, but were matched in the sudden death by Fairbanks’ Logan Coomes and Caleb Shroer. Then, the man who many Brahmas fan can recall with even the shortest memory, Liam Stirtzinger jammed one by Conor O’Brien and celebrated with his new club after earning the 1-0 victory.
Both goaltenders played absolutely excellent with O’Brien recording 30 saves and Fairbanks’ Gavin Nieto handling 25 en route to the shutouts.
The Brahmas are back in action Friday at 10:30 a.m. with an early start against the Minnesota Wilderness. Stay tuned to the Brahmas social media accounts and FastHockey for all the updates.