Brahmas – Jackalopes Preview

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – The Lone Star Brahmas (10-2-1) head to west Texas for a weekend triple-header with the Odessa Jackalopes (7-6-0).

Instead of Friday Night Lights, it’s Thursday, Friday and Saturday Night Ice this weekend.  (EDITOR’S NOTE: Ironically, Friday night is the infamous Odessa vs. Permain High School Football game). After a pair of wins over the Topeka Roadrunners last weekend, the Brahmas have cemented their spot on top of the South Division standings. The Jackalopes are clinging on to the third spot in the division after a pair of losses in Shreveport, putting them three points behind the Mudbugs.

Thirteen games into the season, Odessa has yet to play a home game at Ector County Coliseum this season. The upcoming three-game series with Lone Star will mark the beginning of a six-game home stand for the ‘Jacks, including a midweek visit from the Brahmas in mid-November.

The Brahmas have played most of their games on the road as well, boasting an 8-1-1 record away from NYTEX. This will be the third time Lone Star plays at least three games in a row this year.  When the Brahmas faced the Amarillo Bulls in a triple-header, Lone Star swept the series. Odessa has not played three games in a row since the NAHL Showcase.

With a goal in each of the Brahma’s last two games, Drake Glover now leads the team with 13 points and nine goals. Playing in 12 of the 13 games this season, that makes Glover over a point-per-game player.  Forward Hunter Stanley has also scored at least one point in his last four games.

Much of each team’s success in the long weekend will deal with their conditioning and the play of the goaltenders. Both Lone Star goalies, Alec Calvaruso and Erik Gordon, have been brick walls splitting the crease.

Calvaruso, with an undefeated record and an impressive 1.87 goals against average and .928 save percentage, has the slightest of statistical advantages over Gordon. The Duluth, Georgia native ain’t no scrub though. He’s posting a 1.90 goals against average and a .920 save percentage. Gordon was also named the South Division Second Star of the Week after stopping 23 of 24 shots against Topeka, keeping his perfect 5-0- 0 record in tact.

Together, the Lone Star goalies are the fifth and sixth ranked tenders by goals against in the NAHL, and the top two netminders in the South Division.

The offensive end of Odessa’s game is lead by a pair of brothers, one of whom is currently the most productive defenseman in the NAHL. Cooper Zech has 14 assists and two goals, anchoring the Odessa blue line and making it an offensive threat as well. His older brother Zach is third on the team in points with six goals and four assists.

The Brahmas will look to continue their winning streak, currently at five games, when they take on the Jackalopes at the Ector County Coliseum this weekend.