NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX — This Brahmas team has won their fair share of close games over the course of the season. Quite a few of those wins have come in overtime, and on Friday, the Brahmas added one more to the list.
Although Brahmas points leader Carson Kelley put Lone Star up 2-1 midway through the third with a power play goal, Wichita Falls’ late push resulted in a goal of their own with under a minute left.
The Brahmas are an extremely effective 3-on-3 overtime team, as their possession-heavy style of play lends itself well to the format. That’s shown in spades this season, and it was on full display on Friday night.
It took only 54 seconds for the Brahmas to strike. As is typical, they maintained possession of the puck for the majority of that time, and an ill-advised dump by the Wildcats led to a John Zimmerman stretch pass to Kelley.
Kelley got behind Wichita Falls’ skaters and beat Jared Dempsey cleanly for the game-winner.
With that win, the Brahmas officially clinched the South Division and secured home ice advantage for the duration of the first two playoff rounds.
On Saturday, the Brahmas put on a clinic with a well-balanced offensive attack and a tight defensive game. Lone Star allowed only 20 shots on goal — Alec Calvaruso stopped 19 — and every line scored a goal.
It was an impressive performance from a team missing key forwards Austin Kamer and Julian Biondo, both of whom will be back for the series against Corpus Christi this week. Biondo is expected to make his return to the lineup on Thursday evening, and Kamer will be eligible to play on Friday.
There are just three games left in the Brahmas’ regular season, and all three are against Corpus Christi. Although the Brahmas are locked into the top seed in the South Division, Corpus Christi and Wichita Falls are locked in a battle for third place.
As it currently stands, the Brahmas’ first round opponent would be the IceRays, while Wichita Falls would face the Shreveport Mudbugs. However, that isn’t set in stone yet, and the next few weeks should be interesting.
Thursday and Friday’s games are in Corpus Christi at the American Bank Center. Both are scheduled for a 7:05 PM puck drop.