NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX — The IceRays are in town for the first time since the Brahmas’ home opener back in late October.
That weekend went well for the Brahmas, as they swept the IceRays in their first games at home since winning the Robertson Cup. The two teams’ most recent meeting, though, was in Corpus Christi. Lone Star dropped the first game of that series and then picked up a shootout win to split the weekend set.
The last few weeks have been less than optimal for the Brahmas, who have been dealing with several key absences from the lineup for various reasons. That will continue into this weekend, but the good news is that team is anticipating the return of forwards Jared Domin and Chase Pletzke to the ice.
Special teams play has also been a factor in the Brahmas’ recent slide. The Brahmas power play has been subpar all season, but the usually-strong penalty kill has been mired in an uncharacteristic slump. That’s bound to turn around at some point, but the Brahmas would certainly like it to be sooner rather than later, especially against a Corpus Christi team who scored three times in eight chances the last time the two teams met.
With that in mind, the Brahmas spent time this week honing both the power play and the penalty kill. If all goes to plan, that work should pay off against the IceRays this Friday and Saturday.
The Brahmas will also have to find a way to shut down Corpus Christi’s leading scorer, Larry Jungwirth. They did not do so in their last matchup, as Jungwirth ran all over the Brahmas for four goals in two games. One thing that should help Lone Star in that regard is that Jungwirth’s line will be missing Aleksi Peltonen, who received a call-up to the USHL’s Omaha Lancers. Jungwirth and Rylee St. Onge can no doubt do plenty of damage on their own, but the absence of Peltonen does throw a wrench into that top line’s chemistry.
Puck drop on both Friday and Saturday night will be at 7:30 PM. Remember, Friday night is our annual Teddy Bear Toss. Bring your new and gently used stuffed animals and toss them onto the ice following the Brahmas’ first goal! The toys will be collected and donated to the Community Enrichment Center and will eventually make their way to the arms of local children this holiday season.