TOPEKA, KS — After a two-week jaunt into Alaska, the Brahmas have one more set of games on the road before returning home.
In terms of mileage, this has to be the Brahmas’ most impressive three-week stretch in their time as a junior team. Fairbanks, Kenai, and then a trip to the furthest opponent in the NAHL South — the Topeka RoadRunners.
It’s a rare set of games on a Monday and Tuesday, due to an ice scheduling conflict at the Kansas Expocentre. Maybe it’s just as well to switch things up. It’s admittedly been a while since the Brahmas were in Topeka, but the last time they were there, they suffered a sweep at the hands of the perpetually cellar-dwelling RoadRunners.
At the time, the Brahmas weren’t yet the team they are now. Since then, the roster has gone through even more turnover to reach the current team, and they’re riding a three-game point streak and hungry for more.
Goaltender Mitchell Gibson has been a bright spot for the Brahmas all season, and perhaps his most important trait has been his consistency. He was good — as usual — in Alaska and did not allow more than two goals in any of his appearances en route to a 2-1-1 record.
Relative newcomers to the Brahmas Jon Russell and Steven Ipri have also been notable.
Since joining the Brahmas, both Russell and Ipri have eight points in six games. Ipri in particular has the hot hand going into the series against Topeka, with five points in his last two games. Their presence in the lineup has inserted some much-needed offense and has gotten the Brahmas power play on track.
That certainly bodes well heading into the series, as Topeka boasts the worst penalty kill in the South Division. That’s just one of Topeka’s problems this year — with their top two scorers earning themselves USHL call-ups, there’s not much offense to speak of either.
The Brahmas should never take an opponent for granted, but if there was ever a series that should be won on the road, this is the one.
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