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Weekend Recap: 9-16-13

Monday September 16, 2013 Both Brahmas Season Openers Go To Overtime The action Friday night got off to an early start as Rio Grande Valley's Anthony Croston scored the first goal of the night just 56 seconds into game. The assist went to Nathan Flynn. The Brahmas couldn't seem to put anything together in from of the very vocal home town crowd and the Killer Bees capitalized on a power play, sending a second goal past Mattias Soderqvist less than 7 minutes after the first. The goal was scored by Ben Greiner with an assist from Tyler Bruneteau. The Killer Bees lived up to their name for the rest of the first period dominating the puck, but unable to get past the Brahmas defenses. Late in the first period, newly elected captain AJ Duggan took a redirected pass off his stick directly to the mouth knocking out a tooth which was recovered completely intact before the ice was resurfaced.

The second period found the Brahmas renewed and driven straight from the jump with captain AJ Duggan still in play. Play evened out for much of the second period with neither team able to score.With just over 5 minutes left in the second period. Alex Dagnal and Alexey Solovyev move the puck quickly down the ice to a waiting AJ Duggan who sends in past the face-down Bees goalie for the score. At the face off immediately following the goal, tensions boiled over between Killers Bees Defenseman Dylan Abood and Brahmas Forward Connor Millard. A second fight broke out on the following face off with Mitchell Mueller taking a big cut to the forehead from his visor. 7:32 into the third period Sami Pokka extended Rio Grande Valley's lead with an assist from Aleksi Luhtalampi bring the score to 3-1.

As the third period hit the halfway point, things were looking for the Brahmas, but this fledgling team refused to go down quietly. With 6:45 left in the 3rd, #21 Matt Lison sped down the ice and scored kickstarting the Brahmas comeback. Less than 3 minutes later, Matt Lison scores again, tying it up 3-3 with assists by Alex Dagnal and AJ Duggan and sending the game into overtime. 1:15 into overtime, Brahmas Captain AJ Duggan scored his second goal with assists by Alexey Solovyev and Jan Hudecek winning the game for the Brahmas. Final score: Brahmas 4, Killer Bees 3

Saturday night, in stark contrast to the previous night, saw the Brahmas on their feet and carrying the momentum from their first win hoping to make it a double. Not to be outdone, the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees brought their A-game as well and the two teams kept it fierce and aggressive the entire game much to the delight of the nearly 2,000 in attendance. The aggression of the Brahmas showed as they racked up penalties giving the Killer Bees 3 power plays during the 1st period, but couldn't convert them to goals against Brahmas defenses spearheaded by goalie Jacob Nehama. Liam Stirtzinger, #91 for the Brahmas, was the first to put numbers on the board late in the second period. Ayerton Valente and Johan Steen provided the assists with only 5:32 remaining on the clock.

The third period began with the Killer Bees feeling the pressure. After the several scoring attempts, the Bees just couldn't get anything past the Brahmas rookie goalie from Allen, TX or their defensemen. With just over a minute remaining in the game, with nothing to lose and everything to gain, the Killer Bees turned up the heat, forgoing their goaltender to give them 6 attackers on the ice. It looked like the Brahmas would fend off the swarm, but with just 8 seconds left, Bees forward Will Clark tied the game sending it into overtime. With just over a minute remaining in overtime, Killer Bees Dylan Abood received a pass from Ben Greiner then fired it past a stunned Jacob Nehama for the win. Final Score: Rio Grande Valley 2, Lone Star 1.

With a 1-1 split for their opening weekend, the Brahmas head to Blaine Minnesota this week for the North American Hockey League Showcase. Each of the league's 24 teams will be in attendance and competing in front scouts, from Division I & III colleges as well as the NHL. The NAHL Showcase is the biggest event of the season for these young players.

After the Showcase, the Brahmas head on the road for 7 games before bringing it back to Brahmaland on October 25th. You don't have to wait for October to see more Brahmas action. All NAHL games are broadcast LIVE on www.fasthockey.com.

Weekend Recap: 9-9-13

This past weekend marked the beginning for the newly branded Lone Star Brahmas of the North American Hockey League. Following one week of practices, the Brahmas took on the visiting Odessa Jackalopes in two exhibition games at, The NYTEX Sports Centre, Home of the Brahmas.

Friday night got off to a slow start for the Brahmas as the Jacks controlled the puck for much of the first period. Brahmas net-minder, Sean Keating fended off 11 shots on goal before the Brahmas could even take one. The Brahmas seemed to find their rhythm as the first period drew to a close with score of 0-0. Play went back and forth between Jackalopes and Brahmas for most of the second period. With only 1:11 remaining the second period, the Brahmas bring it together during a power play and Liam Stirtzinger scores with assists from Matt Lison and Johan Steen.

Odessa forward Derek Brown tied up the game in less than 7 minutes into the second period with assists by Alex Alger and Trace Jablin. #25 Chad Guderian then gave the Jackalopes the lead with 8:24 left on the clock, but Will White evened it up for the Brahmas less than a minute later. A scoreless third period and overtime sent the game into a shootout. During the third round of the shootout, Alex Algers scored for the Jackalopes, but was answered in the fourth round with excellent stick-work from NAHL veteran Alexy Solovyev. Both goaltenders kept the shootout tied until the 7th round when Gordie Helmuth sent one between the skates of Yoshihiro Kuroiwa to take the win for the Brahmas. Final Score for Friday, Lone Star Brahmas 3, Odessa Jackalopes 2.

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Saturday's game began with the Brahmas carrying the momentum from the previous night as Defenseman Johan Steen scored the first goal only 1:24 into the first period. Alex Dagnal and Matt Lison had the assists on the play. Minutes later, Will White picked up a loose puck and sent it through the five hole unassisted giving the Brahmas 2-0 lead at the 6:27 mark. With assists by Steen and Dagnal, Matt Lison was able to capitalize on the Brahmas first Power Play of the night with 6:23 left on the first period clock.

With a 3-0 lead for the Brahmas, the Jackalopes turned up their defense leaving the second period scoreless for both teams. Almost 5 minutes into the third period, the Brahmas defense finally showed its first cracks as Jackalopes #25, Chad Guderian, fired it past Sean Keating for their first goal of the night. In a complete reversal of fortune for the Brahmas, Odessa scored 3 more goals in the second half of the third period to take the lead, then victory. Final score: Odessa Jackalopes 4, Lone Star Brahmas 3.

With a 1-1 record for the weekend, the Brahmas will begin the regular season with their opening game September 13th at 7:30pm at home in the NYTEX Sports Centre against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. The Brahmas face the Bees the following night as well before heading to Blaine, Minnesota for the NAHL Showcase.

For season ticket information for the Lone Star Brahmas, call 817-336-4ICE. Individual tickets are available online on the tickets page or through the box office at 817-336-4423.

Wildfong named head coach of the NAHL’s Lone Star Brahmas

The Lone Star Brahmas, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), have announced that Dan Wildfong has been named the team’s new head coach. Wildfong’s duties will begin immediately. Wildfong is a native of Clinton, Ontario and comes with a wealth of head coaching experience in the Central Hockey League (CHL).

“We are proud of Dan’s accomplishments as a coach and member of our extended hockey family,” said NYTEX Sports and Texas Hockey Partners Owner and President Frank Trazzera. “ His leadership and hard work have been instrumental in defining the Brahmas brand of hockey for our all of youth, junior, and professional players.”

During the previous six seasons, Wildfong has been the Head Coach and General Manager for the Texas/Ft. Worth Brahmas, who played in the CHL. Last season, he was named the CHL Coach of the Year as he led the Brahmas to the teams 30+ win season and sixth consecutive postseason appearance since he took over for the 2007-08 campaign. Widlfong also won his 200th career professional game with the Brahmas last season. 

“I am excited and honored for this great opportunity in the NAHL,” said Wildfong. “To be a part of assisting young players develop and move on to NCAA Division I and Division III schools is an incredible role for me to take on. I'm ready to begin this journey along with a great ownership group, NYTEX, and begin a successful transition from the pro ranks to the juniors.”

In six seasons behind the bench, Wildfong has posted a 217-137-36 record in the regular season. He was one of only two coaches in franchise history with a winning record. His 217 wins are the most in franchise history, well above the next highest total. In 2009, Wildfong led the Brahmas to a 12-4 record and a Ray Miron President’s Cup Championship, eliminating the Colorado Eagles in game five of the CHL Finals.

One of the things that may suit Wildfong well in the NAHL is that like most of the players he will be coaching, Wildfong played collegiately in the NCAA.  He was a four-year lettermen for Colgate University in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC). He then went onto a nine-year professional career, which included stops in the United Hockey League (UHL), Central Hockey League (CHL) and Western Professional Hockey League (WPHL).

Lone Star Brahmas Announce Main Camp

The Governors Board of the NAHL confirmed today the Lone Star Brahmas petition to hold their tryouts on the weekend of August 23rd thru August 25th. This invitation only camp will be held in the Brahmas home rink at the NYTEX Sports Centre in North Richland Hills, TX.

Coach Dan Wildfong is already sending out invitations and predicts spots will fill up quickly. Any player who wishes to be considered for the Brahmas camp should go to the Brahmas Team Page and fil out the online inquiry form.