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Lone Star Brahmas – Amarillo Bulls Preview For 3/3 & 3/4

Photo courtesy of Meagan Sullivan Photography: Aidan Spellacy and the Lone Star Brahmas will welcome the Amarillo Bulls into NYTEX Sports Centre this weekend to renew the Battle of the Cattle.

 

The Lone Star Brahmas and Amarillo Bulls will faceoff this weekend for the first time since October 16. After that three game series in mid-October, the Brahmas held a four point lead over the Bulls. Since that time the two teams have gone in completely opposite directions with Lone Star building a strangle hold on the top spot in the NAHL South while Amarillo has drifted down to 6th in the division a full 37 points behind the leaders. In their five previous meetings the Brahmas have built a 4 – 1 – 0 record.

09/17/16            Lone Star 7 at Amarillo 1

10/08/16            Amarillo 4 at Lone Star 3

10/14/16            Lone Star 4 at Amarillo 2

10/15/16            Lone Star 3 at Amarillo 2

10/16/16            Lone Star 3 at Amarillo 2

Last weekend saw the Brahmas come away from their trip to Corpus Christi with their second split in a row. On Friday night, Max Prawdzik (6W – 2L – 0OTL – 0SOL) turned in a strong performance in net as the teams over 56 minutes of scoreless hockey. Carson Kelly (14G – 29A) finally broke through at the 16:06 mark of the third only to see the Icerays score just 58 seconds later. The balance of the third ticked off with no further scoring leading to overtime where Austin O’Rourke (5G – 6A) made a big play to create space and centered it to Troy York (21G – 14A) for the game winner with just eight seconds left in the extra frame. Saturday’s contest was every bit as competitive as the night before. The Icerays carried a 1 – 0 lead into the second off a power play goal before Julian Biondo (8G – 3A) scored a blue collar goal at 12:40 of the middle frame. Corpus Christi scored on the power play once again with under five to go in the period. Despite outshooting the Icerays 12 – 4 in the final 20 minutes the Brahmas could not find the equalizer. For the second night in a row, Prawdzik did every he could to give him team a chance to win. The native of Andover, MA stopped 41 of the 44 shots he faced on the weekend.

The Bulls were on the road in Wichita Falls and were handed the wrong side of a 3 – 0 shutout in game one. Nikita Babintsev (13W – 16L – 3OTL – 0SOL) faced 39 shots on goal stopping 36 of them in the loss. In game two, Amarillo was facing a 3 – 0 deficit going into the second before finally denting the scoreboard thanks to the league’s leading scorer George Mika (24G – 27A). The Wildcats scored again in the third followed by a Jovan Zimmerman tally for the 4 – 2 final. Brandon Bussi (8W – 7L – 1OTL – 2SOL) was in net to record the loss making 26 saves.

 

Last 5 Games W L OTL Pts
Brahmas 2 3 0 4
Bulls 2 3 0 4

 

Special Teams

Looking at just percentages, the Bulls hold the advantage over the Brahmas on the power play. Amarillo is 5th in the league at 23.2% while Lone Star is 9th at 20.3%. However, when you look inside the numbers you see that Lone Star has had 67 more power play opportunities than Amarillo and has scored nine more goals. On the penalty kill the teams could not be much further apart with the Brahmas boasting the 3rd ranked unit and the Bulls dead last in the league. Lone Star is a 85.5% compared to Amarillo’s 73.6%. The Brahmas have allowed nine fewer power play goals despite having been on the penalty kill 46 more times than Amarillo.

Unfortunately for the Brahmas, it is their home units that have brought down their overall numbers. Their home power play is currently setting at 17th in the league at 16.7% scoring 17 times on 102 opportunities. They will be facing an Amarillo road penalty kill that has played much better than at home. The Bulls are 17th away from the Amarillo Civic Center allowing 12 goals on 58 kills or 79.3%.

Lone Star’s home penalty kill comes in at 8th allowing 13 goals on 78 kills or 83.3%. Amarillo will counter with the 8th best road power play at 22.4% after scoring 17 times on 76 chances.

Head to head, the Brahmas are 8 – 27 on the power play or 29.6% while holding the Bulls to 4 for 18 or 22.2%.

 

Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games

W L OTL SO GA GAA SV SV%
Brahmas 2 3 0 0 10 1.97 85 .904
Bulls 2 3 0 0 18 3.55 170 .904

 

Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)

Brahmas G A Pts
Carson Kelley 2 1 3
John Zimmerman 0 3 3
Austin Kamer 0 3 3
Julian Biondo 2 0 2
Two tied at 1 1 2
 
Bulls G A Pts
Steven Ipri 1 5 6
Luke Edgerton 1 4 5
Charlie Singerhouse 2 2 4
Alex Truscott 1 2 3
Bray Crowder 1 2 3

 

Inside the Game

  • The Brahmas were well represented at the recent NAHL Top Prospects Tournament with all seven Lone Star participants registering points. Austin Kamer (14G – 25A), Hunter Stanley (15G – 20A), Troy York, Carson Kelley (14G – 29A) and John Zimmerman (1G – 31A) skating for team South while Simon Loof (2G – 21A) and Justin Addamo (10G – 10A) were on the NAHL Selects team. Kamer had 1G – 1A, Stanley, York and Loof each had 1G – 0A. Kelley, Zimmerman and Addamo had 0G – 1A each.
  • The Bulls were represented by Luke Edgerton (8G – 13A) who led all scorers at the tournament with 3G – 1A for team South and Nakita Babintsev who recorded both wins for team South posting a 1.22 GAA and a 0.963 SV%.
  • George Mika leads the NAHL in scoring with 51 points. Carson Kelley is tied for 16th with 43.
  • Lone Star has a much more balanced offensive attack with six skaters who have scored 35 or more points on the season. Amarillo on the other hand has only Mika who has reached that level.
  • George Mika is tied for 3rd in the league in goals scored. Despite hitting a recent scoring drought with just one goal in his last 10 games, Pete Kessel (23G – 15A) is still tied for 6th and Troy York with 21 is tied for 8th.
  • John Zimmerman with 21 is tied for 2nd in the league in assists. George Mika with 27 is tied for 17th.
  • Troy York is leading the league with 8 game winning goals. Teammates Hunter Stanley and Justin Addamo are tied for 4th with five apiece.
  • Alec Calvaruso (20W – 6L – 0OTL – 0SOL) has the 3rd best goals against average in the league at 1.98 GAA. Nikita Babintsev is 23rd with a 3.18 GAA. Brandon Bussi has a 3.27 GAA which makes him 26th. Max Prawdzik has a 1.99 GAA, but is well short of the 900 minutes played to qualify among league leaders.
  • Alec Calvaruso’s 0.914 SV% is good for 14th overall in the NAHL. Nikita Babintsev is right behind with a 0.913 SV% and tied for 16th. Brandon Bussi is tied for 24th with a 0.902 SV%. Max Prawdzik is tops among this group with a 0.922 SV%.
  • With 20 wins on the season Alec Calvaruso is 3rd in the league.
  • Nikita Babintsev has the 2nd most saves in the league with 1064, 3rd most minutes played at 1908 and 3rd most losses with 16.
  • The Bulls are a very disciplined team with the 3rd fewest penalty minutes averaging just 14.84 PIMs per game. The Brahmas come in ranked 11th at 17.78 PIMs per game.
  • The Brahmas are 15 – 7 – 0 – 0 on home ice compared to the Bulls who are 9 – 8 – 4 – 1 on the road.
  • Both teams have played in 11 overtime games. The Brahmas have picked up 21 points in those games while the Bulls have collected 14 points.
  • The Brahmas average 3.18 goals for and 2.16 goals against per game. The Bulls average 2.91 goals for and 3.56 goals against per game.
  • Amarillo is 14 – 5 – 4 – 1 when leading or tied after two periods while Lone Star is 34 – 3 – 1 – 0 under the same circumstances.

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