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Brahmas Take Game One Against Wildcats

Photo courtesy of Meagan Sullivan Photography: Max Prawdzik stopped all 23 shots that came his way while Aidan Spellacy, Pete Kessel and Carson Kelley provided the offense in the Lone Star Brahmas 3-0 over the Wichita Falls Wildcats. With the win the Brahmas opened a one game lead in the NAHL South Division Playoffs.

 

The Lone Star Brahmas opened their quest for the Robertson Cup on Friday night against the Wichita Falls Wildcats at NYTEX Sports Centre. During the regular season, Lone Star compiled an 8-1-0-0 record against Wichita Falls winning eight straight after losing the first game of the season series. Game one of the first round would see the Brahmas add another to the streak.

The first period rolled by with nothing but three minor penalties added to the score book. Max Prawdzik in goal for the Brahmas faced nine shots on goal in the opening frame while Jared Dempsey saw 10 with neither goalie allowing a goal.

Period two was shaping up to be much the same as the opening 20 minutes. The exception through the first half of the frame was a 1:16 of 5 on 3 power play for the Wildcats, but the Brahmas’ defense clamped down and killed off the two man advantage. The penalty kill brought the crowd to their feet as the teams went into the media timeout and added some jump the Lone Star skaters. With just under five minutes to play a big forecheck by Aidan Spellacy forced a bad pass from Dempsey who came out to play the puck. Spellacy picked it off and deposited it into the gaping net to put the Brahmas on top. Lone Star again outshot the Wildcats 12-9 in the period extending the margin as they began to build on their momentum.

Early in the third, Julian Biondo and Simon Loof took the puck up ice on a break with Loof drawing a tripping call on Wyatt Matthews, sending the Brahmas to the power play. Just 46 seconds into the man advantage, the teams lined up for a faceoff to Dempsey’s right. Once the puck was down it found its way to John Zimmerman at the near point and he sent it along the blueline to defense partner Jakub Melisko. Melisko faked the slapper to freeze the defense then fed it to Pete Kessel atop the far circle for a onetimer blocker side and into the twine.

The Wildcats thought they had scored at about the 12:45 mark when Matt Hanewall went barreling down the ice on a breakaway. Hanewall fired one on Prawdzik that he kicked as the Wildcats’ forward slid into him pushing Prawdzik into the net, knocking it off its moorings. As all this was going on, David Marabella cleared the puck from the crease to the top of the near circle where Ryan Burnett fired it past Prawdzik. Referee Zane Stout conferred with his linesman before making the correct no goal call.

In a desperate move to cut into the Brahmas lead, Wichita Falls pulled Dempsey with 1:20 to go in the contest. A roughing call on Zimmerman set up a 6 on 4 power play opportunity for the final 1:03. Once again despite being two men down the Lone Star defense came up big to deny the Wildcats. Then with just three clicks left on the clock Jack Zielinski sent a clear down the wall in front of the Wichita Falls bench and Austin Kamer won the race to the puck. With a Wildcats defender draped on his back Kamer flung a backhander that went through the crease to the far wall. Carson Kelley grabbed the loose puck and fired it between two black jerseys into the open net to put the cherry on the sundae with the shorthanded, empty netter.

With the shutout performance by Prawdzik the Brahmas took the ever important series opener with a 3-0 win. They outshot the Wildcats 34-23 in the process and were 1-4 on the power play while holding Wichita Falls to 0-5. Game two will be on home ice once again on Saturday before the series shifts to Wichita Falls next weekend for game 3 and 4 in necessary.

Boxscore

Elsewhere Around the NAHL South Div. Playoffs

Corpus Christi at Shreveport

The Icerays went on the road to steal home ice advantage from the Mudbugs with a 2-0 win. The victory extended the Corpus Christi win streak to three games while Shreveport has lost their last four including a sweep at the hands of last place Topeka to close out the regular season. Griffin Loughran got the scoring started near the midpoint of the first then Brad Power added a late empty netter in front of a 21 save performance by Tomas Vomacka.

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  1. Pingback: Brahmas - Wildcats Preview For 4/19 | Jr Hockey Digest

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