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Sweep Is The Word – Brahmas Moving To Next Round After 4-3 OT Win

Lone Star Brahmas' Head Coach Dan Wildfong gives instructions to the Brahmas during a third period timeout.


The Lone Star Brahmas traveled to the Red River to faceoff against the Wichita Falls Wildcats for game three of their opening round playoff series. Lone Star was looking to close out the Wildcats after taking games one and two at home by scores of 3-0 and 7-3. A victory would send the Brahmas into the NAHL South Division Championship against the Corpus Christi Icerays who swept Shreveport in their opening round series.

The Brahmas controlled play early with Wichita Falls first shot on goal not coming until more than 10 minutes into the game. The first power play of the game came with 8:44 remaining in the first after a slashing call on Isaac Kobienia well behind the play. However, Lone Star was unable to convert on the man advantage. Wichita Falls got on the board first with a slick backhanded centering pass from below the goal line by Nick Rosa to Aleksi Poikola in all alone in front. Poikola put a onetimer past Max Prawdzik glove side at the 15:26 mark. Seamus Donohue was credited with the secondary assist on the play. With 2:20 to go, Brahmas’ defenseman Simon Loof made a goal saving play to clear the puck from the crease in front of an open net.

Hunter Stanley netted the equalizer for the Brahmas banging the puck through Wildcats netminder Evan Moyse while cleaning up the rebound of a Troy York shot from the near circle with Carson Kelley picking up the second assist.

Lone Star’s second power play of the night went much better than the first. After a faceoff win, the Brahmas cycled the puck deep behind the Wildcat’s cage. Wichita Falls had an opportunity to clear the puck, but a big keep by Jakub Melisko at the far point led to an open shot for the Brahmas defenseman. Moyse made the initial save leaving the puck in a scrum. Austin Kamer put it back off Moyse once again and Drake Glover  pounced on the rebound and flipped it under the crossbar at 12:33 of the second just 29 seconds after the power play commenced.

Early in the third, Justin Addamo went to the penalty box for a slash putting Wichita Falls on the power play. Wichita Falls’ Ryan Burnett took the puck behind Prawdzik’s net with speed before losing an edge and going down in the near corner. Kelley grabbed the loose puck and went the other way with speed. Kelley blew past the defense to the near hash mark and rifled one past Moyse’s glove hand for an all important shorthanded insurance goal. Time of the goal was 6:50 of the third.

It did not take Wichita Falls long to respond with Ricky Carballo finding a loose puck in front and putting a wrister into the back of the net unassisted at the 10:24 mark of the frame. Carballo scored his second unassisted goal of the game with the extra attacker on a shot through traffic from the near point and just 41 ticks left on the clock to force overtime.

The overtime frame was fairly evenly played until the 11:53 mark with Loof wound up from the neat point and fired a rocket on net that was redirected by Austin O’Rourke for the game winner punching Lone Star’s ticket to the NAHL South Division Finals against the Corpus Christi Icerays.

Wichita Falls won the shots on goal battle 37-31, but the Brahmas held service on special teams scoring the only power play goal and adding a shorty. The loss is bittersweet for the Wichita Falls in more ways than one, as it has been reported that the Wildcats will fold following their elimination from the playoffs and will not compete in the NAHL next season. It is also a loss for the Brahmas as they lose their closest rival and a team they have had multiple battles with dating back to the days of the Texas Tornado. It will be a tremendous loss NAHL and the South Division.


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