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Lone Star Brahmas Are Your 2017 NAHL South Division Champs

Photo courtesy of David Dudich: Troy York scored the overtime game winner to secure the NAHL South Division Championship for the Lone Star Brahmas in a 1-0 win against the Corpus Christi Icerays.

 

The Lone Star Brahmas and Corpus Christi Icerays met in a decisive game five of the NAHL South Division Playoffs on Saturday at NYTEX Sports Centre. Lone Star had won games one and four while Corpus Christi had taken games two and three to set the stage for the winner take all game on Saturday. The winner would go on to Duluth, MN to play for the Robertson Cup Championship with the loser’s season coming to a bitter end.

Period number one was a fast paced hard hitting affair. The Brahmas outshot the Icerays 8-2 in the frame, but neither team was able to solve the opposing netminder. It was the fourth time in five games that neither team had scored in the opening 20 minutes of play. Lone star had the only power play opportunity late in the period after Jayson Dimizio boarded Carson Kelley in the far corner of the Brahmas’ zone.

With just under three minutes gone in the second, the Brahmas had a golden opportunity with Troy York and Hunter Stanley going on a 2-1 break. York drove deep with the puck then slid it across the crease to Stanley, but somehow Tomas Vomacka managed to get a left skate on the shot pushing it to the endboards. With 8:44 left in the period Drake Glover sent a cross ice pass to Austin O’Rourke at the rightwing faceoff dot for a quick wrister that went off the crossbar. Just over three minutes later O’Rourke had another opportunity from nearly the same spot on the ice thanks to a pass from Justin Addamo, but once again sent the puck off the iron. Kelley hit the near post as well with 2:25 to go and the Brahmas kept the puck in the zone for York to center to Kelley for a onetimer over Vomacka’s right shoulder. However, referee Steven Sailor waved off the goal saying the net was off even though it was still in place. The net did lean from Vomacka hitting the near post with his right shoulder, but it never came completely off the moorings.

At 2:16 of the third, the Icerays thought they had found pay dirt when they managed to put the puck past Max Prawdzik, but the goal was waived off due to a delayed offside on Corpus Christi. Things were so loud in the shoebox that nobody heard the whistles and the Icerays continued with the play. With right at 11:00 minutes left in the period Addamo made a goal saving play tying up the stick of Brad Power just off the far post with the goal mouth wide open. Julian Biondo came flying in from the off side to push the puck to the corner, allowing Prawdzik time to recover and make a save on a shot by Trever Heuser from the point.

Once the overtime period got underway, the Brahmas were showing a little extra jump. At the 4:50 mark, York controlled the puck and fed it up the boards to Kelley in front of the Icerays bench. York turned on the jets blowing by David Baskerville and Logan Gestro to receive the return pass from Kelley and fire it past Vomacka glove side from the near circle.

Shots on goal were 35-15 Lone Star. With the win the Brahmas claim the NAHL South Division Crown for the second time in three years and earn the right to represent the South Division at the Robertson Cup Championships.

Boxscore 

Elsewhere Around the NAHL Playoffs

East Division Finals

Aston Rebels at New Jersey Titans

Andrew Dellant put the Rebels up top early with the only goal of the opening period. New Jersey’s Jordan Kaplan returned the favor in the second to send the game to the third tied at one apiece. Aston retook the lead just under six minutes into the third on a Gianluca Esteves tally, but Todd Goehring tied it up once again to force overtime. Ryan Wheeler scored the game winner for the Titans at the 16:33 mark of the extra period. Jack Leavy took the loss for Aston making 23 saves while Ryan Ferland picked up the win on 41 saves.

Series tied 2-2

Central Division Finals

Minnesota Wilderness at Aberdeen Wings

The teams traded goals in the first with Kevin Fitzgerald scoring for Aberdeen and Louis Roehl for Minnesota. Carson Dimoff tallied twice in the middle stanza to give the Wings a two goal lead going into the third. Jesse Farabee cut into the lead for the Wild, but goals from Adam Pitters and Colin Raver put it away for the Wings. Forbes Ploszaj faced 27 shots in a winning effort while Luke Kania saw 35 in the loss.

Series tied 2-2

Midwest Division Finals

Janesville Jets at Fairbanks Icedogs

Jack Gates scored just 2:41 into the game giving Janesville the early lead. Fairbanks tied it up moments later on a goal from Grayson Gavin. The Jets had a near immediate answer with Kip Hoffmann scoring just 1:03 later to retake the lead. Michael Maloney added to the Janesville lead beore Bauer Neudecker pulled the Icedogs within one going into the first intermission. In the second, former Brahma Peter Bates had the only goal. Hoffman scored his second of the game in the third for the 5-2 final. Jacob Barczewski made 18 saves in the win and Erik Gordon made 25 saves in a losing effort.

Janesville wins series 3-1

 

 

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