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Preview of 1 vs 2 For Robertson Cup Championship

Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bing: Julian Biondo and the Lone Star Brahmas are set to march into the NAHL Robertson Cup Finals against the Aston Rebels at the Essentia Duluth Heritage Center in Duluth, MN on Sunday afternoon.

 

The table is set for a 1 vs 2 matchup for the NAHL Robertson Cup Championship with the Aston Rebels and Lone Star Brahmas facing off a 1:00 Sunday. The Brahmas completed a sweep of the Janesville Jets on Friday giving them a day off and affording them an opportunity to scout the Rebels in their game against the Aberdeen Wings.

In their Semi-Final matchup with the Jets, the Brahmas continued their overtime dominance with a 3-2 win in game one marking their fifth post season overtime win. Pete Kessel put Lone Star up one just 3:42 into the game. Janesville came back with two goals in the second to go into the third holding a one goal lead. The Brahmas went on their first power play of the contest at 4:49. The power play had been anemic in the Division Finals, but came alive against Janesville. John Zimmerman scored with the man advantage at 6:49 to force overtime. Drake Glover deposited the game winner 13:00 into the extra stanza. Max Prawdzik turned aside 28 of the 30 shots he saw on the evening. Game two was another tight contest with Lone Star taking a 3-1 win with a late empty net goal. Again it was Kessel who broke the ice on the power play at 2:44 of the third. The Jets tied it up just over a minute later, but Glover scored another power play goal with 1:33 left then Kessel scored the empty netter at 19:22. Prawdzik was in net again for the win on 20 saves.

Aston started out the Semi-Finals with a 4-2 win over Aberdeen on Thurdsay afternoon. The Rebels built a three goal advantage on first period goals from Carter Woolley and Gianluca Esteves along with a second period tally from Dom Garcia. Aberdeen responded with two goals to pull within one, but an Aston empty netter late in the third sealed the deal. Mareks Mitens made 30 saves for the win. On Friday, Aberdeen forced a game three with a 3-2 overtime win with the game winner coming at 16:11 of overtime. The Wings took a two goal lead just 18 seconds into the third before Dustin Manz and Kolby Vegara knotted it up early in the period sending it to overtime for the Aberdeen game winner. Mitens allowed the three goals on 33 shots faced. In game three, Aberdeen struck first early in the second period, but Esteves scored for Aston at 0:53 of the third. The game eventually went to overtime and with 2:43 left in overtime Evgeny Yakovlev scored a rebound goal to send the Rebels to the finals against Lone Star. Mitens faced 24 shots in the win.

 

Playoff Records

W L OTL
Brahmas 8 2 0
Rebels 8 1 2

 

Special Teams

Special teams play was fairly even for the two teams during the regular season. Lone Star’s power play finished the season as the 9th best unit in the league at 19.7%, scoring 55 times on 279 opportunities. Their 279 power plays was the 2nd most in the NAHL. On the penalty kill the Brahmas finished at 84.8% good for 6th in the league. They had the 5th fewest penalty kills during the regular season.

Aston’s power play completed the season in the 4th spot on 49 goals in 229 opportunities or 21.4%. The Rebels had the 12th highest power play opportunities total in the league. The penalty kill was the best in the NAHL killing off all but 29 of 212 kills for 86.3%. They had the 6th fewest kills during the season.

In the playoffs, the Brahmas power play is running at 29.2% on a 7 for 24 performance. They are 87.5% on the penalty kill allowing 2 goals in 16 kills. Aston is 6 for 33 on the power play or 18.2% and on the penalty kill they are at 78.6% allowing 6 goals on 28 kills.

 

Playoff Goaltending Comparison

W L OTL SO GA GAA SV SV%
Brahmas 8 2 0 2 21 2.01 219 0.913
Rebels 8 1 2 0 25 2.32 239 0.905

 

Who is Hot (Playoffs)

Brahmas G A Pts
Pete Kessel 6 5 11
Drake Glover 5 6 11
Austin Kamer 1 6 7
Carson Kelley 4 2 6
Troy York 4 2 6

 

Rebels G A Pts
Gianluca Esteves 5 4 9
Evgeny Yakovlev 5 3 8
Drew Blackmun 5 3 8
Andrew Bellant 3 4 7
Aaron Maguyon 1 6 7

 

Inside the Game

  • Aston finished the season as the top team in the NAHL at 95 points and claimed the East Division Crown. Lone Star finished 2nd overall at 90 points winning the South Division.
  • Pete Kessel and Drake Glover are tied for 3rd in playoff scoring with 11 points apiece. Gianluca Esteves is tied for 8th at 9 points.
  • Pete Kessel’s 6 goals is tied for second in goals scored. Drake Glover, Gianluca Esteves, Evgeny Yakovlev and Drew Blackmun are tied for 6th with 5 goals each.
  • Drake Glover, Austin Kamer, Jakub Melisko and Aaron Maguyon all have 6 assists to their credit which is tied for 3rd.
  • Drake Glover and Gvido Jansons are tied for the post season lead in power play goals with 3.
  • Pete Kessel is tied for the lead in power play points with 6. He is also tied for the lead in power play assists with Jakub Melisko with 4 apiece.
  • John Zimmerman’s 22 PIMs is 4th most in the playoffs. Andrew Bellant comes in with 16 PIMs which is 6th
  • Max Prawdzik has the 2nd best Goals Against Average with a 1.71 GAA. Mareks Mitens is 6th with a 1.99 GAA. Alec Calvaruso has a 1.14 GAA and Jack Leavy has a 2.58 GAA, but neither Calvaruso nor Leavy qualify among the leaders.
  • Max Prawdzik is 11th in Save Percentage at 0.918 SV% and Mareks Mitens is 13th with a 0.915 SV%. Alec Calvaruso has a 0.947 SV% and Jack Leavy has a 0.865 SV%.
  • Max Prawdzik leads all goalies with 8 wins and is tied for the lead with 2 shutouts.
  • Aston is averaging 3.82 Goals For and 2.27 Goals Allowed per game in the playoffs compared to 3.50 Goals For and 2.10 Goals Allowed for Lone Star.
  • The Brahmas average 32.3 Shots For per game and 24.0 Shots Against. The Rebels come in averaging 29.9 Shots For and 24.1 Shots Against in the playoffs.

 

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