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Brahmas Are In Topeka To Face RoadRunners

Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bing Photography: Lone Star Brahmas' Head Coach Dan Wildfong draws up a play for the Brahmas during their game on Nov 18. Lone Star will be in Topeka Monday and Tuesday to take on the Topeka RoadRunners.

 

Next up on the schedule for the Lone Star Brahmas are the Topeka RoadRunners. Games originally slated for Friday and Saturday were pushed back to Monday and Tuesday at the Kansas Expo Center. The series will be only the third and fourth meeting of the teams this season. In the two previous games played in Topeka the RoadRunners took a pair of one goal wins.

10/06    Brahmas 2 at RoadRunners 3

10/07    Brahmas 1 at RoadRunners 2 OT

Since that early October matchup the two teams have seen their fates go in two different directions. The Brahmas now hold a 19-10-4-3 record good for third place in the NAHL South while the RoadRunners have stumbled to a 14-24-1-2 record and last place in the division.

Lone Star is wrapping up a three week road trip that included a swing through Alaska where they took four points out of a series against the Kenai River Brown Bears last weekend. In game one of that series the Brahmas found themselves down two goals just 7:23 into the contest. That is when Mitchell Gibson (15-7-3-3) replaced Harrison Feeney (4-2-0-1) in net and the offense started to come alive. Steven Ipri (7G-17A) was the first to get the Brahmas on the board with a power play goal. Jon Russell (23G-10A) also scored in the first to send the teams into the first period intermission tied at two apiece. Justin Addamo (10G-11A) added an early second period tally before Ipri netted his second of the night to hold a 4-2 lead at the end of two. Kenai River got one back in the third to cut the lead to one, but could get no closer. Gibson recorded the win stopping 34 of 35. Game two was never really in doubt as the Brahmas raced out to a two goal lead in the opening period thanks to goals by Frank Trazzera (2G-3A) and Connor Stuart (4G-8A). The Brown Bears halved the lead in the second, but  Ipri continued his big weekend with his third of the series followed by an Aidan Spellacy (6G-11A) to put the game out of reach. Gibson again allowed a single goal facing 26 shots on the night.

Topeka is coming off a two game home sweep of the visiting Springfield Jr Blues. On Saturday night, Topeka scored once in each period to take a 3-2 win. Dallas Tulik (10G-10A) scored in the first and third to bookend a Jakub Urbanek (4G-2A) goal as the RoadRunners took a three goal lead. Springfield scored twice in the last 1:34 of the game, but Topeka escaped with the win. Sam Metcalf (5W-8L-0OTL-1SOL) was in net to record the victory on 16 saves. On Sunday afternoon Springfield held a one goal lead going into the third. Nick Schultze (who has since been traded to Springfield) scored with 12 seconds left in the contest to force overtime where Chad Hillebrand found the back of the net at 1:43 for the game winner. Emil Gransoe (7W-12L-0OTL-1SOL) logged the win on 30 saves.

 

Last 5 Games 

W L OTL SOL Pts
Brahmas 3 1 0 1 7
RoadRunners 3 2 0 0 6

 

Special Teams

Lone Star has seen a bit of an uptick in their power play recently and they have moved up to 20th in the league at 16.6%. They have recorded 25 goals in 151 opportunities. The road unit also sets at 20th scoring 10 times in on their 77 chances or 13.0%. Over the past five games the Brahmas are three for 12 on the power play or 25%. The penalty kill continues to click along at 84.8% tied for 5th in the league. Lone Star has allowed 22 goals on 145 penalty kills. The road unit is playing even better allowing only eight goals all season in 73 kills or 89.0%. In the past five games they have allowed one goal on 22 opponent power plays.

The RoadRunner’s power play is 15th overall at 18.3% on 26 goals in 142 opportunities. Their home power play is roughly in line with their overall numbers at 18.4% with 16 goals on 87 chances good for 14th.  The numbers have jumped up a bit over the past five games to 22.2% on a two for nine performance. Topeka’s penalty kill resides in the bottom half of the league at 17th. They have killed off 138 of 179 opponent power plays or 77.1%. As with the power play the penalty kill has been performing well over the past five at 92.9%. They have allowed one goal on 14 penalty kills.

In limited head-to-head action Lone Star has gone two for 11 while Topeka is one for 13 on the power play.

 

Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games

W L OTL SOL SO GA GAA SV SV%
Brahmas 3 1 0 1 0 9 1.78 126 0.933
RoadRunners 3 2 0 0 1 8 1.61 127 0.941

 

Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)

Brahmas G A Pts
Steven Ipri 4 4 8
Jon Russell 4 3 7
Justin Addamo 1 4 5
Jakub Sirota 0 4 4
Ture Linden 0 4 4
RoadRunners G A Pts
Dallas Tulik 2 2 4
Matt Barnes 0 4 4
Nick Schultze 2 1 3
Mason Vukonich 1 2 3
Two tied at 2 0 2

Inside the Game

  • Lone Star is currently 9th in the NAHL and third in the South Division with 45 points while Topeka is 21st overall and last in the six team division with 31 points.
  • Jon Russell has taken over sole possession as the NAHL leading goal scorer with 23. He is second in the league in power play goals with 12.
  • Jon Russell is tied for the league lead in game winning goals with five. Ture Linden Aidan Spellacy and Justin Addamo are all tied for 12th with three apiece.
  • Chad Hillebrand (5G-11A) has 87 penalty minutes in 41 games played which has him at 13th in the league.
  • With a +16 plus / minus rating, Kyle Hallbauer (4G-11A) tied for 19th overall and 9th among defensemen.
  • Brahmas defenseman Jakub Sirota (0G-7A) is riding a five game point streak entering the series against Topeka.
  • Mitchell Gibson leads all active goaltenders in goals against average with a 1.67 GAA. Emil Gransoe is 34th with a 3.26 GAA and Sam Metcalf is 35th at 3.27 GAA. Harrison Feeney has a 1.98 GAA.
  • Mitchell Gibson also leads the league in save percentage with a 0.934 SV%. Emil Gransoe is tied for 21st with a 0.913 SV%. Sam Metcalf comes in at 41st with a 0.892 SV%. Harrison Feeney has a 0.910 SV%.
  • Mitchell Gibson is 3rd in the NAHL with 15 wins and 1st with five shutouts.
  • Mitchell Gibson is the reigning Bauer – NAHL South Division Star of the Week.
  • Lone Star’s defense is one of the best in the league and have allowed no more than 25 goals in any one period. Topeka has allowed 52 and 54 goals in the second and third periods respectively.
  • The Brahmas average 2.50 goals for and 2.08 goals against per game while Topeka averages 2.37 goals for and 3.63 goals against per game.
  • Topeka is 10-13-0-1 at home while Lone Star is 8-6-1-3 on the road.

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