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Brahmas Battle Ice Dogs- Come Up Short

Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bing Photography


The Lone Star Brahmas made their first trek to Alaska in franchise history to face the Fairbanks Ice Dogs on Friday. The contest pitted the past two NAHL Robertson Cup Champions at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.

Fairbanks took an early lead just 4:38 after puck drop when Jack Johnston sent an outlet pass to Jax Murray down the left wing with Samuel Ruffin trailing the play. Murray skated to the bottom of the circle before firing a low shot off of Mitchell Gibson’s pad with the rebound sliding out to Ruffin cruising down the slot for a shot into an open net. It took just 33 seconds for them to make it a two goal lead with Luke Orysiuk picking up the puck in the Brahmas’ attacking zone and flying down the far wall and sending a shot high short side from a sharp angle.

Off the draw to start the second Justin Addamo was whistled for a five minute charging major giving Fairbanks the first power play of the night. Lone Star’s penalty kill was up to the task with multiple clears and a huge diving save by Gibson about half way through the man advantage.

With just under five minutes to play in the second the Brahmas had their best scoring chance on the night so far. A shot came on net from the far point with Julian Biondo anchored just off the right post. Biondo put the rebound off of Josh Benson then Chase Pletzke and Aidan Spellacy both had pokes at it, but somehow Benson scrambled to make the saves and preserve the two goal lead. Lone Star off the momentum from the scoring opportunity and at 4:25 Addamo carried the puck deep into the near corner before sending it back up top to Jakub Sirota for a wrister through traffic with Steven Ipri redirecting it over the glove hand of Benson to cut the lead in half. It was Ipri’s first in a Brahmas jersey since coming over in a trade from Amarillo.

Lone Star was buzzing in the third doubling the Ice Dogs in shots on goal, but a too many men minor with 4:01 to play took away the momentum. Fairbanks gave back half the man advantage with a holding call at 17:01 prompting the Brahmas to pull Gibson for the extra attacker. Skating 6 on 4 Lone Star was able to generate some opportunities, but could not solve Benson and Erkka Vanska sealed it with an empty netter at the 19:51 mark from Orysiuk and Hunter Wendt.

After the Ice Dogs controlled play early, Lone Star came back to win the last fifty minutes of play outshooting 25-18 even with the Ice Dogs receiving the five minute man advantage. Both teams were scoreless on the power play with Lone Star 0-3 and Fairbanks 0-2.

The same two teams will meet again on Saturday with the Brahmas looking to rebound and halve the series before heading to Kenai River for a pair next weekend.




Elsewhere Around the NAHL South

Amarillo at Corpus Christi

The Icerays Dakota Concannon scored his first of the season in the first then Larry Jungwirth and Rylee St. Onge continued their recent hot streaks in the second. Amarillo scored at 11:24 of the middle frame for their only tally of the game. Jungwirth added a late empty netter as Jake Acton stopped 33 of 34 in the win.

Topeka at Shreveport

After a scoreless opening 20 minutes of play Dominick Procopio put the Mudbugs on the board at 10:11 of the second. Cameron Cook scored the eventual game winner just 2:25 into the third followed by a Kieran Durgan tally to make it a three goal lead. Topeka was able to get one back with 1:18 left, but could get no closer. James Durham faced only 16 shots in recording the win.


Current NAHL South Division Standings





1 Shreveport Mudbugs


25 5 3 2


2 Odessa Jackalopes


21 12 2 1


3 Lone Star Brahmas


17 9 4 2


4 Corpus Christi IceRays


16 14 2 5


5 Amarillo Bulls


11 14 4 3


6 Topeka RoadRunners


12 23 1 2




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