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Brahmas – Brown Bears On Tap From Alaska

Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bing Photography: The Lone Star Brahmas will take to the Soldotna Sports Complex ice this weekend for a two game series against the Kenai River Brown Bears.

 

Following a disappointing weekend in Fairbanks, the Lone Star Brahmas head 500 miles South to face the Kenai River Brown Bears Friday and Saturday at the Soldotna Sports Complex. The Brahmas managed only one of a possible four points against the Ice Dogs who lead the NAHL Midwest Division and will look to right the ship against fifth place Kenai River.

This weekend will afford the Brahmas a chance to pick up four points and regain some confidence against a team that has a -47 goal differential on the season. Kenai River is 3-6-0-1 in their last 10 games.

Lone Star and Kenai River have met twice in the past with both meetings taking place during the NAHL Showcase. Each team has recorded one win. The Brown Bears defeated the Brahmas 4-2 in Lone Star’s first ever Showcase game during the inaugural 2013/14 season. The following September the Brahmas turned the tables and picked up a 3-2 win.

W L OTL SOL PTS Standings
Lone Star 17 10 4 3 41 3rd in South Div
Kenai River 12 22 1 1 26 5th in Midwest Div

 

The Brahmas knew they would have their hands full going into Fairbanks as the Ice Dogs have recorded points in their previous 16 straight games. Except for the opening five or six minutes of game one the Brahmas held their own against the hottest team in the league. Friday night saw Lone Star quickly fall behind by two goals. Steven Ipri (4G-15A) got the Brahmas on the scoreboard with his first in a Lone Star sweater at 15:35 of the second. Unfortunately they were unable to pull even despite some good looks deep in the Fairbanks zone. A late empty netter by the Ice Dogs iced the game away. Mitchell Gibson (13W-6L-3OTL-3SOL) faced 17 shots on goal in the loss. Saturday night Gibson was victimized by two bad bounces in regulation. The first came late in the open 20 minutes to hand Fairbanks the lead going into the first intermission. Kyle Hallbauer (4G-9A) got that one back early in the second only to see another bad bounce off a blocked shot flutter over Gibson just under six minutes later. Lone Star kept battling leading to Justin Addamo (9G-10A) feeding Austin Bottrell (4G-12A) on an odd man rush late in the third to tie the game and force overtime. Gibson bailed the defense out twice in overtime thwarting breakaways to force a shootout. Both Fairbanks shooters were able to score in the shootout while neither Lone Star skater could find the twine. Gibson made 20 saves on the night in the loss.

Kenai River played host to the visiting Coulee Region Chill recording a weekend sweep in the process. In game one Sutton McDonald (4G-2A) opened the scoring at 7:06 of the fist followed by a Luke Radetic (20G-17A) tally to take a 2-0 lead into the second. Coulee Region cut into the lead early, but David Kaplan (6G-4A) would push it back to two with 1:14 left in the frame. The Chil scored the only goal of the third, but were unable to net the equalizer. Gavin Enright (7W-11L-1OTL-SOL) picked up the win on 21 saves. Game two saw the teams skate to a scoreless first before Radetic opened the scoring in the second. Emils Ezitis (4G-6A) added to the lead before Coulee Region scored two of their own to go to the third tied 2-2. The third followed the same pattern as the second with the Brown Bears’ Filip Karlsson (2G-5A) and Radetic scoring the first two of the frame followed by two from the Chill to send the game to overtime. Radetic finished off his hat trick with the game winner 2:39 into the extra frame. Enright was in net once again making 24 saves in the win.

 

Last 5 Games 

W L OTL SOL Pts
Brahmas 2 1 1 1 6
Brown Bears 2 3 0 0 4

 

Special Teams

Overall the Brahmas power play continues to hold down the 21st spot in the NAHL at 15.6% with 23 goals in 147 opportunities. On the road they remain 21st and have eight goals in 73 opportunities. If the last five games is any indication the power play may be starting to come alive as they have scored on three of their last 12 opportunities or 25%. While it is a small bump up if it is indeed a harbinger of things to come it could be huge for the Brahmas down the stretch. Lone Star’s penalty kill is currently 6th in the league at 83.7% killing off 113 of 135 opponent power plays. Their road unit is slightly better than the overall numbers would suggest at 87.3% which is still 3rd in the league. They have allowed only eight road power play goals in 63 kills. Over the last five games the penalty kill has allowed only a single goal on 15 kills or 93.3%.

Kenai River has had a fairly successful power play this season scoring 28 goals on 130 opportunities or 21.5% good for 7th in the league. However, at home they fall to 15th at 18.2% converting 10 of 55 opportunities. In their last five games they are two for 21 at just 9.5%. The penalty kill may afford the Brahmas a chance to build on their power play numbers and confidence a bit. The Brown Bears have the 21st ranked penalty kill at 73.9% allowing 36 goals on 138 penalty kills. They remain 21st at home, but drop to 62.1% killing 36 of 58 opponent power plays. They have played a bit better over the past five games at 76.2% allowing five goals on 21 kills.

 

Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games

W L OTL SOL SO GA GAA SV SV%
Brahmas 2 1 1 1 1 9 1.75 97 0.915
Brown Bears 2 3 0 0 0 18 3.57 141 0.887

 

Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)

Brahmas G A Pts
Jon Russell 3 1 4
Justin Addamo 1 3 4
Austin Bottrell 1 3 4
Ture Linden 0 4 4
Connor Stuart 2 1 3
Brown Bears G A Pts
Filip Karlsson 2 5 7
Markuss Komuls 1 5 6
Luke Radetic 4 1 5
Gil Garcia 2 2 4
Two Tied at 0 3 3

Inside the Game

  • Lone Star is currently 10th overall in the NAHL and third in the South Division at 41 points while Kenai River is 22nd overall and 5th in the Midwest Division.
  • Luke Radetic with 37 points is tied for 4th in the league in scoring.
  • John Russell (22G-7A) is tied for the league lead in goals scored with Luke Radetic tied for 4th. Gill Garcia (15G-11A) comes in tied for 11th.
  • Cameron McDonald (1G-23A) is tied for 4th overall in assists and is 6th in defenseman scoring.
  • Carter Wade (1G-4A) has the 2nd highest penalty minute total in the league with 111 and leads the league in major penalties with five. Alex Klekotko (2G-7A) is not far behind tied for 5th overall with 90 minutes and 2nd in major penalties with four.
  • Jon Russell leads the league with 12 power play goals while Gil Garcia is 3rd with nine and Luke Radetic is tied for 4th with seven.
  • Mitchell Gibson is 2nd in the league with a 1.71 GAA (goals against average). Gavin Enright is 38th with a 3.65 GAA and Artur Pavliukov (5W-11L-0OTL-0SOL) is 39th with a 3.68 GAA. Harrison Feeney (4W-2L-1OTL-0SOL) has a 1.75 GAA which would be 4th overall had he played sufficient minutes to qualify among league leaders.
  • Mitchell Gibson’s 0.929 SV% (save percentage) is 6th in the NAHL. Artur Pavliukov is 32nd with a 0.904 SV% and Gavin Enright is 33rd with a 0.901 SV%. Harrison Feeney has a 0.919 SV% which would be tied for 17th.
  • Artur Pavilukov has the season high for saves in a game so far with 56 saves on Sept 30 is an 8-3 win against the Springfield Jr Blues.
  • Kenai River is the 5th most penalized team in the league averaging 18.67 minutes per game. Lone Star comes in setting 10th with an average of 16.03 minutes per game.
  • Kenai River has been whistled for 25 more penalty minutes than their opponents while Lone Star has 91 fewer penalty minutes than their opponents.
  • The Brahmas hold a 6-6-1-3 road record while the Brown Bears are 6-10-1-0 at home.
  • Kenai River’s per period goals scored are 29 / 22 / 39 for an average of 2.64 goals per game which is 20th in the league. Their goals per period allowed are 51 / 40 / 49 for an average of 3.94 goals against per game which is last in the 23 team league.
  • Lone Star’s per period goals scored are 24 / 24 / 31 for an average of 2.41 goals per game 21st in the NAHL. Their goals per period allowed are 17 / 23 / 24 for an average of 2.09 goals against per game which is 3rd lowest in the league.

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