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Brahmas Come Up Short In 10 Round Shootout

Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bing Photography: Lone Star Brahmas netminder Mitchell Gibson had another outstanding performance in net picking up his seventh shutout of the season. However, his woes in the shootout came back to haunt him once again despite a valiant effort stopping eight of the 10 shooters he faced in the 1-0 loss.

 

The two best defensive units in the NAHL met at NYTEX Sports Centre on Friday night and it was obvious form the opening faceoff that the game was going to be a grind. The opening 20 minutes saw a lot of ragged, feeling each other out play without a lot of action. Shots on goal in the period were 4-3 in favor of the Ice Dogs.

The best scoring chance up to that point came just over two minutes into the second with the Brahmas on a 2 on 1 breakaway. Steven Ipri put a onetimer on goal with Josh Benson flashing out the left pad to turn aside the attempt. A few minutes later, Jack Johnston got a backdoor feed standing just inches outside the blue paint. Mitchell Gibson was able to move quickly to cut off the shooting lane wearing the wrister off the logo on his chest. Near the midpoint of the frame a Lone Star turnover in neutral ice led to a point blank shot from Jake Willets on a Fairbanks 2 on 1, but Gibson made a big blocker save. Ture Linden had a couple of good shots from the left hash marks late in the period, but Benson was up to the task both times.

Gibson made a big glove save on a Tanner Schachle backdoor shot with five minutes gone in the third to preserve the scoreless tie. Lone Star started to get some rhythm to their offensive attack early in the third. With 30 seconds left in regulation Julian Biondo got loose in front and sent a shot on goal that Benson managed to knock down resulting in a scramble in front. Once the puck came out, Noah Wilson started up the near wall with the puck. Kyle Hallbauer had a bead on Wilson and nearly put him in the Brahmas’ bench with a huge hipcheck to free the puck and send the contest to overtime.

Just under a minute into OT Erkka Vanska got behind the defense on the far board and had a clear path to the front of the net. Jakub Sirota came flying in from the near side to dive and poke the puck off Vanska’s tape to prevent a shot on goal. Neither team could solve the opposing goaltender in the extra frame sending the game to a shootout.

Vanska as Fairbanks’ shooter in the third went wide left then went backhand-forehand to sneak it around Gibson’s right skate.

Sirota was next up for Lone Star in a do or die situation. He carried it down the right side got Benson moving to the far post with a toe drag then slid a backhander inside the near post before the Ice Dogs’ netminder could recover.

In the tenth round Robert Blueger went left then cut back across the goal mouth and fluttered a backhander over Gibson’s glove hand.

Benson made a glove save on Chase Pletzke to take the hard fought win.

Shots on goal were 21-21. Lone Star was 0-1 on the power play while Fairbanks was 0-2.

 

Boxscore

 

Elsewhere Around the NAHL South Division

Amarillo at Corpus Christi

After nearly 28 minutes of scoreless hockey, Alex Peterson opened the scoring for Amarillo. Nick Stuckless followed less than two minutes later to double the lead. Tray Bagwell added a goal in the third then Peterson scored an empty net shorthanded goal with 1:37 left to close out the scoring. Jason Grande picked up the shutout on 24 saves.

 

Kenai River at Shreveport

The Mudbugs had no problem putting away the visiting Brown Bears. Ryan Burnett had the only goal of the first before Shreveport scored three times in the middle frame. Jacob Holmers, Cameron Cook and Jake Transit doing the damage. Warren Natyshak added one in the third. Jaxon Castor stopped 17 of the 18 he faced for the win.

 

Current NAHL South Division Standings

Team GP W L OTL SOL PTS
1 x – Shreveport Mudbugs 45 33 7 3 2 71
2 Lone Star Brahmas 43 24 11 5 3 56
3 Odessa Jackalopes 46 25 16 3 2 55
4 Corpus Christi IceRays 46 21 17 3 5 50
5 Amarillo Bulls 45 16 21 5 3 40
6 Topeka RoadRunners 45 14 27 2 2 32

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