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Brahmas Win Hard Fought Battle Against Bulls

Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bing Photography: Captain Julian Biondo scored the game winner at 14:49 of the third on a bomb from the right wing circle as the Lone Star Brahmas took a 3-2 road win over the Amarillo Bulls.

After falling in overtime on Friday night the Lone Star Brahmas fought hard all night to take a 3-2 win over the Amarillo Bulls to close out the two game series. With the Odessa Jackalopes dropping a 2-0 decision in Shreveport, Lone Star pulled to within one point of the second place Jackalopes with four games in hand.

The Brahmas came out to play on Saturday not allowing an Amarillo shot on goal until near the mid point of the open frame. At 9:42 of the first, Ture Linden picked off a clearing attempt and circled at the right point waiting for reinforcements. Jon Russell and Steven Ipri drove to the front of the net looking for a feed from Linden. Linden’s pass went off the body of Russell in the slot and bounced to Ipri just off the right post and he roofed it over Jason Grande’s left shoulder. With the Ipri goal, Lone Star carried a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.

An early checking from behind minor on Julian Biondo gave Amarillo the first power play opportunity of the night. Strong forechecking by Trevor Zenas and Aidan Spellacy chewed up valuable seconds on the Amarillo man advantage. Soon after the power play expired, Lone Star headed up ice with the puck. Kyle Hallbauer carried it to the blueline before sending it to Ipri just inside the zone at the far point. Ipri sent a heavy shot off Grande’s pads and Hallbauer who had continued toward the net just missed the rebound leaving the puck just outside the paint for Russell to pound into the back of the net at 2:57.

It took the Bulls just over four and a half minutes to respond to the Russell goal cutting the lead in half. Jared Domin corralled the puck in front of the Bulls’ bench, spun and fired it toward net. Nick Anderson had set a screen in front and redirected it over the blocker hand of Mitchell Gibson at the 7:33 mark. The Bulls went on their second power play of the evening late in the second. After a successful clear Amarillo brought the puck back up the ice and sent it deep below the goal line. Gibson left it behind the net for Connor Stuart who tried to rim it around the boards but Austin O’Rourke cut it off and headed out front. He lost the puck, but kicked it from skate to stick and flipped it over the left pad of Gibson at 16:18 to knot the score at 2-2.

With 30 seconds left in the period a players got tangled up in the Bulls defensive zone and a full two seconds after the whistle Brendan Datema skated by and dumped Chase Pletzke with an elbow at center ice with no call as the referee was occupied with O’Rourke and Owen Farris along the far wall. Datema immediately skated to the linesman for cover.

With 5:11 left in the third, Hallbauer sent Justin Addamo down the near wall with the puck. Addamo carried it behind the net and found Biondo in the right wing circle for an absolute bomb past Grande glove side before the Bulls’ netminder could react for the eventual game winner.

Lone Star outshot Amarillo 34-27 on the night. The Bulls held a slight advantage in special teams play going 1-2 on the power play while holding the Brahmas to 0-2.




Elsewhere Around the NAHL South Division

Topeka at Corpus Christi

Julian Makary staked the Icerays to a one goal lead with the only goal of the second period. The lead stood until 1:08 left when Topeka tied it up to force overtime. Brendan Miller took only 46 seconds of the extra frame to net the game winner. Chad Veltri made 30 saves in the win.

Odessa at Shreveport

For the second night in a row the Mudbugs blanked the visiting Jackalopes. Cameron Cook got the ball rolling in the first and that was all the support Jaxon Castor would need as he stopped all 25 shots he faced. Brendan VanSweden would add an insurance goal with 1:02 left to close out the scoring.

Current NAHL South Division Standings

1 Shreveport Mudbugs 44 33 6 3 2 71
2 Odessa Jackalopes 46 25 16 3 2 55
3 Lone Star Brahmas 42 23 11 5 3 54
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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