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Brahmas – Bulls Battle Of The Cattle Finale

Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bing Photography: Jon Russell and the Lone Star Brahmas will close out their season series against the Amarillo Bulls at NYTEX Sports Centre on Friday and Saturday. The Brahmas currently hold a 6-2-2-0 record against the Bulls in the "Battle Of The Cattle" series.

 

The final meeting of the year between the Lone Star Brahmas and Amarillo Bulls is scheduled for Friday and Saturday at NYTEX Sports Centre. The teams have played 10 times so far this season with the Brahmas holding a 6-2-2-0 advantage in the season series.

Lone Star enters the series riding an eight game win streak and needing four points earned by the Brahmas or lost by the Odessa Jackalopes to lock down second place in the NAHL South. Amarillo on the other hand is fighting for their playoff lives. They currently set eight points behind Corpus Christi for the fourth and final playoff spot. Any combination of four points earned by the Icerays of lost by the Bulls would eliminate Amarillo from the post season.

 

9/29      Brahmas 6 at Bulls 1

9/30      Brahmas 0 at Bulls 3

11/2      Brahmas 0 at Bulls 3

11/3      Brahmas 2 at Bulls 1

11/10    Bulls 0 at Brahmas 2

11/11    Bulls 2 at Brahmas 3

11/24    Bulls 3 at Brahmas 2 OT

11/25    Bulls 2 at Brahmas 4

02/16    Brahmas 2 at Bulls 3 OT

02/17    Brahmas 3 at Bulls 2

 

The Brahmas picked up a big three game sweep over the visiting Topeka RoadRunners last week. In game one on Thursday, Topeka held a one goal lead entering the second period, but Connor Stuart (6G-14A) scored just 49 seconds in to tie it at 1-1. Connor Pooley (3G-9A) hit the back of the net at 3:05 to give Lone Star a lead which lasted right at 10 minutes before the RoadRunners pulled even on a shorthanded breakaway. Steven Ipri (17G-26A) had the only goal of the final period for the 3-2 final. Harrison Feeney (9W-3L-1OTL-0SOL) got the call in net and faced 17 shots in the win. On Friday night Mitchell Gibson (23W-7L-4OTL-4SOL) picked up his league leading ninth shutout turning aside all 21 shots he faced in the game. Offensively the Brahmas scored once in each period with Austin Bottrell (7G-16A) striking in the first. Aidan Spellacy (11G-15A) accounted for the scoring in the second and Stuart potted a 170 foot empty netter late in the third. Saturday night it was Bottrell who once again opened the scoring early in the first followed quickly by a Topeka tally to close the frame tied a 1-1. Early in the second the Brahmas were the recipients of a five minute power play due to a checking from behind major then a Topeka minor to make it a 5 on 3. That is when the flood gates opened. Jon Russell (28G-15A) was the first to cash at 4:36. Kimball Johnson (3G-7A) followed at 5:59 the Bottrell at 6:34. Another Icerays minor put Lone Star back on a 5 on 3 and Justin Addamo (15G-20A) scored at the 7:50 mark for the fourth power play goal over a 3:14 stretch. Ipri added his second of the weekend late in the frame. Trevor Zenas (3G-4A) had the final goal of the game early in the third. Feeney was back in net for game three making 12 saves in the contest.

Amarillo was in Corpus Christi and took game one 6-3, but lost game two 4-1 putting a big dent in their playoff hopes. Cameron Bartkoski (3G-6A) and Jared Domin (11G-16A) staked the Bulls to a two goal lead going into the second. The Icerays scored three in the second to take their first lead of the night. Amarillo was not going to roll over and came roaring back with four in the third with goals from Domin, Nikita Sokolov (2G-10A), Domin once again and Nic Griebenow (2G-5A). The hat trick was Domin’s first on the season. Trevor Micucci (7W-11L-2OTL-1SOL) made 32 saves to pick up the win. In game two the Icerays were setting on a 3-0 lead early in the third when Stephen Rex (7G-6A) scored the Bulls lone goal on the night. Jason Grande (15W-19L-5OTL-2SOL) took the loss on 30 shots faced.

 

Last 5 Games

  W L OTL SOL Pts
Brahmas 5 0 0 0 10
Bulls 2 2 1 0 5

 

Special Teams

After going 5-11 against Topeka, the Brahmas power play has moved up to 9th overall at 21.4%. They have scored 45 times on 210 opportunities. At home their numbers are even better setting at 24.6% or 5th in the league after converting on 28 of 114 power plays. Over the last five games Lone Star is 7 for 17 or 41.2% on the man advantage. On the penalty kill Lone Star has been near the top of the heap all season and are currently 3rd overall at 85.3%. The Brahmas have allowed 30 goals on 204 opponent power plays. The home unit has allowed 17 goals on 108 kills or 84.3% good for 5th. In the last five games they have allowed a single power play goal on 17 kills or 94.1%.

Amarillo’s power play comes in setting 17th overall at 17.8% scoring 41 times on 230 power play opportunities. On the road they slip one spot to 18th at 16.9%. They have converted 20 of 118 road power plays. Over the past five games they have struggled going 1-17 or just 5.9%. Their penalty kill has been decent this season and sets 9th overall at 82.0%. They have managed to kill off 200 or 244 opponent power plays. On the road they are slightly better at 83.6% good for 7th in the league. The Bulls have allowed 19 goals on 116 road kills. Over the last five games their numbers have been consistent with the season numbers at 3 goals on 17 kills or 82.4%.

Head-to-head the Bulls hold a distinct advantage. Despite their weaker power play numbers overall, Amarillo is 9 of 37 or 24.3% against the Brahmas. Their penalty kill has also held the Brahmas in check for the most part allowing 6 goals on 49 power play opportunities or just 12.2%. In a twist, three of the Bulls power play goals were scored by Jon Russell prior to the trade while Austin O’Rourke (15G-14A) also has three power play goals, one in a Brahmas’ sweater and two as a Bull.

 

Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games

W L OTL SOL SO GA GAA SV SV%
Brahmas 5 0 0 0 1 9 1.80 102 0.919
Bulls 2 2 1 0 0 16 3.19 144 0.900

 

Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)

Brahmas G A Pts
Steven Ipri 3 3 6
Justin Addamo 2 4 6
Connor Stuart 2 4 6
Austin Bottrell 3 2 5
Aidan Spellacy 3 2 5
 
Bulls G A Pts
Jared Domin 4 5 9
Nic Griebenow 2 2 4
Nick Stuckless 1 3 4
Alex Peterson 1 2 3
Jason Brancheau 0 3 3

 

Inside the Game

  • The Brahmas are currently second in the NAHL South and sixth overall in the NAHL. Amarillo is fifth in the division and eighteenth in the league.
  • Lone Star is 8-1-0-1 in their last ten games while Amarillo is 3-5-2-0.
  • Since the big January trade between the Brahmas and Bulls Jon Russell has 9G-9A and Steven Ipri has 14G-13A for a combined 45 points. For the Bulls, Austin O’Rourke has recorded 6G-6A and Jared Domin has 8G-13A for 33 combined points.
  • Jon Russell’s 28 goals scored have him tied for 3rd in the league.
  • Ture Linden (13G-28A) and Brendon Michaelian (3G-28A) are tied for 19th is assists.
  • Jon Russell leads the NAHL in power play goals scored with 15. Steven Ipri and Austin O’Rourke are tied for 9th with eight apiece.
  • Brendon Michaelian’s 17 power play assists has him tied for 3rd in the league. Ture Linden and Steven Ipri are tied for 8th with 14 each. Jakub Sirota (4G-18A) is tied for 16th with 12.
  • Jon Russell also leads the league with six game winning goals. Ture Linden is tied for 2nd with five.
  • Frankie Trazzera (3G-5A) is 5th in the league in penalty minutes with 149 on the season. Josh DeLuca (2G-2A) is tied for 17th with 112.
  • Kyle Hallbauer (7G-23A) is tied for 8th in the league in plus/minus rating with a +25. Justin Addamo is tied for 10th with a +24.
  • Kyle Hallbauer is 16th in the league in defenseman scoring.
  • Connor Stuart has points in six straight games the second longest active streak in the league.
  • Austin Bottrell is the reigning Bauer-NAHL South Div Second Star of the Week and Jakub Sirota received Honorable Mention.
  • Mitchell Gibson continues to lead the league in goals against average with a 1.71 GAA. Jason Grande is 29th with a 2.88 GAA. Trevor Micucci’s 3.77 GAA is 37th in the league. Harrison Feeney lacks the minutes played to qualify among league leaders, but his 1.56 GAA ranks 2nd best among all goalies in the league who have recorded a decision this season.
  • Mitchell Gibson also leads the league in save percentage with a 0.931 SV%. Jason Grande comes in ranked 28th with a 0.909 and Trevor Micucci is 38th with a 0.886 SV%. Harrison Feeney is tied for 13th among all goalies with a 0.923 SV%.
  • Mitchell Gibson leads the league in shutout wins with nine and Jason Grande is second with five.
  • Mitchell Gibson is 2nd in the league with 23 wins. Jason Grande is tied for 12th with 15.
  • Jason Grande has the 2nd most losses on the season with 19.
  • Jason Grande leads the league in minutes played with 2353 and Mitchell Gibson is 2nd with 2250.
  • Amarillo averages 22.35 penalty minutes per game which is 2nd most in the NAHL. Their 346 minor penalties are tops in the league and 21 more than the next nearest total.
  • Lone Star is averaging 16.13 penalty minutes per game, 11th in the league, and have 71 fewer minor penalties than Amarillo. The Brahmas have 120 fewer penalty minutes than their opponents on the season.
  • The Brahmas are 19-5-3-1 at home while the Bulls are 8-13-3-2 on the road.
  • Lone Star has allowed a total of 103 goals this season. In comparison, Amarillo has allowed 74 goals in the third period alone. As a result the Bulls have lost 15 games in which they were leading or tied after two periods.
  • With a major upswing in scoring over the past several weeks, the Brahmas now average 2.81 goals for per game good for 13th in the league. They boast the 3rd best defense allowing just 1.98 goals against per game.
  • Amarillo comes in with the 20th ranked offense averaging 2.61 goals for per game and the 18th ranked defense allowing 3.37 goals against per game.
  • The Brahmas’ eight game win streak is the longest current streak in the league. They have the 2nd longest current home win streak at six games.

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