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Brahmas Sweep Bulls

Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bing Photography: Austin Bottrell scored twice including the overtime game winner as the Brahmas swept the Bulls on Saturday.

The Lone Star Brahmas and Amarillo Bulls met for the final time in the 2017/18 season on Saturday.

Lone Star jumped on top at the 15:40 mark of the first when Steven Ipri made a strong move to the middle to open some space to fire the puck on net. Jason Grande managed to knock down the shot, but Ture Linden grabbed the loose puck and dusted it off in the near circle before sending it to Jon Russell in the high slot. Russell’s onetimer went through a screen and into the twine.

With 1:34 left in the frame Josh DeLuca came from center ice all the way across to hammer Trevor Zenas into the corner boards face first. Zenas was down for an extended time leaving a large pool of blood on the ice. The officials sent DeLuca to the showers and the Brahmas onto a five minute major power play. Due to the blood on the ice the Referees decided to send the teams into the first intermission early to allow the operations crew an opportunity to clean the ice.

The teams came back out and finished the final 1:34 of the first period on fresh ice. Just 13 seconds after the puck dropped, Kyle Hallbauer picked up a weak hooking minor to wipe out two minutes of the major penalty.

With 1:43 left on the major power play Russell drew a tripping minor on a strong drive toward the net giving Lone Star a 5 on 3 opportunity. Amarillo had the only real scoring chance of the five minutes when the puck bounced past Kimball Johnson at the far point. Brett Abdelour picked up the puck on stride in neutral ice and went on a breakaway. Harrison Feeney came out to challenge the shooter and dropped into the butterfly to make a pad save to preserve the one goal lead.

Neither team was able to pot a goal in the second leading to the Brahmas going into the third clinging to a one goal lead.

Austin Bottrell pushed the Brahmas lead to two when he picked off a Brendan Datema pass in neutral ice then split Datema and Mick Heneghan as he cut to center and fired it top left corner. Time of the unassisted goal was 1:00 of the third.

Amarillo scored their first goal of the two game series 2:20 later when Jason Brancheau fired a shot off of Feeney’s left pad with the rebound going right to Alex Peterson in the far circle for the put back. Datema picked up the secondary assist on the play. A retaliation minor penalty on Michael Montambault proved to be costly for Lone Star. Former Brahma Austin O’Rourke knotted it up at two on the power play sending a rebound off the back of Feeney that initially stayed out, but then bounced across the line and in. Alex Peterson and Marcus Chorney got the assists. The goal came at 13:29 and ended up sending the game to overtime.

In the extra frame, a big defensive play by Drew Lennon erased two Amarillo players at the side of Feeney’s cage turning Russell and Bottrell loose on a 2 on 1 rush. Russell skated it down the right wing side before rifling just over the crossbar. Bottrell gather in the carom just off the far post, spun and sent  a severe angle shot over the right shoulder of Grande for the game winner at 1:20.

Amarillo held a healthy shots on goal advantage in the contest outshooting Lone Star 30-19. The Bulls also had the only power play goal going 1-2 while the Brahmas were 0-3. The win pushed the Brahmas record in the Battle of the Cattle season series to 8-2-2-0 over the Bulls.




Elsewhere Around the NAHL South Division

Topeka at Odessa

The Jackalopes scored a 5-2 win over the RoadRunners at Ector County Coliseum. Dylan Johnson had the only goal of the first to send Odessa into the intermission with a lead. Matt Brown added to the lead early in the second, but just 27 seconds later Topeka broke through to pull within one. Brown scored again at 3:07 of the third, but once again Topeka cut the lead to one. Brown picked up the hat trick with 1:14 left to play then Viktor Johansson scored a short handed empty netter at 19:03. Brett Epp was busy in net making 40 stops in the win.

Corpus Christi at Shreveport

Corpus Christi completed the road sweep of the division leading Mudbugs by a score od 3-1. Rylee St. Onge scored in the first and Brendan Miller in the second to send the game into the third with the Icerays holding a 2-0 lead. Shreveport finally found the back of the net at 12:41 of the third, but Miller added his second of the night on an empty net goal at 18:42 to nix any thoughts of a comeback. Chad Veltri must have felt like he was in a shooting gallery all night facing 54 shots on goal to pick up the win. The Icerays win coupled with the Bulls loss punched the playoff ticket for Corpus Christi.


Current NAHL South Division Standings

1 x – Shreveport Mudbugs 56 40 10 3 3 86
2 x – Lone Star Brahmas 55 34 12 5 4 77
3 x – Odessa Jackalopes 56 30 21 3 2 65
4 x – Corpus Christi IceRays 56 26 22 3 5 60
5 Amarillo Bulls 56 19 26 8 3 49
6 Topeka RoadRunners 55 17 34 2 2 38


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