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Brahmas Sweep Jackalopes On The Road

Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bing Photography: Aidan Spellacy scored twice for the Lone Star Brahmas as they swept the Odessa Jackalopes.

The Lone Star Brahmas fell behind early at the Ector County Coliseum just as they had on Friday night, but just as  they did the night before they came back to grab a 4-3 win for a weekend sweep of the Odessa Jackalopes.

Odessa got out to a 1-0 lead at the 6:10 mark of the first when Jared Christy sent the puck to Viktor Johansson down the left wing. Johansson was forced wide by Connor Stuart so he just slid the puck out front. Trevor Zenas who was coming back defensively had the puck go off his skate and past Mitchell Gibson’s left skate. It went to 2-0 after Petr Miko backhanded the puck out of the far corner to Johansson then went to the front. Johansson found Nick Wilson at the point for a blast through the screen and over Gibson’s glove hand.

Lone Star came back looking to put the brakes on the Jackalopes momentum came into the offensive zone and were cycling the puck. Just 1:37 after Odessa took the two goal lead, Steven Ipri controlled the puck along the endboards then found Drew Lennon at the near point. The Brahmas defenseman skated it toward center then fired one on net for Aidan Spellacy to redirect over the left pad of Brett Epp. After the Spellacy goal the Brahmas began to find more opportunities and Ipri just missed knotting the score with about 20 seconds left in the frame when he ripped one off the post.

It was Ipri again with about 1:30 gone in the second who blasted a onetimer from the high slot off a Jon Russell centering pass off the crossbar.

Odessa picked up a turnover in neutral ice and Peyton Frantti hit Lucas Andersson in stride with nothing between the Jackalopes forward and Gibson, but open ice. Gibson held his ground and made a huge glove save to deny the scoring chance. It was just a short delay for the Jackalopes though as Andersson picked off a ring around behind the Odessa cage and found Eric Huss alone down the far wall. Huss skated to the faceoff dot and rifled it blocker side to push the lead back to two at 5:21.

The Brahmas had a quick response set up by some strong work by Zenas to keep the puck alive against three Jackalopes players while the Brahmas changed personnel behind him. Zenas finally worked it out the far side of the ice behind Epp and sent and fed it out to Stuart at the blueline for a blast on net which Spellacy once again redirected into the back of the net at 6:30 of the second. At 14:44, Ricky Carballo went to the box for an elbowing minor handing Lone Star a power play opportunity. It took the Brahmas just 14 seconds to deposit the puck behind Epp on a onetime rocket from Ture Linden. Kyle Hallbauer got the play started walking the blueline before sending it down to Jakub Sirota in the far circle. His cross ice pass to Linden in the near circle was right in his wheelhouse and he let it fly to tie it at 3-3.

Two late slashing penalties on Justin Addamo and Lennon gave the Jackalopes a 24 second 5 on 3 power play opportunity that they were unable to convert. However, they carried 1:25 remainder of the Lennon minor over to start the third.

Lone Star killed off the remainder of the Jackalopes’ man advantage to keep it 3-3. Ipri finally missed the post at 7:52 of the third on the power play thanks to another Carballo minor. Sirota skated the puck to the near halfwall and flipped it into the corner. Russell curled and found Ipri in the high slot for a quick wrister into the twine and the Brahmas’ first lead of the night.

Following a Brahmas icing with 1:13 left the Jackalopes called Epp back to the bench for the extra attacker, but were unable to find the equalizer to give Lone Star the weekend sweep.

Shots on goal were 29-16 in favor of the Jackalopes. Lone Star won the special teams play handily going 2-5 on the power play while holding Odessa scoreless on six opportunities.

The sweep pushed Lone Star’s lead over the Jackalopes in the NAHL South to eight points with 10 games left to play for both teams.



Elsewhere Around the NAHL South Division

Corpus Christi at Amarillo

Jayson Dimizio scored in the opening 20 minutes then Larry Jungwirth and Dimizio found the back of the net in the second for the Icerays to take a 3-0 lead into the third. Amarillo got one back early in the final frame. Brendan Miller scored an empty netter with just one second left on the clock for the 4-1 final. Chad Veltri picked up the win in net on 37 saves.


Topeka at Shreveport

The Mudbugs scored once in the first then once again in the second with Brendan Gysbers and Jake Transit accounting for the scoring. Jay Feiwell and Ryan Burnett added third period goals. Jaxon Castor logged the win for the second night in a row.


Current NAHL South Division Standings

1 x – Shreveport Mudbugs 52 38 9 3 2 81
2 x – Lone Star Brahmas 50 29 12 5 4 67
3 Odessa Jackalopes 50 27 18 3 2 59
4 Corpus Christi IceRays 52 23 21 3 5 54
5 Amarillo Bulls 51 18 24 6 3 45
6 Topeka RoadRunners 49 16 29 2 2 36

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