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Brahmas Dig Deep Even Series

Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bing Photography: Owen Farris scored his second of the playoffs in the first period as the Lone Star Brahmas won their second in a row to even their series against the Shreveport Mudbugs and force a winner take all game five.


The Lone Star Brahmas took to the ice Saturday night against the Shreveport Mudbugs looking to stave off elimination and claw their way back into the NAHL South Division finals. Win and they force a decisive game five in Shreveport Sunday for all the marbles. Loose and they start their summer break earlier than expected.

Every game in the series so far had been decided by a single goal with no more than three combined goals in any one game.

In contrast to the previous three games of the round which had all gone into at least the second period before an entry on the score sheet this one would see a first period goal. After some extended pressure, Jakub Sirota pulled it off the far halfwall and sent it to Connor Stuart at the blueline. The defenseman let one fly toward net that Owen Farris redirected low glove side and past Jaxon Castor at 9:20 of the opening frame. The early goal added a bit of a jump to the Brahmas already spirited play as evidenced by Wyatt Matthews leveling Brendan VanSweden carrying the puck into the Brahmas zone.

Jack Jaunich had the best chance of the period for the Mudbugs late spitting the defense and putting one on net from point blank range, but Mitchell Gibson flashed out the glove to deny the opportunity.

At 7:19 of the second, Jon Russell took a pass from Kyle Hallbauer in the defensive zone and went jetting down the near side with Michael Montambault in tow. Montambault tied up the offside defender Roberts Baranovskis as Russell flew past Jack Clement in the near circle powering his way to the front. Russell went backhand forehand and put it five hole on Castor. The goal chased Castor from net in favor of Gustavs Gringals as the Mudbugs tried to stop the bleeding.

The Shreveport frustration began to bubble to the top and their top playoff scorer Ryan Burnett was sent off for the last half of the frame with an abuse of officials misconduct. The Mudbugs then erased their first power play of the night just six seconds into the man advantage with Jordan Fader taking two handed cross checks to the back of Drew Lennon prone on the ice in the corner. The penalties set off the mercurial Karlis Zirnis. The Shreveport bench boss made a spectacle on the ice as the teams went to the locker rooms at the end of the period drawing a bench minor and a game ejection.

A hooking call on Clement early in the third put Lone Star on a 4 on 3 power play. The Brahmas pushed the lead to three at 1:36 after Sirota moved the puck to Steven Ipri low on the near side from the point. Ipri found Ture Linden with a cross ice pass and he buried into the top right corner.

VanSweden spoiled the shutout bid by Gibson at the 14:36 mark with a shot from the high slot over the glove hand. Clement and Baranovskis were credited with the assists on the play.

Shreveport held a slight edge in shots on goal 22-18, but were 0-4 on the power play while Lone Star was 1-3.

With the win the Brahmas set up an opportunity to take the division crown on the road in Shreveport on Sunday evening.


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