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Brahmas-Pilots On Tap In Kansas Capital City

Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bing Photography: Defenseman Scott Persson and the Lone Star Brahmas will invade the Kansas Expo Center to open a two game series against the Topeka Pilots on Friday.

 

The Lone Star Brahmas will travel to Kansas this weekend to close out a six game homestand for the Topeka Pilots. This will be the first meeting of these two teams this season and the first since the Topeka program changes ownership and changed their moniker from the RoadRunners to the Pilots.

Topeka currently sets second in the always competitive NAHL South Division two points behind Amarillo and five points ahead of Lone Star who is tied for fourth with Corpus Christi.

Since joining the NAHL in 2013/14 the Brahmas hold a 25-12-2-1 record against Topeka.

The Brahmas are coming off a home split against the division leading Amarillo Bulls this past weekend including holding the league’s most potent offense to a single goal on Friday night. In that contest it took more just over 22 minutes for the first puck to cross the goal line and unfortunately for the Brahmas it was waived off despite video replay clearly showing the puck did indeed cross the line. Unfortunately for Brendon Jones (0G-0A) the call also wiped out his first NAHL goal. The first official goal of the night came off a blue collar diving poke by Frank Trazzera (3G-3A) at 3:20 of the third. Amarillo got their only goal of the contest nearing the eight minute mark which eventually forced overtime. Michal Stinil (6G-4A) lit the lamp on the game winner with 22 seconds left on the clock on a feed from Sam Brennan (0G-3A). Rookie netminder Seth Eisele (1W-1L-0OTL-0SOL) logged the win stopping 21 of 22 shots faced. Things did not go so well for Eisele or the Brahmas on Saturday as Amarillo scored 34 seconds into the third to take a 4-0 lead and chase Eisele from net. Harrison Feeney (5W-5L-0OTL-1SOL) took over duties in net at that point and turned aside all five shots he faced down the stretch. Noah Roofe (3G-2A) playing in his second game with Lone Star after coming over in a trade from Corpus Christi scored his first in a Brahmas sweater at 12:53 of the third, but it was the only goal Lone Star would register on the night.

Topeka played host to the Fairbanks Ice Dogs last weekend and worked out a split of their own. Game one saw Fairbanks cruise to a 5-1 win with Topeka’s lone tally coming from Dallas Tulik (11G-6A) at 10:18 of the third to prevent the shutout. Emil Gransoe (6G-3L-0OTL-0SOL) took the loss playing 40 minutes and facing 38 shots on goal. Sam Metcalf (3W-3L-0OTL-0SOL) was in net for the third period and stopped all 12 shots he faced. On Saturday night Tulik and Joel Brandinger (1G-2A) scored on either side of an Ice Dogs goal in the first to take a 2-1 lead into the intermission. Following a scoreless second, Fairbanks had the only goal of the third to force overtime. Matthew Francois (3G-4A) was the hero for Topeka on this night netting the game winner with 33 seconds left in the extra frame. Gransoe reversed his fortunes from the night before and stopped 31 of 33 shots faced for the win.

 

Last 5 Games 

W L OTL SOL Pts
Brahmas 3 2 0 0 6
Pilots 2 3 0 0 4

 

Special Teams

Lone Star’s power play is currently setting at 8th overall in the NAHL at 22.0% converting 11 of 50 opportunities. On the road they are up one spot at 7th 23.8%. They have 5 goals on 21 opportunities. The Brahmas are 5 for 19 over their past five games or 26.3%. On the penalty kill the Brahmas are the 8th best unit in the league at 83.6%. Lone Star has killed off 46 of 55 opponent power plays. The road unit is setting at 9th allowing 3 goals on 20 kills or 85.0%. They have allowed 4 goals in 21 penalty kills over their last five games for a 90.0% efficiency. Three of those four were scored on October 20th with the Jackalopes skating with a two man advantage.

The Pilot’s special teams have been playing well on both sides of the puck. The power play is holding down the 5th overall spot in the league scoring 11 times on 45 chances or 24.4%. At home they are 3rd and jump up to 32.1% converting 9 of 28 opportunities. In their last five games they have 4 goals in 11 opportunities for 36.4%. The penalty kill is at 5th overall allowing 9 goals on 57 kills and 84.2%. The home unit is at 78.6% allowing 6 goals on 28 kills. However, over the last five games they are at 90.9% allowing only 1 goal in 11 kills.

 

Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games

W L OTL SOL SO GA GAA SV SV%
Brahmas 3 2 0 0 0 14 2.78 126 0.900
Pilots 2 3 0 0 0 16 3.15 154 0.906

 

Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)

Brahmas G A Pts
Matt Guerra 3 2 5
Michal Stinil 3 2 5
Austin Grzenia 2 2 4
Vilho Saariluoma 1 3 4
Two Tied at 1         2 3
Pilots G A Pts
Dallas Tulik 4 1 5
Michael Muschitiello 1 2 3
Hugh Quinn 1 2 3
Max Finer 0 3 3
Brendan Schultz 0 3 3

 

Inside the Game

  • Dallas Tulik (11G-6A) is tied for 9th in the league in scoring and is 2nd in goals scored with 11.
  • Max Finner (2G-11A) is tied for 2nd in defenseman scoring.
  • Harrison Feeney is 9th in goals against average with a 2.14 GAA. Emil Gransoe is 19th with a 2.67 GAA. Sam Metcalf is 34th with a 3.52 GAA.
  • Harrison Feeney also leads the group in save percentage with a 0.920 SV%. Emil Gransoe is two spots behind Feeney in 18th with a 0.916 SV%. Sam Metcalf is 33rd with a 0.895 SV%.
  • Harrison Feeney is 3rd in minutes played with 673.
  • Emil Gransoe is tied for 6th in the league with 6 wins.
  • Sam Metcalf is tied for the league lead in shootout wins with two. He has stopped all shootout shots he has faced.
  • The Brahmas are 6-0-0-1 when scoring first.
  • The second period has been Topeka’s worst this season where they have allowed 19 goals in 15 games played it also happens to be Lone Star’s best period where they have scored 13 times in 14 games played.
  • The Pilots have the 9th ranked offense averaging 3.13 goals per game and the 17th ranked defense averaging an equal 3.13 goals per game. The Brahmas offense has been slowly climbing the rankings and are now 21st with a 2.14 goals per game average. Their defense is 9th with a 2.57 goals against per game.

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