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Brahmas Win Dog Fight Over Jackalopes

Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bing Photography: Austin Grzenia had 2G-1A and a +2 to lead the Lone Star Brahmas past the visiting Odessa Jackalopes and a sweep of the weekend series.


Satruday night saw the Lone Star Brahmas and Odessa Jackalopes wrap up their two game set. The Brahmas took the ice with a chance to win back to back games for the first time this season. Odessa of course was looking to avoid a sweep that would leave them setting last in the NAHL South Division

After dropping a 3-1 decision on Friday the Jacklopes came out strong early holding the offensive zone for all but about 15 second of the first 2:30 of the contest. However, despite their best efforts they registered only a single shot on goal over that stretch. An interference call on Kimball Johnson at 7:45 put Odessa on the first power play of the night and once again the visitors were limited to a single shot on goal with the man advantage.

Things began to settle in through the middle of the frame then the Brahmas benefited from a slashing call on Matt Hutton at the 12:36 mark. It took Lone Star just 29 seconds to find pay dirt. Austin Grzenia made a big play to keep the puck in the zone just in front of the Jackalopes bench and sent it deep behind the net. Odessa controlled the puck and attempted to fire it down ice, but Frank Trazzera lifted the stick leaving the puck for Jake Suede to slam home from a sharp angle. The goal went in the record as unassisted. At 6:01 Matt Guerra picked the pocket of James Crossman at the blueline and went the other way with Vilho Saariluoma. Guerra drove deep forcing CJ Hapward to close off the near post then slid it across to Vilho to push into the open net.

Just one minute into the second with Lone Star skating on a 5 on 3 power play Blake Evennou carried the puck behind the net and dropped it there for Saariluoma who found the blade of Michal Stinil in the slot for a rocket past the glove hand of Hapward to make it 3-0. With the score the penalty kill went to 5 0n 4 and 28 seconds later, Johnson sent the puck to Jakub Sirota in the near circle for a blast. Hapward made the save with the pad, but Grzenia pounced on the rebound lifting it into the twine.

Off the ensuing faceoff Josh Martin stepped into Matt Minerva who had his head down coming through neutral ice. The hit resulted in a five minute head contact major for Martin and drew the ire of Hutton who dropped the gloves and chased Martin down the ice. Hutton grabbed Martin along the end board and landed a right hand, but Martin responded pulling his right hand free and started pummeling Hutton landing eight overhand rights before the linesmen could step in. Hutton picked up the instigator and both players were hit with fighting majors and fighting misconducts and game misconducts.

The result was that the teams skated 4 on 4 once play resumed. Moments later Grzenia was whistled for a slashing minor making it a 4 on 3 power play for Odessa with the faceoff coming to Harrison Feeney’s right. Odessa’s Michael Sacco won the draw to Jared Christy. His pass was right in Crossman’s wheelhouse for a onetimer past Feeney glove side. The trip to the sin bin continued for Lone Star with Trazzera going for a rough making it 5 on 3. Thirty seconds is all it took for Odessa to convert with Connor Fedorek finding Kellen Tharaldson in the high slot for a shot through traffic, off Feeney’s glove and in. Still Odessa skated a man up due to the major penalty on Martin. At the 6:06 mark Crossman drove toward the net, but lost the puck. Sacco punched it out to Carl Skarstrom on the right wing and he immediately moved it to Crossman alone in the high slot. He wound up and sent a slap shot into the back of the net to pull Odessa back into the game.

With 3:20 left in the period and the Brahmas on the power play, Crossman took a two hand chop across the hands of Stinil in the corner with no call from Michael Zalcman. To add insult to injury, since the whistle came with Stinil down in the corner the faceoff was moved to neutral ice.

In all 83 minutes of penalties were handed out in the second period eight minors.

At 3:38 of the third Vaclav Zidek turned it over along the far halfwall in the Odessa zone. Suede picked it up and carried it across the ice before sending it back to Grzenia between the circles for a quick wrister past Hapward. Exactly seven minutes later, Scott Persson knocked down a pass from Nick Siffringer at the far point and sent a laser through a Guerra screen for his first of the season.

With 7:33 left the teams lined up for a faceoff to Feeney’s left and Zach Heintz pushed it forward five hole on the Brahma’s netminder.

The Brahma’s Jack Sampson would get in on the action at the 17:18 mark with Grzenia registering the assist for his third point of the night. Grzenia and Sampson went in on a 2 on 1 with Grzenia carrying the puck he made a beautiful saucer pass across to Sampson for the backhand tap in.

With 53 seconds remaining the Jackalopes came up ice on an odd man rush they moved the puck to the backdoor for Kyle Herbster, but Feeney went post to post to make the save. However, the Jackalopes would score a trash goal at 19:40 off the stick of Brendan Coughlin. Feeney took exception with the play and was whistled for an unsportsmanline minor. He made one more glove save at the 19:59 mark and carried the puck behind the net where he had some words for Zalcman drawing an abuse of official game misconduct.

Lone Star held a slight advantage in shots on goal 32-31. Both teams registered three power play goals with the Brahmas going 3-7 and the Jackalopes 3-10.




Elsewhere Around the NAHL South Division

Fairbanks at Corpus Christi

Jake Stella scored late in the opening frame to pull the Icerays even at 1-1. Fairbanks would have the only goal in the second while Kyle Moore the only goal of the third to send it to overtime. The Icedogs picked up the game winner with 47 seconds left in the extra period. Florian Minich took the loss despite making 38 saves on the evening.

Kenai River at Topeka

The Brown Bears downed the Pilots 5-2 to avenge their loss on Friday night. Hugh Quinn in the first and Michael Muschitiello in the third accounted for Topeka’s goals. Sam Metcalf allowed four goals on 28 shots to take the loss while Emil Gransoe stopped all three he faced in relief.

Shreveport at Amarillo

After falling behind by two early in the second Billy Feczko found the back of the net for the Mudbugs first of the contest. Ethan Harrison and Matthew Smoliga would add to the Shreveport total before Feczko scored hit second of the period and the Mudbugs took a 4-3 lead into the third. Harrison scored his second of the night just 28 seconds into the third for a two goal lead. Amarillo would score again to make it interesting, but Shreveport held on for a 5-4 win.


Current NAHL South Division Standings





Amarillo Bulls


8 3 0 1


Topeka Pilots


8 5 0 0


Shreveport Mudbugs


7 5 0 0


Lone Star Brahmas


5 6 0 1


Corpus Christi IceRays


4 7 1 0


Odessa Jackalopes


3 7 0 1


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