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Brahmas Will Look To Shutdown Icerays Offense

Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bing Photography: Matt Guerra (53) and Blake Evennou (6) lead the Lone Star Brahmas in scoring against the Corpus Christi Icerays. Lone Star will host Corpus Christi this weekend for a two game series at NYTEX Sports Centre.

 

The Lone Star Brahmas host the Corpus Christi Icerays this weekend. The Icerays were the last team that the Brahmas managed to defeat in regulation all the way back on Nov 23. Since that time Lone Star has gone 1-7-0-1 and fallen to fifth in the NAHL South Division, two points behind fourth place Corpus Christi who has three games in hand over Lone Star.

The Brahmas are 3-2-1-0 against the Icerays this season with four of the six games played on the road at the American Bank Center.

10/12     Brahmas 3 at Icerays 1

10/12     Brahmas 2 at Icerays 3

11/16     Brahmas 2 at Icerays 3 OT

11/17     Brahmas 2 at Icerays 1

11/23    Icerays 2 at Brahmas 3

11/24     Icerays 3 at Brahmas 2

Lone Star is coming off a three game road trip to Shreveport where they managed two points on a shootout win and two regulation losses. Friday night Lone Star was down two when Eric Huss (2G-4A) scored unassisted at the 10:00 mark of the second period for their only goal of the contest. Harrison Feeney (7W-9L-2OTL-3SOL) took the loss on 22 saves. Saturday was the night the Brahmas managed to eek out their shootout win based on strong offensive output from the blueliners. Kimball Johnson (2G-7A) got them started in the first and was followed quickly by Blake Evennou (4G-13A) with both goals coming on the power play. Shreveport scored a power play goal of their own sending the teams into the second with Lone Star holding a one goal lead. Each team scored once even strength in the second with Trevor Wilhelm (1G-1A) scoring for Lone Star just 19 seconds into the frame. Joey Baez (3G-3A) scored his first as a Brahma in the third on the power play, but the Mudbugs scored twice including an extra attacker goal to push the game beyond regulation. After a scoreless overtime Scott Persson (3G-6A) and Matt Guerra (7G-13A) both found the back of the net in the shootout as Seth Eisele (5W-3L-0OTL-0SOL) stopped both shooters he faced for the win. Sunday was another 3-1 loss for the Brahmas. Shreveport opened the scoring nearly 32 minutes into the contest with the only goal in the second. Thomas Daskas (3G-1A) knotted the score at 1-1 at 13:07 in the third. The Mudbugs received an assist from the officiating crew with an extended 5 on 3 power play on a rather inexplicable delay of game penalty. Shreveport was able to score twice in the last 1:15 of the game to claim the win. Eisele was in net once again and suffered the tough luck loss despite making 33 saves on the night.

Corpus Christi was also on the road for a three game set against the Odessa Jackalopes to close out five straight games against Odessa where they absolutely owned the Jackalopes. The Icerays outscored the Jackalopes 20-9 in the three game set. In game one, Odessa held a 2-0 lead going into the second where they were outscored three to one. Nicholas Seitz (8G-8A) lit the lamp twice in the frame to go along with a single tally from Tyler Love (2G-5A). The third was all Corpus Christi as Mitch Machlitt (6G-12A), Jake Stella (11G-8A), Jack Smiley (5G-4A), and Seitz all found the back of the net with all four coming on the power play. Sam Best (9W-6L-0OTL-0SOL) faced 35 shots in the win. In game two Blake Bennett (15G-16A), Nikita Krivokrasov (2G-2A) and Anthony Firriolo (3G-15A) all scored before the midpoint of the opening period to stake Corpus Christi to a three goal lead. Holding a 3-1 lead going into the second Stella and Smiley put the game out of reach. Santeri Hartikainen (11G-15A) added a third period goal for good measure. Brian George (2W-0L-0OTL-0SOL) got the start in net and made 25 saves for the win. In the finale Krivokrasov kicked it off scoring at 2:46 into the contest. Odessa found the net late in the period for a 1-1 tie entering the second. The Jackalopes took a brief lead in the middle frame only to see the Icerays reel off the next five goals coming from Machlitt, Stella, Jackson Nauss (5G-6A), Stella in the second and Smiley in the third. The Jackalopes tried to climb back into it with three third period goals, but Firriolo added an insurance goal to secure the win. Best benefited from the offensive output picking up the win despite giving up five goals on 39 shots faced.

 

Last 5 games

W L OTL SOL Pts
Brahmas 1 3 0 1 3
Icerays 5 0 0 0 10

 

Special Teams

The Brahmas are currently 11th in the league on the power play at 20.2%. They have converted 22 of 109 opportunities. At home Lone Star is setting 9th with 10 goals on 48 chances or 20.8%. Over the last five games they are four for 16 and 25.0%. They will be skating against an Icerays penalty kill that is 7th best overall at 83.9%. Corpus Christi has given up 15 goals on 93 opponent power plays. On the road they have allowed five goals on 33 kills and 84.8% good for 10th. They are at 89.5% in the last five games allowing two goals on 19 opponent power plays.

On the penalty kill Lone Star is a couple spots behind Corpus Christi at 9th with an 83.5% efficiency. The Brahmas have killed off 101 of 121 power plays. At home they are 4th at 86.7% on eight goals allowed in 60 kills. The PK has slipped of late allowing five goals in 17 opponent man advantages or 70.6%. With a recent hot streak the Icerays power play is up to 3rd overall. They have scored 30 times on 119 opportunities or 25.2%. On the road they are at 5th with 16 goals on 72 chances or 22.2%. In their last five games they have 15 goals in 37 man advantages at 40.5%.

In their six previous head-to-head meetings the Brahmas are four for 16 on the power play or 25.0% and have held the Icerays to three for 25 or 12.0%.

 

Goaltending Comparison (Last 5 Games)

W L OTL SOL SO GA GAA SV SV%
Brahmas 1 3 0 1 1 11 2.16 173 0.940
Icerays 5 0 0 0 0 13 2.60 168 0.928

 

Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)

Brahmas G A Pts
Blake Evennou 1 4 5
Joey Baez 1 2 3
Matt Guerra 0 3 3
Kimball Johnson 1 1 2
Clayton Lackey 0 2 2
Icerays G A Pts
Santeri Hartikainen 4 8 12
Nicholas Seitz 6 4 10
Mitch Machlitt 4 6 10
Blake Bennett 2 8 10
Jack Smiley 5 4 9

 

Inside the Game

  • The Brahmas may have to look down the ice for an example of how to put the puck in the net. Corpus Christi has averaged 6.60 goals per game over their past five contests while Lone Star has averaged just 1.80 goals per game.
  • Lone Star has one of the top defenses in the league tied for 7th overall allowing 2.50 goals per game. However, with their offensive woes there is little to no room for error forcing the defense and goaltending to be near flawless. This is evidenced by their collecting only three points in their last five game despite allowing just 2.16 goals per game.
  • Matt Guerra leads all scorers in the season series with eight points on 2G-6A. There are a combined seven players with four or more points in the six games played. Blake Evennou has six points (1G-5A), Michal Stinil (3G-1A), Blake Bennett (2G-2A), Ryan Willett (2G-2A), Scott Persson (1G-3A) and Tim Henriksson (0g-4A).
  • Blake Bennett is tied for 10th in the league in scoring with 31 points and Santeri Hartikainen is tied for 20th with 26 points.
  • Bennett is tied for 7th with 15 goals scored. Hartikainen and Jake Stella are tied for 18th with 11 goals each.
  • Anthony Firriolo is tied for 12th in defenseman scoring with 18 points and Blake Evennou is tied for 17th with 17 points.
  • Evennou is tied for 12th in defenseman goals scored with four.
  • Matt Minerva is 9th in the league in penalty minutes with 88 and Frank Trazzera is 14th with 82 minutes.
  • Harrison Feeney is currently 8th in the league in goals against average with a 2.18 GAA. Sam Best is tied for 23rd with a 2.82 GAA. Brian George has a 1.50 GAA, Seth Eisele has a 2.11 GAA and Florian Mnich has a 2.83 GAA. George, Eisele and Mnich lack the minutes played to qualify among league leaders.
  • Feeney is tied for 10th in save percentage with a 0.927 SV%. Best is 23rd with a 0.910 SV%. George has a 0.949 SV%, Eisele has a 0.928 SV% and Mnich has a 0.925 SV%.
  • Feeney is tied for 4th with three shutouts.
  • Corpus Christi is averaging 20.26 penalty minutes per game which is 5th most in the league. Lone Star is 8th with an average of 19.90 minutes per game.
  • Lone Star is 7-4-0-2 at the Shoebox compared to Corpus Christi which is 6-4-0-0 on the road.
  • The Brahmas are 12-1-1-2 when scoring first while the Icerays are 10-1-0-0.

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