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Brahmas Hold On For 5 – 3 Win Over Pilots

Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bing Photography: Blake Evennou had 1G-2A to lead all scorers in the Lone Star Brahmas 5-3 win over the Topeka Pilots.


The Lone Star Brahmas opened an extended home stand Friday night against the Topeka Pilots. It was the first time the Brahmas had taken to NYTEX Sports Centre ice since January 21.

Lone Star got on the board first at the 16:56 mark of the opening frame on a power play goal by Blake Evennou on a blast from the blueline that ate Emil Gransoe up. Zach Heintz and Matt Guerra were credited with the assists on the play. The period was punctuated inside the final minute of play when Josh Martin eliminated Connor Zilisch with a huge open ice hit as the Topeka forward tried to carry the puck into the Brahmas’ zone.

Martin delivered another big hit to Matthew Francois early in the second to dislodge the puck just inside the Brahmas’ blueline. Evennou got another scoring play started with a big onetimer from the left point after accepting a cross ice pass from Scott Persson. Heintz was in front to put the rebound past Gransoe before the Pilots’ netminder could recover. Time of the goal was 7:51 of the second.

Martin made his presence felt again with just over eight minutes left in the period and the Pilots on the power play. The big defenseman came up with a huge backcheck lifting the stick to thwart and odd man rush.

Just seconds after the Topeka power play ended, Noah Roofe stepped in front of a pass and beat three defenders down the ice to put a wrister over the left pad of Gransoe and push the lead to 3-0 with 7:24 to go in the period.

Topeka finally got on the board at the 16:24 mark on a redirect of a Cam Cervone shot from the near point by Kyler Yeo on the doorstep. Seth Eisele had no chance on the shot that snuck hast his glove hand.

It didn’t take long for the Brahmas to respond with Martin keeping in a clearing attempt at the right point and handing it to Frank Trazzera who bumped it to Eric Huss. Huss carried it into the high slot then ripped it past Gransoe to retake a three goal lead. Time of the goal was 19:31.

A broken play at 8:14 of the third left Michael Muschitello all alone between the circles with the puck on his tape. His shot went off the crossbar and in to cut the Brahmas’ lead in half.

Topeka went on the power play once again near the midpoint of the period and had it set up perfectly with Muschitello hitting Cole Thiessen on the backdoor with a diagonal pass, but Eisele made the move across to cut off the far post and rob the Pilots’ defenseman. Topeka made a game of it with another redirect late in the third. Francois was stationed just off the near post and got a stick on a Thiessen shot from the point to put it past Eisele. Zilisch picked up the secondary assist on the play.

With Gransoe on the bench for the extra attacker Guerra iced it away after Evennou lifted it high in the air and Guerra beat Thiessen to the puck along the near halfwall and ripped it into the open net at 18:05.

Lone Star outshot Topeka 38 – 19 on the night and scored the only special team goal going 1 – 5  while holding the Pilots to 0 – 6.




Elsewhere Around the NAHL South Division

Odessa at Corpus Christi

The Icerays kept pace with the Brahmas downing the visiting Odessa Jackalopes. Corpus Christi got first period goals from Mitchell Walinski and Nicholas Seitz to set the tone for the night. The Jackalopes got on the board midway through the second, but Santeri Hartikainen had an answer. In the third Tyler Love then Walinski again for the 5-1 final. Brian George picked up the win on 33 saves.


Amarillo at Shreveport

The Bulls came from behind twice to force overtime where they picked up the win. Logan Jenuwine, the leading scorer in the league pulled them even in the first then Jason Brancheau tied it in the third. Gabriel Seger got the unassisted game winner in overtime. Jason Grande faced 31 shots in a winning effort.


Current NAHL South Division Standings  

x – Amarillo Bulls 44 33 5 3 3 72
Lone Star Brahmas 47 23 18 2 4 52
Shreveport Mudbugs 47 22 17 3 5 52
Corpus Christi IceRays 46 23 22 1 0 47
Topeka Pilots 46 17 22 2 5 41
Odessa Jackalopes 44 17 25 1 1 36

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