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Brahmas Hold On For 4-3 Win Over Jackalopes

Lone Star Brahmas forward Michal Stinil Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bing Photography: Michal Stinil returned to the ice for his first game since February 16 and only his second since November 24 logging a second period power play goal in the Lone Star Brahmas 4-3 win over the Odessa Jackalopes.


The Lone Star Brahmas returned to the ice against the Odessa Jackalopes following an off weekend. Lone Star also got a boost to their offense with Michal Stinil returning from an extended absence due to an upper body injury.

With 13:47 left in the first Frank Trazzera picked the pocket of Michael Sacco and pushed the puck into the far corner before finding Matt Guerra at the bottom of the rightwing circle. Guerra spotted Sam Brennan sneaking down on the backdoor and hit him with a beautiful pass that the defenseman put five hole on Alex Camarre. Just 2:44 later after an offensive zone faceoff, Zach Heintz controlled the puck along the endboards then hit Andrew DeCarlo just off the far post. DeCarlo flipped a backhand pass to Jake Suede streaking into the crease for the two goal lead.

At the 9:39 mark another faceoff in the Jackalopes zone led to Odessa’s first goal. The puck was turned over to Vaclav Zidek at the far point and he went streaking toward the other end of the ice. Zidek went forehand – backhand and lifted it over the right leg of Matt Sankner. With about four minutes to go another turnover sent Jake Vaughan on an odd man rush. This time Sankner was up to the task closing off the far post and making a big pad save.

In his first game back Stinil notched his fifth power play goal of the season at the 6:00 minute mark of the second. Guerra won the faceoff to Camarre’s left and Heintz punched it to Stinil whose initial shot went off the side of the net. The Decin, Czech Republic native grabbed his own rebound below the goal line and sent it off the back of Jackalope’s netminder and in.  Just past the midway mark of the period Guerra toe dragged around Joseph Winkelmann leaving the Odessa forward swiping at the air. Unfortunately Guerra’s shot rang off the crossbar jumping all the way back to the blueline.

Odessa scored late in the frame with Sacco slapping in a rebound past the glove hand of Sankner after the Brahmas’ netminder had made a big shoulder save. Winkelmann and former Brahma Patrick Dawson picked up assists on the score.

At 6:45 of the third Trazzera fed the puck to Heintz in the far corner. Heintz skated it out into the highslot before giving it up to Kimball Johnson at the near halfwall. Johnson sent a wrister through traffic and into the twine past a screened Camarre who did not see the puck until it was behind him.

Another odd man rush by the Jackalopes pulled them within one goal once again. Carl Skarstrom was the beneficiary picking the puck up in neutral ice and driving to the near post then lifting it over the right pad. Sacco and Connor Fedorek logged assists on the play.

With just 30 ticks left on the clock and an extra attacker for Odessa, Winkelmann found the puck at the bottom of the far circle with an open net in front of him, but Josh Martin dove in to take the shot off the body and preserve the slim one goal lead and allow the Brahmas to escape with the one goal victory.

Lone Star held a one shot lead in shots on goal at 26-25. The Brahmas had the only power play goal of the night going 1-2 while Odessa was 0-4. With the win the Brahmas pull within one point of second place in the NAHL South with a game in hand over Shreveport.



Elsewhere Around the NAHL South Division

Shreveport at Corpus Christi

The Icerays held a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes of play with Nicholas Seitz, Nikita Krivokrasov and Santeri Hartikainen doing the scoring. Jake Stella added to the lead early in the second then Corpus Christi held on from there allowing the Mudbugs to pull within one, but keeping them from knotting it up. Brian George recorded the win facing 31 shots on goal.

Amarillo at Topeka

Topeka seemed to have the division leading Bulls on the ropes early going up 2-0 before Nick Trela scored unassisted to send Amarillo into the first intermission down 2-1. Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the second, but the Bulls’ Brenden Datema and Alex Peterson scored in the third to give Amarillo their first lead. Forty two seconds later the Pilots knotted it up, but the tie was short lived with Brett Abdelnour scoring just 1:05 later. Peterson scored an empty netter at 19:15. However, Topeka was not rolling over pulling within one at 19:32 but could not get any closer. Jason Grande got the start but was gone after Topeka scored twice on 10 shots. Justin Evenson came on in relief stopping 17 of the 19 he faced.


Current NAHL South Division Standings

y – Amarillo Bulls 48 36 6 3 3 78
Shreveport Mudbugs 50 24 18 3 5 56
Lone Star Brahmas 49 24 18 3 4 55
Corpus Christi IceRays 49 24 24 1 0 49
Topeka Pilots 48 18 23 2 5 43
Odessa Jackalopes 48 18 28 1 1 38