Jr Hockey Digest
Don't Miss

Brahmas To Face Pilots This Weekend

Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bing Photography: Joey Baez leads the team back to the bench after scoring a goal and leads all Brahmas scorers over the last five games with 2G-3A. The Brahmas will travel to Topeka to face the Pilots this weekend in their final road trip of the regular season.

 

The Lone Star Brahmas will make their final road trip of the NAHL regular season this weekend as they travel to the Kansas capital to take on the Topeka Pilots. Lone Star has fared well against Topeka since joining the league for the 2013/14 season holding a 28-12-4-1 record while outscoring Topeka 132-103.

This season the teams have played a total of six times with the Brahmas picking up points in all six contests posting a 4-0-2-0 record.

 

11/2      Brahmas 1 at Pilots 2 OT

11/3      Brahmas 2 at Pilots 0

1/11      Pilots 2 at Brahmas 4

1/12      Pilots 2 at Brahmas 3 SO

2/15      Pilots 3 at Brahmas 5

2/16      Pilots 3 at Brahmas 2 OT

 

The Brahmas had a tough series against the division leading Amarillo Bulls last weekend at NYTEX Sports Centre. Both games had a playoff atmosphere with the top two teams in the division facing off against one another. On Friday night the went into the third down 1-0, but Jake Suede (6G-15A) found the back of the net just 30 seconds into the frame. Amarillo came right back to retake the one goal lead where it remained the rest of the contest. Seth Eisele (16W-8L-1OTL-0SOL) suffered the loss facing 18 shots on goal. Saturday saw the Bulls jump out to a three goal lead through the 16:30 mark of the first. However, the Brahmas would not go quietly as Blake Evennou (13G-22A) scored on the power play to cut the lead to two. Michal Stinil (14G-7A) had the only goal of the second to pull Lone Star within a single goal. In the third Joey Baez (13G-8A) scored between two Amarillo goals with the Bulls’ last tally coming into an empty net with one second left on the clock. Eisele got the start once again, but was gone after giving up the third Bulls’ goal in the first. Matt Sankner (1W-2L-0OTL-0SOL) took the tough luck loss stopping 10 of the 11 shots he faced.

Topeka was in Odessa for three games against the Jackalopes picking up four of a possible six points. Christian Thomas (3G-4A) scored unassisted in the first with what would be the eventual game winner. Austin McCarthy (13G-24A) added an insurance goal in the third and McLean Dorr (5W-10L-2OTL-2SOL) stopped all 41 shots he faced for the shutout. Game two went through the opening frame scoreless then Quinn Green (24G-13A) broke the ice early in the second followed by Valdemar Ahlberg (15G-16A). From there it was all Jackalopes as Odessa scored the next three goals to claim the win. Dorr faced 34 shots on goal in the loss. The Pilots got back on the winning track in game three with Green and Cole Thiessen (6G-26A) staking Topeka to a 2-1 lead through 20 minutes of play. Topeka would score three times in the middle frame on goals from Ahlberg, Michael Muschitiello (16G-20A) and Brenden Rons (3G-17A). Muschitiello added his second of the night in the third. Dorr was in net once again making 35 saves in the 6-2 win.

Last 5 Games 

W L OTL SOL Pts
Brahmas 2 3 0 0 4
Pilots 3 1 1 0 7

 

Special Teams

The Brahmas are currently 10th in the NAHL with the man advantage at 20.8% and have been on a slow decline the past several weeks. Lone Star has scored 41 goals on 197 opportunities. On the road they are 12th with 19 goals on 92 chances or 20.7%.  They have managed just four goals on 19 opportunities in their last five games played. Lone Star will look to get a bump in their numbers against a Pilots penalty kill that is tied for 18th in the league at 76.2%. Topeka has given up 48 goals on 202 opponent power plays. Topeka’s PK performs falls off at home dropping to 21st. They have killed off 70 of the 96 opponent man advantages good for 72.9%. In their last five games the Pilots penalty kill unit has given up four goals on 15 kills or 73.3%.

Lone Stars’ penalty kill is currently ranked 6th in the league. They have surrendered 33 goals on 214 total kills or 84.6%. Away from NYTEX Sports Centre the numbers drop to 82.4% or 13th in the league. The Brahmas have allowed 16 goals on 91 times shorthanded. Over their last five games they are at 79.0% allowing four goals on 19 kills. Topeka comes in one spot behind Lone Star on the power play at 11th overall. The Pilots have scored with 35 goals on 173 opportunities or 20.2%. They have been tough at home where they rank 2nd in the league at 27.8% converting 22 of 79 opportunities. However, they are just one of 16 or 6.3% in their last five games.

In their six head-to-head games played this season, Lone Star is four of 26 or 15.4% and Topeka is two of 24 or 8.3%.

 

Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games

W L OTL SOL SO GA GAA SV SV%
Brahmas 2 3 0 0 0 13 2.59 120 0.902
Pilots 3 1 1 0 1 9 1.78 196 0.956

 

Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)

Brahmas G A Pts
Joey Baez 2 3 5
Blake Evennou 2 1 3
Matt Guerra 1 2 3
Frank Trazzera 1 2 3
Four Tied at 1 1 2
Pilots G A Pts
Austin McCarthy 3 1 4
Michael Muschitiello 2 2 4
Cole Thiessen 1 3 4
Valdemar Ahlberg 2 1 3
Quinn Green 2 1 3

 

Inside the Game

  • The Brahmas come into the series guaranteed a playoff spot, but still within striking distance of the Shreveport Mudbugs for second place in the division. Topeka on the other hand is on the outside looking in three points behind Corpus Christi for the fourth and final playoff spot with four games left to play.
  • Quinn Green is currently tied for 10th in the league with 24 goals scored.
  • Matt Guerra (12G-37A) is tied for 13th in assists.
  • Blake Evennou is tied for 7th in power play goals with 10.
  • With 16 power play assists Matt Guerra is tied for 12th in the NAHL.
  • Scott Persson (3G-19A) is tied for 3rd in shootout goals with three in four attempts.
  • Blake Evennou leads all scorers in the season series with eight points on 4G-4A. Matt Guerra is right behind with six points on 2G-4A. Two others have recorded five points with Valdemar Ahlberg at 3G-2A and Scott Persson with 0G-5A.
  • Seth Eisele is tied for 8th in goals against average with a 2.29 GAA. Emil Gransoe (14W-17L-2OTL-2SOL) is 29th with a 3.36 GAA and McLean Dorr is 34th with a 3.77 GAA. Matt Sankner has a 3.03 GAA, but does not qualify among league leaders due to his playing time.
  • Seth Eisele is 9th in save percentage with a 0.927 SV%. Emil Gransoe is tied for 23rd with a 0.910 SV% and McLean Dorr is tied for 30th with a 0.899 SV%. Matt Sankner comes in with a 0.868 SV%.
  • Seth Eisele has played in four shootout games this season picking up the win in all four. He has stopped all seven shooters he has faced in the shootout.
  • Seth Eisele is 2-0-1-0 against Topeka this season with a 1.97 GAA and a 0.914 SV%.
  • Emil Gransoe is 1-2-0-1 against Lone Star with a 2.69 GAA and a 0.921 SV% while McLean Dorr is 1-0-0-0 with a 1.90 GAA and a 0.931 SV%.