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Brahmas-Mudbugs Set For Playoff Preview

Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bing Photography

 

The Lone Star Brahmas will play host to the Shreveport Mudbugs this weekend at NYTEX Sports Centre to close out the regular season. The series will be a preview to the first round of the Robertson Cup Playoffs as the two teams are know they will be facing each other again once post season play opens. The only question will be who will be the number two seed with home ice advantage?

Lone Star currently holds a one point advantage over Shreveport in the NAHL South Division standings entering the weekend series. The Brahmas must win one of the two games to ensure the playoffs open at the Shoebox.

11/09   Mudbugs 0 at Brahmas 2

11/10   Mudbugs 2 at Brahmas 3 SO

11/21   Mudbugs 2 at Brahmas 1 SO

12/14   Brahmas 1 at Mudbugs 3

12/15   Brahmas 5 at Mudbugs 4

12/16   Brahmas 1 at Mudbugs 3

01/21   Mudbugs 6 at Brahmas 3

01/31   Brahmas 3 at Mudbugs 1

02/01   Brahmas 1 at Mudbugs 2

02/02   Brahmas 3 at Mudbugs 2 SO

This past weekend the Brahmas pulled three of a possible four points out of their trip to Topeka. In game one, special teams carried the day as Lone Star scored four times on the power play while stopping the Pilots on both of their attempts. Defenseman Blake Evennou (16G-23A) opened the scoring with a first period power play goal in what would be a big night for the Macomb, MI native as he recorded his first NAHL Hat Trick. Evennou potted two more power play goals in the second sandwiched around a Topeka tally to take a 3-1 lead into the third. Scott Person (4G-21A) found the back of the net on the man advantage early in the third with Zach Heintz (16G-26A) scoring the Brahmas first even strength goal just over four minutes later. After Topeka had scored their second of the night Clayton Lackey (4G-4A) blasted home a rebound for the 6-2 final. Seth Eisele (17W-8L-1OTL-1SOL) made 21 saves on the night to record the win in net. Game two was a much tighter contest. Joey Baez (14G-8A) got Lone Star on the board at 7:17 of the first, but it would be their only goal of the night. Topeka tied it up with a power play goal in the second and the score remained 1-1 through overtime sending the game to a shootout. The Pilots netted the game winner in round two of the shootout on what was the first shootout goal allowed by Eisele in nine attempts on the season.

The Mudbugs are coming off a two game home stand against the Odessa Jackalopes. Friday night saw Shreveport pick up a 3 -1 win scoring a single goal in each period of play. CJ McGee (10G-32A) accounted for the first period goal with Carson Nichols (3G-4A) and Warren Natyshak (11G-8A) scoring in the second and third. Maiszon Balboa (11W-8L-2OTL-0SOL) got the call in net and faced 24 shots in the win. On Saturday night it was Matt Weber (1G-4A) and Nichols scoring on either side of a pair of Jackalopes goals to go into the first intermission tied 2-2. Conor Witherspoon (7G-14A) had the only tally of the second to stake Shreveport to a one goal lead. Odessa had the only goal of the third to force overtime and an eventual shootout where CJ Regula (10G-26A) won it for the Mudbugs in the third round. Leo Chuard (17W-12L-1OTL-4SOL) picked up the win on 34 saves.

 

Last Five Games

W

L OTL SOL

Pts

Brahmas

2

2 0 1

5

Mudbugs

4

1 0 0

8

Special Teams

The Brahmas power play comes in ranked 8th overall in the NAHL. They have managed 45 goals in 210 opportunities or 21.4%. At home they fall slightly to 21.4% on 22 goals in 105 opportunities which has them at 11th. Lone Star has scored seven power play goals on 25 man advantages in their last five games or an even 28.0%. The Mudbugs will counter with the 15th ranked penalty kill at 79.3%. Shreveport has allowed 49 goals on 237 kills. On the road Shreveport moves 18th at 77.0%. They have allowed 28 goals on 122 opponent power plays. Over their last five game they have killed off 13 of 16 opponent power plays or 81.3%.

When on the penalty kill Lone Star ranks 6th in the league at 84.4% killing 184 of 218 power plays. The home unit is 5th in the NAHL allowing just 17 goals on 123 kills and 86.2%. They have been strong over their last five, allowing two goals on 17 kills or 88.2%. They will be up against a Mudbugs’ power play that is next to last in the league at just 12.6%. The Mudbugs have notched 29 goals on 230 opportunities. Away from Hirsch Coliseum Shreveport continues to occupy the 23rd spot in the league with 13 goals on 111 attempts or 11.7%. In their last five they are one for 23 or 4.4%.

In their ten previous head to head meetings this season the Brahmas and Mudbugs have nearly identical number. Lone Star has seven goals on 37 power play opportunities or 18.9% while Shreveport, despite their dismal performance all season, has eight goals on 36 opportunities or 22.2% against one of the best penalty kills in the league.

 

Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games

W

L OTL SOL SO GA GAA SV

SV%

Brahmas

2

2 0 1 0 10 1.96 113

0.919

Mudbugs

4

1 0 0 0 11 2.14 139

0.927

 

Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)

Brahmas

G

A

Pts

Blake Evennou

4

1

5

Joey Baez

2

2

4

Scott Persson

1

3

4

Michal Stinil

1

3

4

Matt Guerra

0

4

4

 
Mudbugs

G

A

Pts

Gueorgui Feduolov

2

5

7

CJ McGee

1

4

5

CJ Regula

1

4

5

Warren Natyshak

3

0

3

Carson Nichols

2

1

3

 

 

Inside the Game

  • Six skaters have recorded six or more points in the season series so far led by Jay Feiwell (13G-24A) with nine points on 3G-6A. Blake Evennou is second with eight points on 2G-6A, followed by Conor Witherspoon with 4G-3A, Matt Guerra  (12G-40A) 2G-5A, Gueorgui Feduolov (10G-29A) 4G-2A and Anton Rubtsov (9G-13A) 3G-3A.
  • Neither team is represented in the top 20 in scoring in the league. Matt Guerra leads the Brahmas with 52 points good for a tie for 25th while CJ McGee leads the Mudbugs with 42 points good for a tie for 49th.
  • Matt Guerra is tied for 12th in the NAHL with 40 assists on the season.
  • Blake Evennou is tied for 6th overall with 13 power play goals which is 2nd best among defensemen.
  • Matt Guerra is 9th in power play assists with 18 while Scott Persson is tied for 19th with 13.
  • Seth Eisele will enter play with the 7th best goals against average at 2.23 GAA. Leo Chuard in 10th with a 2.34 GAA and Maiszon Balboa is 20th with a 2.69 GAA. Matt Sankner (1W-2L-0OTL-0SOL) has a 3.03 GAA but does not qualify among league leaders having only played 178 minutes.
  • Leo Chuard has the best save percentage among the group at 0.932 SV% good for 4th in the league. Seth Eisele is tied for 7th with a 0.927 SV% and Maiszon Balboa is tied for 23rd with a 0.911 SV%. Matt Sankner comes in with a 0.868 SV%.
  • Seth Eisele is tied for the league lead in shootout save percentage with a 0.889 SV%.
  • Shreveport is the 3rd most penalized team in the league with an average of 22.7 minutes per game compared to Lone Star who is 12th with a 17.9 minute average. The Mudbugs have been whistled for 47 more minor penalties on the season than the Brahmas. They also have seven more major penalties, seven more game misconducts and three more match penalties.
  • Penalties have not been lacking in the season series between these two teams with Shreveport having a total of 215 and Lone Star 179. There are five players in excess of 30 minutes each. Gabe Potyk (1G-4A) leads the way with 42, Ryan Dickinson (3G-6A) and CJ McGee have 35 apiece, CJ Regula has 34 and Frank Trazzera (8G-19A) has 33.
  • The Brahmas are 15-9-1-3 at home while the Mudbugs are 11-13-2-2 on the road.
  • The first goal of the contest is going to be important in the series as the Brahmas have points in 28 of the 30 games in which they score first putting up a 23-2-2-3 record. Under the same circumstances the Mudbugs have points in 21 of the 24 games in which they score first with an 18-3-2-1 record.
  • Shreveport is averaging 2.72 goals scored and 2.17 goals allowed per game. Lone Star on the other hand is averaging .234 goals scored and 2.50 goals allowed per game.
  • However, the Brahmas offense has started to come alive of late scoring 29 goals in their last ten games for a 2.90 goals per game average while the defense has shaved a bit off allowing 2.40 goals per game. Over the same period the Mudbugs have seen their numbers move in the opposite direction with their goals scored average of 2.70 per game and their goals allowed going up to 3.00 goals per game.

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