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Brahmas – Mudbugs Will Play Decisive Game Five

Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bing Photography: The Lone Star Brahmas split two games with the Mudbugs in Shreveport and will now return to NYTEX Sports Centre for a decisive game five on Monday night.

 

The Lone Star Brahmas took a 2-1 series lead over the Shreveport Mudbugs on Friday and looked to close out the series on Saturday. However, the Mudbugs had different ideas.

Lone Star came out strong and just one minute into the contest, Michal Stinil came down the far side and rifled a shot off the mask of Leo Chuard knocking the helmet off his head. Shreveport had the first power play opportunity of the night, but just as they did in game three the Brahmas shut down the attack not allowing a single shot on goal.

Just as it looked like the first period would go in the books with no scoring, Kimball Johnson coughed up the puck basically putting it on a tee for Conor Witherspoon. The Mudbugs forward blasted it past Seth Eisele from point blank range at the 19:05 mark to take a one goal lead into the first intermission.

At 8:31 of the second, Matt Guerra took the puck off Ethan Harrison’s stick just inside the Brahmas blueline and sent a backhand pass to Joey Baez in neutral ice. Baez pushed the puck between the legs of Ryan Dickinson then was taken off his skates by another defender. The puck found Zach Heintz low on the leftwing for a shot into a wide open net as Chuard was out of position trying to play Baez. Just over three minutes later Vadim Kiryakov made a big play along the end boards to keep the play alive for Lone Star even though he did not show up on the scoresheet. The puck made its way to Guerra at the halfwall and he pushed it up to Sam Brennan at the blueline. Brennan sent a big wrister through traffic and into the back of the net at 11:48.

Following a Lone Star icing, the teams lined up to Eisele’s right for a faceoff. Witherspoon won the draw back off Harrison’s skate to Billy Feczko for a big onetimer past Eisele blocker side to knot the score at two apiece.

With 8:24 left in the third, former Brahma, Anton Rubtsov got behind the defense and froze Eisele with a stick move to push it past the left skate and hand Shreveport the lead. Matt Weber and Grant Bondy were credited with assists on the play.

Right at the 18:00 minute mark there was a scramble in front with the Brahmas fishing for a loose puck. Once the puck was frozen Chuard came out of the net and fired a blocker at Andrew DeCarlo as David Breazeale drug the Brahmas forward to the ice. Chuard then kicked the puck down the ice and as DeCarlo was coming out from behind the net Chuard two hand shoved DeCarlo in the chest sending him to the ice right in front of referee Robert Esposito with no call.

Lone Star put on a lot of pressure late throwing the kitchen sink at the Mudbugs net, but were unable to get the equalizer.

Shots on goal were 36 apiece and both teams were 0-2 on the power play. With the series tied two games apiece the series will shift back to North Texas and the NYTEX Sports Centre Monday night for a decisive game five.

Boxscore

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