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Do Or Die For Brahmas In Game Five

Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bing Photography: Brahmas' forward Michael Stinil goes five hole on Leo Chuard as Shreveport Captain Jay Feiwell tries to defend. The Stinil tally was part of a four goal outburst from the Lone Star offense in the second period of game one of the series.

 

The Shoebox will be rocking as the Lone Star Brahmas and Shreveport Mudbugs play a winner takes all game five of their NAHL South Division Semi-Finals matchup at NYTEX Sports Centre at 7:00 pm. It has been a see-saw series so far with the Brahmas taking the opening games one and three with the Mudbugs countering in games two and four.

In game one Lone Star jumped out front with four goals in the second on their way to a 5-1 win. The scoring came from Blake Evennou, Joey Baez, Andrew DeCarlo and Michal Stinil. Shreveport got on the board midway through the third on a Warren Natyshak tally, but Baez answered on the power play. Seth Eisele took the win on 32 saves while Maiszon Balboa was saddled with the loss allowing three goals on 12 shots faced before giving way to Leo Chuard who stopped two of the 12 shots he saw the rest of the way.

The Mudbugs took game two in what was a much closer contest than the final score would indicate. Carson Nichols and Conor Witherspoon staked Shreveport to a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes of play with the Witherspoon goal coming on the power play. Lone Star pulled even in the second with Nick Siffringer scoring early and Baez adding another power play goal late. In the third the Mudbugs’ Natyshak was credited with a goal on what was actually an own goal pushed past Eisele as two Brahmas got crossed up coming from behind the net. Matt Webber added a length of the ice empty netter for the 4-2 final. On this night Chuard was the beneficiary of the Brahmas’ miscue logging the win on 25 saves while Eisele who stopped 25 of the 27 he was suffered the loss.

Game three in Shreveport was a tightly played contest with little room for error on either side of the puck. Strong defense and goaltending were on display from both squads with the lone goal being scored by the Brahmas’ DeCarlo over 38 minutes into the contest. Eisele pitched a shutout stopping all 28 shots that came his way while Chuard stopped 29 in a losing effort.

In Saturday’s game four, the Mudbugs took a one goal lead with 55 seconds left in the opening period on a Witherspoon tally. Zach Heintz and Sam Brennan would push the Brahmas to the lead in the second only to see Billy Feczko knot it up three minutes later scoring off an offensive zone draw. Former Brahma Anton Rubtsov got the game winner in the third to tie the series at two games apiece. Chuard and Eisele were in net again with both players facing 36 shots on goal.

Inside the Game

  • Joey Baez leads all scorers in the series with four points on 3G-1A while Blake Evennou and Michal Stinil have 1G-2A each. Warren Natyshak and Conor Witherspoon have 2G-0A each to lead Shreveport.
  • Seth Eisele with a 1.78 GAA has the 2nd lowest goals against average among goalies that have played more than one game in the playoffs. Chuard comes into game five with a 2.09 GAA good for 6th.
  • The first team to score has won all four games so far.
  • Lone Star has won the first game played in each venue with Shreveport winning game two.
  • The Brahmas are averaging 2.75 goals per game in the series compared to 2.00 for the Mudbugs.
  • The Brahmas’ power play is 2 – 15 in the series or 13.3% well below their 20.4% average during the regular season. Shreveport who finished next to last on the power play during the regular season at 12.6% has gone 1 – 15 and 6.7% in the playoffs.
  • Both of Lone Star’s power play goals were scored by Joey Baez at the Shoebox.
  • The winner of game five will advance to face either Amarillo or Corpus Christi who play game five of their series in Amarillo starting at 7:05 pm tonight.

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