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Lone Star Brahmas – New Mexico Ice Wolves Preview

Lone Star Brahmas Photo courtesy of Tina Reilly: Lone Star Brahmas Head Coach Dan Wildfong discusses strategy before the team takes the ice in their overtime win against the Corpus Christi Icerays.

 

The Lone Star Brahmas will put their six game season opening win streak on the line when they welcome the expansion New Mexico Ice Wolves into NYTEX Sports Centre this weekend. New Mexico will hit North Texas looking for their first win of the season after starting off 0-7-0-1.

Lone Star took care of business last week celebrating their home opener with a 3-2 come from behind overtime win against the visiting Corpus Christi Icerays. After going down a goal in the first, CJ Walker (3G-3A) pulled the Brahmas even on the power play with just 23 seconds left in the frame. The visitors had the only goal of the second to take a one goal lead into the third and rode that lead until the 17:44 mark when Joey Baez (3G-2A) knotted it up once again. Just over two minutes into the extra period, veteran defenseman Josh Martin (1G-1A) netted the game winner. Ludvig Persson (4W-0L-0OTL-0SOL) got the start in net and faced 14 shots on the night. Saturday night was another tightly contested game with Baez breaking a scoreless tie 26:35 into the game. Cayden Bailey (2W-0L-0OTL-0SOL) would make the goal stand up as the game winner stopping all 21 shots he faced for his first NAHL shutout.

Friday night was also the Ice Wolves home opener and the only game they have managed to pull a point out of on the young season. Spencer Rudrud (1G-1A) had the only goal of the opening 20 minutes of play for the Ice Wolves to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. Odessa scored the next three goals in the middle frame before Jackson Wille’s (2G-1A) power play tally. Shamil Khadizhalov (2G-0A) got the equalizer at 6:18 of the third to eventually force overtime and a shootout. All three New Mexico shooters were stopped in the shootout with Odessa scoring in the second round for the win. Josh Graziano (0W-6L-0OTL-1SOL) was saddled with the tough luck loss. In game two the Jackalopes ran out to a 4-1 first period lead with only Keegan Langefels (1G-2A) managing a goal for New Mexico. Drew Lorinchak (1G-1A) cut into the lead late in the third, but the Ice Wolves could get no closer. Henrik Laursen (0W-1L-0OTL-0SOL) got the start, but was gone after just over nine minutes and nine saves. Graziano came on in relief and faced 34 shots the rest of the way.

Last 5 Games

  W L OTL SOL Pts
Brahmas 5 0 0 0 10
Ice Wolves 0 4 0 1 1

 

Special Teams

When it comes to special teams the Lone Star Brahmas have been tough so far this season. The power play is currently ranked first overall in the NAHL at 53.8%. They have scored seven times on 13 man advantages. The penalty kill is holding down the seventh spot overall allowing only two goals on 21 times shorthanded or 90.5%. In their last five games played the power play has fallen off a bit understandably going five for 17 and 29.4% while the PK had picked it up slightly at one for 22 and 95.5%.

New Mexico’s power play is 25th in the 26 team league at just 9.1% scoring two times on 22 opportunities. The penalty kill has been slightly better setting 22nd allowing nine goals on 30 kills good for an even 70.0%. Both units have been marginally better over the past five games with the power play converting two of 17 opportunities at 11.8% and the PK allowing four goals on 19 kills or 79.0%.

 

Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games

W L OTL SOL SO GA GAA SV SV%
Brahmas 5 0 0 0 2 5 0.98 89 0.947
Ice Wolves 0 4 0 1 0 20 3.93 147 0.880
 

 

Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)

Brahmas G A Pts
Matthew Rickard 1 5 6
Andrew DeCarlo 2 3 5
Joey Baez 3 1 4
CJ Walker 3 1 4
Thomas Daskas 1 3 4
 
Ice Wolves G A Pts
Shamil Khadizhalov 2 0 2
Jackson Wille 2 0 2
Drew Lorinchak 1 1 2
Brandt Pedersen 1 1 2
Two Tied at 0 2 2

 

Inside the Game

  • Lone Star enters the series as the only undefeated team in the NAHL and is currently ranked 2nd in the league with 12 points only one point behind Topeka who has played three more games than the Brahmas. The Ice Wolves on the other hand are the only team to yet hit the win column going 0-7-0-1 in their eight games played.
  • Joey Baez is the reigning Bauer Hockey NAHL South Division Second Star of the Week.
  • Matthew Rickard (2G-5A) is tied for 20th in the league in scoring and tied for the lead among defensemen.
  • Matt Guerra (0G-5A) and Matthew Rickard are tied for 16th in the league in assists.
  • Thomas Daskas (2G-3A) is tied for the NAHL lead in game winning goals with two.
  • Matt Guerra is tied for 9th in penalty minutes with 20 PIMs and Michal Stinil (3G-3A) is tied for 14th with 18 PIMs.
  • Malcolm Palmer (0G-2A) has a +7 rating on the season good for a 2nd place tie. Joey Baez is tied for 10th with a +6.
  • Cayden Bailey leads the group of goaltenders entering the series with a 0.50 GAA and is 4th in the NAHL. Ludvig Persson is tied for 14th with a 1.96 GAA and Josh Graziano is 60th with a 3.91 GAA. Henrik Laursen who has a 4.09 GAA has not played the required 60 minutes to qualify among league leaders.
  • Cayden Bailey’s 0.972 SV% is 4th in the league. Ludvig Persson with a 0.905 SV% is 35th and Josh Graziano is 48th with a 0.885 SV%. Henrik Laursen has a 0.829 SV%.
  • Cayden Bailey and Ludvig Persson have both recorded shutouts so far this season.
  • Ludvig Persson is currently tied for the league lead in wins with four.
  • Josh Graziano leads the league in both minutes played with 415 and shots faced with 234.
  • The Brahmas are the 8th most penalized team in the league averaging 13.33 minutes per game. New Mexico is one spot better than Lone Star averaging 13.13 minutes per game.
  • The second period has been huge for Lone Star with 10 of their 18 goals coming in the middle frame.
  • Lone Star’s offense is tied for 8th in the league averaging 3.33 goals per game while the defense has been the crème of the crop so far leading the NAHL with a 1.50 goals against average. New Mexico is 25th in both categories averaging 1.38 goals for and 4.25 goals against per game

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