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Lone Star Brahmas Earn Split With Pilots

Lone Star Brahmas - Joey Baez Photo courtesy or Rebekah Bing Photography: Joey Baez had a hat trick as the Lone Star Brahmas earned split with a 4-1 road win over the Topeka Pilots.


After dropping game one of their weekend series the Lone Star Brahmas were looking for a win on Saturday to keep pace with the Topeka Pilots in the NAHL South.

The Brahmas came out strong with most of the play in the Topeka end of the ice. Then at the 5:34 mark of the first Thomas Daskas put the puck deep behind the Pilots goal where Eric Huss out battled a Topeka defender. Huss sent a backhanded centering pass out front that Joey Baez spanked bar down past Guy Blessing for the early lead. Baez picked up his second of the night after Skylar Gutierrez picked Shawn Kennedy pocket deep in the near corner and fed it out front for a onetimer at 12:21

Ludvig Persson finally faced the first Topeka shot on goal near the 13:30 mark of the first. The Pilots cut the lead in half at 16:12 after Hugh Anderson sent a shot on goal from the far point that Persson kicked aside with the pads, but Kyler Yeo was there to put the rebound into the back of the net.

The Lone Star Brahmas restored the two goal lead on the power play with Mitchell Digby, Matt Guerra and Sam Brennan playing catch along the blueline. Digby sent the puck to Brennan at center then snuck down to the far faceoff dot. Brennan sent it to Guerra on the near point and his cross ice pass was right in Digby’s wheelhouse for a onetimer past the right pad at 17:59.

At the 5:42 mark of the second with the Brahmas putting a lot of offensive pressure on, Vincent Corcoran and Noah Roofe came together. There was some pushing and shoving then Corcoran took two baseball swings at Roofe’s shin pads prompting Roofe to drop the glove and Corcoran with a big overhand left.

Fireworks erupted at the 6:18 mark when several players came together along the near wall in the Brahmas’ defensive zone. Nick Nardecchia and Guerra exited the scrum and Nardecchia landed a big right that sent Guerra to the ice. The Brahmas forward bounce right back to his skates and pummeled Nardicchia with four quick rights before Yeo drug him off Nardecchia who had turtled to avoid further damage. AJ Martinelli came off the Pilots bench and initially jumped Jack Collins from behind, but was quickly pulled off by Dylan Smith. Neither Smith nor Martinelli could get a hand free and ended up in a heap on the ice. While all this was going on Michal Stinil and Austin McCarthy were jawing off to the side. Stinil eventually had enough and dropped McCarthy with a right. McCarthy got back up, but Stinil bent him over and started chucking uppercuts as the linesman tried to pull them apart.

In all there were 116 penalty minutes handed out due to the brawl with Collins and Stinil done for the night and the Pilots on the power play. However, the Lone Star Brahmas penalty kill stood tall and denied the Pilots even a sing shot on goal with the man advantage.

Less than two minutes after completing the kill, Patriks Ozols bumped it off the halfwall to Daskas atop the near circle and he found Baez just off the left post for a redirect and the hat trick. Time of the goal was 10:01.

The third period clicked off the clock with no further scoring resulting in a 4-1 win for the Lone Star Brahmas. With the win the Brahmas leave Topeka with a split and remain one point behind the Pilots in the NAHL South.

Lone Star outshot Topeka 29-18 in the contest and scored the only power play goal of the night going 1-7 while the Pilots were 0-3.




Elsewhere Around the NAHL South

Corpus Christi at Amarillo

The Bulls got a goal from Devan Tongue and one in the second from Jordan Venegoni while Charlie Glockner stopped all 23 shots he faced to shutout the visiting Icerays.


Shreveport at Odessa

After a scoreless first, Matt Weber opened the scoring in the second for the Mudbugs followed by a pair of goals from Dawson Sciarrino  and single goals from Billy Feczko and Timofei Khokhlachev in the third. Richie Parent picked up the shutout on 15 saves.


Fairbanks at New Mexico

Still underway


Current NAHL South Standings

Topeka Pilots 20 13 5 1 1 28
Lone Star Brahmas 18 13 4 0 1 27
Shreveport Mudbugs 18 12 6 0 0 24
Amarillo Bulls 16 10 4 1 1 22
Corpus Christi IceRays 20 9 7 2 2 22
Odessa Jackalopes 17 6 9 1 1 14
New Mexico Ice Wolves 16 1 14 0 1 3

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