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Lone Star Brahmas – Shreveport Mudbugs This Weekend

Lone Star Brahmas - Noah Roofe Photo courtesy of Tina Reilly: Forward Noah Roofe and the Lone Star Brahmas will play host to the Shreveport Mudbugs this weekend at NYTEX Sports Centre.

 

Friday night will mark the first time that the Lone Star Brahmas will face the Shreveport Mudbugs this season when open a two game set at NYTEX Sports Centre.

Being just over 200 miles apart down I-20 Lone Star and Shreveport are two franchises that have been closely aligned since the Mudbugs joined the NAHL at the start of the 2016/17 season. However, it is much more than geography that has put these two teams together. There are multiple ties between the coaching staffs and front offices as well as on the ice.

In the three seasons that the Mudbugs have been around, Lone Star and Shreveport have finished one behind the other in the NAHL South standings. In 2016/17 the Brahmas finished first in the division with Shreveport second. Lone Star went on the win the Robertson Cup National Championship that season. The following year things were reversed with Shreveport finishing atop the division standings with Lone Star second and the Mudbugs lifting the cup when all was said and done. Last season the Mudbugs closed the regular season in second with Lone Star third in the division.

The Brahmas do hold the advantage in head to head play including playoff games with an 18-13-1-2 record against the Mudbugs and a 10-6-0-1 record on NYTEX Sports Centre ice.

So far this season the pattern has not seemed to change much at all with Lone Star currently setting second in the NAHL South one point behind the Topeka Pilots while Shreveport comes in third three points behind Lone Star.

This past weekend the Brahmas in Topeka for a two game series wrapping up five straight on the road. In game one, Lone Star managed just a single goal from Noah Roofe (4G-6A) in a 4-1 loss with the Pilots scoring a late empty net goal. Cayden Bailey (5W-3L-0OTL-1SOL) got the start in net allowing three goals on 16 shots faced with one coming off a Topeka power play. In game two the Brahmas turned the tables on the Pilots scoring a 4-1 win of their own in a penalty filled affair. Joey Baez (11G-5A) logged Lone Star’s first hat trick of the season scoring twice in the second and once in the second. Mitchell Digby (1G-0A) added a late first period power play goal as well for his first of the season. Ludvig Persson (8W-1L-0OTL-0SOL) picked up the win on 18 shots faced.

Shreveport was also on the road last weekend earning a split in Odessa. Friday night the Jackalopes held a 3-0 lead going into the third and almost gave it away. Conor Witherspoon (4G-7A) got the ball rolling for Shreveport just one minute into the period followed by Jacob Smith (4G-6A) just shy of the seven minute mark, but could never get the equalizer. Maiszon Balboa (6W-3L-0OTL-0SOL) took the loss on 27 saves. Saturday it was all Shreveport following a scoreless first. Matt Weber (3G-2A) was first to score with the only goal of the second then the Mudbugs piled it on in the third. Dawson Sciarrino (3G-3A) scored twice followed by goals from Billy Feczko (2G-1A) and Garrett Steele (1G-3A) for the 5-0 win. Richie Parent (6W-3L-0OTL-0SOL) stopped all 23 shots that came his way for the shutout win.

 

Last Five Games

W L OTL SOL Pts
Brahmas 4 1 0 0 8
Mudbugs 4 1 0 0 8

 

Special Teams

The Brahmas power play comes in ranked 3rd overall in the NAHL. They have managed 16 goals in 52 opportunities or 30.8%. At home they climb up to 45.5% on 10 goals in 22 opportunities which has them at 2nd. Lone Star has cooled off of late with four goals on 20 man advantages in their last five games or an even 20.0%. The Mudbugs will counter with the 8th ranked penalty kill at 88.9%. Shreveport has allowed eight goals on 72 kills. On the road Shreveport remains 8th at 88.5%. They have allowed six goals on 52 opponent power plays. Over their last five game they have killed off 20 of 22 opponent power plays or 90.9%.

When on the penalty kill Lone Star ranks 3rd in the league at 92.7% killing 51 of 55 power plays. The home unit is 4th in the NAHL allowing just two goals on 25 kills and 92.0%. They have been strong over their last five, allowing one goals on 13 kills or 92.3%. They will be up against a Mudbugs’ power play that is 13th in the league at 16.2%. The Mudbugs have notched 11 goals on 68 opportunities. Away from Hirsch Coliseum Shreveport falls to the 19th spot in the league with six goals on 44 attempts or 13.6%. In their last five they are four for 18 or 22.2%.

 

Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games

W L OTL SOL SO GA GAA SV SV%
Brahmas 4 1 0 0 2 8 1.62 95 0.922
Mudbugs 4 1 0 0 2 7 1.41 142 0.953

 

Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)

Brahmas G A Pts
Eric Huss 1 7 8
Joey Baez 4 3 7
Matt Guerra 2 4 6
Thomas Daskas 1 5 6
Two Tied at 2 2 4
 
Mudbugs G A Pts
Conor Witherspoon 3 2 5
Dawson Sciarrino 2 2 4
Timofei Khokhlachev 1 3 4
Sam Miller 1 3 4
Ryan Dickinson 0 4 4
 

 

Inside the Game

  • Lone Star Brahma defenseman Sam Brennan (6G-7A) was named the Bauer Hockey – NAHL Defenseman of the Month after putting up 4G-4A in 10 games played during the month of October.
  • The Lone Star Brahmas are currently third in the NAHL and second in the South Division. Shreveport is tied for fourth overall and sets third in the South.
  • Matt Guerra (3G-17A) will be the leading scorer participating in the weekend series. Guerra is currently tied for 7th in the league.
  • Joey Baez is tied for 3rd in the league in goals scored with 11. Michal Stinil is tied for 10th with nine goals.
  • Matt Guerra is 2nd in the NAHL in assists 17. Thomas Daskas (5G-11A) and Eric Huss (1G-11A) are tied for 15th with 11 apiece.
  • Malcolm Palmer (0G-4A) is 6th in the league in +/- rating with a +14. Joey Baez is tied for 7th with a +13 and Eric Huss is tied for 14th with a +11.
  • Sam Miller (5G-9A) and Matthew Rickard (4G-10A) are tied for the lead in defenseman scoring with 14 points apiece. Sam Brennan is tied for 4th with 13 points. Ryan Dickinson (0G-9A) is tied for 16th with nine points.
  • The goalies are in a pretty tight grouping. Richie Parent is 3rd in goals against average with a 1.44 GAA, Ludvig Persson is 4th with a 1.50 GAA, Maiszon Balboa is 5th at 1.54 GAA and Cayden Bailey is 7th with a 1.62 GAA.
  • Maiszon Balboa is 3rd in save percentage with a 0.950 SV%, Richie Parent is 4th with a 0.948 SV%, Cayden Bailey is 9th with a 0.933 SV% and Ludvig Persson is 10th with a 0.932 SV%.
  • Ludvig Persson is tied for 2nd in wins with eight on the season. Richie Parent and Maiszon Balboa are tied for 7th with six apiece and Cayden Bailey is tied for 15th with five.
  • Cayden Bailey and Ludvig Persson are tied for the league lead in shutouts with three. Richie Parent and Maiszon Balboa have two apiece and are tied for 4th.
  • Shreveport is the most penalized team in the league averaging 21.28 penalty minutes per game. Lone Star comes in at 7th in the league with an 18.17 penalty minutes per game average. The Mudbugs have 23 more minor penalties this season than the Brahmas.
  • The Brahmas are 6-1-0-1 at home while the Mudbugs are 7-5-0-0 on the road.
  • Lone Star has the 7th ranked offense averaging 3.28 goals per game and the 2nd ranked defense allowing 1.72 goals per game for a +1.56 goal differential. Shreveport is 16th on offense with a 2.61 goals scored average and is tops in the league on defense allowing just 1.67 goals per game for a +0.94 goal differential.

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