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Lone Star Brahmas Tested But Best Mudbugs

Lone Star Brahmas - Ludvig Persson Photo courtesy of Hatley Studios: Ludvig Persson made 27 saves in the Lone Star Brahmas 3-1 win over the visiting Shreveport Mudbugs to extend their win streak to six games.

 

Both the Lone Star Brahmas and Shreveport Mudbugs entered play Wednesday at NYTEX Sports Centre riding win streaks. The Brahmas’ stood at five games and the Mudbugs’ at three. Shreveport sat nine points behind the first place Brahmas but had three games and a potential six points in hand.

Lone Star outshot Shreveport 10-6 in the opening 20 minutes of play, but the period ended with neither team able to find the back of the net. However, the Brahmas had a power play carry over of 42 seconds to open the second period.

Shreveport was able to kill of the balance of the power play, but soon after the Brahmas broke through. Patriks Ozols sent the puck from the near point to D-partner Mitchell Digby at the far point. Digby was pressured and sent one intentionally wide off the end boards and out the near side. Dylan Smith had snuck down into the leftwing circle and fired the rebound past Maiszon Balboa at 1:21.

With 5:30 left, Shreveport came in with pressure and a shot from between the circles was fired on goal. Ludvig Persson made the save and scrambled to make two more from point blank before the Brahmas were able to clear the puck.

With Lone Star on the power play early in the third, Michal Stinil was caught trying to do a little too much on his own and turned the puck over at the Shreveport blueline. Carson Nichols lifted a pass to Vizbelis Janis who split Sam Brennan and Matthew Rickard on his way to a lone man rush and beat Persson at 3:01.

At 6:16 into the third the Brahmas went down two men for 1:07 with Noah Roofe and Eric Huss in the box. The Lone Star defense stood tall and Persson made a couple big saves to wipe out both ends of the 5 on 3.

The Brahmas then went on a power play of their own and used the man advantage to go back on top. Joey Baez settled a bouncing puck between the hashmarks but had a Mudbug defender draped all over him so he pushed it back to Huss. The Army commit took a couple strides into the far circle before firing a shot off Balboa with Thomas Daskas on the backdoor to put back the rebound at 14:09.

A crosschecking call on Huss late put Shreveport on the power play with 29 seconds left to play. They pulled Balboa for the extra attacker and a 6 on 4 advantage. After the draw the puck remained in the Lone Star Brahmas’ end of the ice and was bouncing around in the high slot when Josh Martin banged it off the wall in front of the Brahmas’ bench. Matt Guerra, the reigning South Division Star of the Week, jumped on it and rifled it into the empty net at the other end of the ice for the 3-1 win.

Shots on goal were 28-24 in favor of the Mudbugs, but the Brahmas held the advantage in special teams play going 1-7 and holding the Mudbugs scoreless on six opportunities. With the win the Lone Star Brahmas extended their lead in the NAHL South to eight points over the second place Amarillo Bulls.

 

Boxscore

 

Elsewhere Around the NAHL South

Only game scheduled

 

Current NAHL South Standings

GP W L OTL SOL PTS
Lone Star Brahmas 26 20 5 0 1 41
Amarillo Bulls 22 15 4 1 2 33
Shreveport Mudbugs 23 15 8 0 0 30
Topeka Pilots 24 13 9 1 1 28
Corpus Christi IceRays 27 11 11 2 3 27
Odessa Jackalopes 22 7 13 1 1 16
New Mexico Ice Wolves 23 4 18 0 1 9

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