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Lone Star Brahmas Close Out 2019 Against Pilots

Lone Star Brahmas Photo courtesy of Tina Reilly: The Lone Star Brahmas will close out 2019 against the visiting Topeka Pilots at NYTEX Sports Centre this weekend.

 

The Lone Star Brahmas will close out the 2019 portion of their schedule against the visiting Topeka Pilots this weekend at NYTEX Sports Centre. Lone Star will be looking to break out of a recent pattern of splitting weekend series. Over their last three series against South Division foes the Brahmas have lost on Friday and then bounced back to close the series with a win on Saturday.

Just this week Head Coach Dan Wildfong announced the Brahmas’ Captains for the rest of the season. Noah Roofe (4G-9A) a forward from O’Fallon, MO who is playing in his third NAHL season will wear the C. In 128 games played Roofe has 14G-23A and 191 PIMs. Joining Roofe are Alternate Captains are Joey Baez (17G-12A), Sam Brennan (6G-9A) and Josh Martin (1G-7A). Baez a Tampa, FL native and Alabama-Huntsville commit came to the Brahmas last season in a trade with the Johnstown Tomahawks. In 114 NAHL contests Baez has recorded 63 points on 33G-30A. Brennan who hails from Brighton, MI is playing in his second full season with Lone Star and has accounted for 7G-14A from the blueline in 71 games played. Brennan has signed on with the Air Force Academy in Atlantic Hockey. Martin brings a physical presence to the back end earning a commitment to Alaska-Anchorage of the WCHA. In 94 games played in a Brahmas’ sweater Martin has recorded 3G-14A and racked up 86 PIMs to go along with a +11 rating.

The Brahmas and Pilots have played four times so far this season with all four games played in the Kansas Capital. Lone Star has come out on top in three of the four contests.

11/01    Brahmas 1 at Pilots 4

11/02    Brahmas 4 at Pilots 1

11/15    Brahmas 4 at Pilots 1

11/16    Brahmas 3 at Pilots 0

This past weekend Lone Star was in Shreveport to face the Mudbugs. On Friday night they dug themselves a hole in the first that they were not able to climb out of. Shreveport scored three times in the opening 20 minutes of play and held a 3-0 lead to start the second. Evan Googins (11G-5A) scored a power play goal early  in the frame to get Lone Star on the board, but the Mudbugs had a quick answer. The teams would trade goals again in the third with Joey Baez connecting for the Brahmas. Ludvig Persson (15W-3L-0OTL-0SOL) got the start in net but left the game due to injury after a big collision in the crease. Cayden Bailey (8W-5L-0OTL-0SOL) did his best to keep his team in the game stopping 20 of the 21 shots he faced. The first period of Saturday’s game almost a mirror image of the Friday contest with the Brahmas scoring three time to take a 3-0 lead into the second. Michal Stinil (13G-12A) got things started with Googins and Thomas Daskas (11G-15A) pitching in goals just 14 seconds apart. Bailey picked up the win allowing only a single power play goal on 35 shots faced.

Topeka picked up four points in the standings completing a home sweep of the Odessa Jackalopes. In game one it to the Pilots over 31 minutes to get on the board with a Matthew Francois (3G-3A) goal to knot the score at 1-1. They built the lead to 3-1 in the first half of the third on goals from Hugh Anderson (1G-6A) and Luc Salem (5G-13A) before Odessa cut it to a one goal game. Guy Blessing (7W-6L-0OTL-1SOL) made 27 saves on the night for the win. Game two saw Shawn Kennedy (6G-9A) score the only goal of the opening frame. The Pilots turned on the jets in the second scoring four times with Francois, Lucas Sandoval (1G-2A), Kaiden Scott (8G-3A) and Quinn Green (9G-6A) doing the damage. Josh Langford (3W-3L-0OTL-0SOL) who made 17 saves on the night lost his shutout bid on a third period tally by the Jackalopes.

 

Last 5 Games 

W

L OTL SOL

Pts

Brahmas

3

2 0 0

6

Pilots

5

0 0 0

10

 

Special Teams

The Brahmas are currently setting 10th in the NAHL on the power play at 20.7% with 25 goals on 121 opportunities. On home ice they have performed considerably better with 11 goals on 44 opportunities or 25.0%. Over their last five they are down at 10.3% with three goals on 29 man advantages.

They will be skating against a Topeka penalty kill that ranks 9th overall at 83.1% allowing 23 goals on 136 times shorthanded. On the road the Pilots efficiency falls to 75.6% leaving them 17th in the league. They have allowed 11 road goals on 45 kills. The numbers over the past five games are slightly improved over their season average at 86.7% giving up four goals on 30.

Lone Stars’ penalty kill has been strong all season surrendering just 9 goals on 122 total kills or 92.6% good for 2nd in the NAHL. At NYTEX Sports Centre they are at an even 90.0% which is 4th in the league. The Brahmas have allowed five goals on 50 times shorthanded. Over their last five games they have killed off 27 of 29 opponent power plays or 93.1%.

Topeka’s power play is 21st overall in the 26 team league at 13.3%. They have managed 16 goals on 120 power plays. The number improve when they hit the road moving them up to 12th with 11 goals in 52 chances or 21.2%. Over their last five games they are five for 23 or 21.7%.

Lone Star has held the upper hand in the four head-to-head meetings this season going three for 22 on the power play while holding Topeka to one for 13.

 

Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games

W

L OTL SOL SO GA GAA SV

SV%

Brahmas

3

2 0 0 1 10 2.01 138

0.932

Pilots

5

0 0 0 0 10 2.00 93

0.903

 

Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)

Brahmas

G

A

Pts

Joey Baez

2

2

4

Matt Guerra

0

4

4

Evan Googins

3

0

3

Matthew Rickard

1

2

3

Michal Stinil

1

2

3

Pilots

G

A

Pts

Michael Muschitiello

3

3

6

Shawn Kennedy

2

4

6

Quinn Green

3

2

5

Luc Salem

2

3

5

Connor Zilisch

1

3

4

 

Inside the Game

  • The Lone Star Brahmas remain in first place in the NAHL South Division with 47 points. Topeka comes in at 3rd with 40 points. The Pilots do have two games in hand over Lone Star.
  • Matt Guerra (6G-28A) is currently tied for 6th in the league in scoring with 34 points. Joey Baez is tied for 15th with 29 points.
  • Joey Baez’s 17 goals has him tied for 3rd in the NAHL while Michal Stinil is tied for 16th with 13.
  • Matt Guerra leads the league with 28 assists on the season and Eric Huss (2G-19A) is tied for 13th with 19.
  • Matthew Rickard (6G-16A) is tied for 2nd in defenseman scoring. Topeka’s Luc Salem is tied for 6th at 18 points and Sam Brennan is tied for 20th.
  • Cayden Bailey has the 3rd best goals against average in the league at 1.54 GAA. Ludvig Persson is 5th with a 1.64 GAA and Guy Blessing is 14th with a 2.54 GAA. Josh Langford comes in with a 2.83 GAA but has not played sufficient minutes to qualify.
  • Cayden Bailey is 5th with a 0.938 SV% followed by Ludvig Persson with a 0.932 SV%. Guy Blessing sets in 25th with a 0.911 SV% and Josh Langford has a 0.876 SV%.
  • The Brahmas added goalie Corey Hendrickson to the roster in case Ludvig Persson is not ready to go following his injury in Shreveport.
  • Topeka and Lone Star are 4th and 5th in the league in average penalty minutes per game. The Pilots average 20.43 and the Brahmas average 18.22.
  • On paper the Brahmas should have the slight advantage in this matchup with the 12th best offense in the league averaging 3.06 goals per game and 2nd best defense allowing just 1.75 goals per game. Topeka comes in with the 18th ranked offense at 2.73 goals per game and 5th ranked defense allowing 2.33 goals per game.
  • The Pilots are riding a six game win streak.

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