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Lone Star Brahmas Score Shootout Win Over Topeka

Lone Star Brahmas - Will Stromp Photo courtesy of David Dudich: Will Stromp scored the shootout game winner for the Lone Star Brahmas as they completed the sweep of the visit Topeka Pilots.


The Lone Star Brahmas opened a weekend series against the visiting Topeka Pilots with a 2-0 shutout win Friday and were looking for the sweep in game two. The Brahmas battled a puck that just didn’t seem to want to bounce their way all evening willing themselves to a win.

Topeka had the first scoring opportunity of the contest when Michael Muschitiello broke through the defense and went in uncontested on a lone man rush. Cayden Bailey came out to the front of his crease, backed in and made a big pad save to stone Muschitiello.

A strong personal effort by Cole Beilke led to the Brahmas taking the early lead. Beilke picked up the puck behind Bailey’s cage and went coast to coast dancing around multiple defenders. Beilke played the puck off the endboards then flipped a centering pass in front for Eric Huss to backhand over Josh Langford at the 6:17 mark.

Topeka made it a new game at 3:46 of the second. With the teams skating four on four, Connor Zilisch pulled the puck out of a battle along the endboards and sent a no look centering pass out front. Luc Salem grabbed it in the far circle then moved it to Jordan Gonzalez at the near hashmark for a wrister off Bailey’s glove and in.

Just over a minute later Lone Star jumped back on top. Bailey sent Huss up ice with Noah Roofe on his left. Huss gave up the puck at the blueline then continued toward the net for the return pass. As Huss cycled behind the net he put it off the back of Langford and in. Time of the goal was 4:57.

With just over 9:00 minutes to go in the frame Joey Baez had an open net from the backdoor. But Langford absolutely robbed the Brahmas leading goal scorer with the glove hand.

Topeka knotted it up once again off a neutral zone faceoff win by Austin McCarthy. McCarthy pushed it to Zilisch along the far wall then directed a return pass to John Gormley at the redline. Gormley’s dump in somehow avoided Bailey’s glove at the 15:01 mark for a goal that the Brahmas’ netminder would love to have back.

At the 7:12 mark of the third Nick Nardecchia who had been getting under the skin of the Brahmas all evening ended up with Malcolm Palmer behind the Brahmas net and some pleasantries were exchanged. Palmer ended up dropping the gloves and landed two quick right hooks before the linesmen stepped in. Nardecchia picked up a roughing minor while Palmer was hit with a roughing double minor.

As it had all night the puck would just not settle for Lone Star and a neutral zone turn over handed the Pilots their first lead of the night at 11:36 of the third. Quinn Green knocked the puck loose with McCarthy grabbing it and heading down the slot then giving it to Zilisch on the backdoor for a quick wrister past Bailey.

Coming out of the media timeout the teams lined up for a Brahmas’ offensive zone faceoff. The puck went into the near corner and eventually worked its way out to Will Stromp along the near halfwall. Stromp sent it across ice to Sam Brennan in the far circle for a touch pass to Matt Guerra in the crease for a redirect. Time of the goal was 12:01. A Matthew Francois crosschecking minor put Lone Star on the power play late in the frame. Baez dug it out of a scrum along the wall and sent Huss behind the net out the near side where he found Mitchell Digby all alone at the faceoff dot for a Howitzer of a onetimer at 17:18.

Unfortunately, with just 23 seconds left in regulation Green scored from the point through a screen to tie it up once again and send the game to overtime. Assists on the play went to Salem and Zilisch.

Following a scoreless extra five minutes of play the game would be decided by a shootout.

Green was first up for Topeka and sent it bar down over Bailey’s glove hand to put the Brahmas in an immediate hole.

Drew DeCarlo was first over the boards for Lone Star. He picked up the puck took it wide right delayed slightly then ripped it low stick side to pull the Brahmas even.

Zilisch and Guerra both missed in the second round.

Bailey made a big toe save on McCarthy then Baez was stopped with a glove save by Langford.

In the fourth round Bailey made a sprawling save to deny Shawn Kennedy setting the stage for Stromp.

The Plano native took the puck wide right then back to the left as he approached the net he went backhand-forehand to get Langford moving and slammed it inside the far post for the game winner.

Shots on goal were 27-18 in favor of the Lone Star Brahmas. They also scored the only special teams goal of the game going 1-6 while holding Topeka scoreless on five opportunities.




Elsewhere Around the NAHL South

Corpus Christi at Shreveport

Shreveport took care of business against the visiting IceRays on Saturday. Timofei Khokhlachev scored his second of the weekend just over two minutes into the contest. Giovanni Procopio added to the scoring for a 2-0 lead going into the second. Warren Natyshak had an unassisted goal for the only scoring in the second and Jacob Smith added another early in the third followed by a late goal from Garrett Steele. Richie Parent picked up the shutout on 32 saves.

Amarillo at New Mexico

For the second night in a row the Bulls had to battle their way through the Ice Wolves. The teams traded first period goals with Devan Tongue lighting the lamp for Amarillo. Jordan Venegoni and Niclas Piokkonen pushed the Amarillo lead to 3-1 in the second. New Mexico got one back on the power play in the third but could not get the equalizer. Max Gutjahr logged the win on 22 saves.


Current NAHL South Standings

Lone Star Brahmas 34 25 8 0 1 51
Amarillo Bulls 31 23 5 1 2 49
Topeka Pilots 32 19 10 1 2 41
Shreveport Mudbugs 29 20 9 0 0 40
Corpus Christi IceRays 33 13 15 2 3 31
Odessa Jackalopes 28 7 19 1 1 16
New Mexico Ice Wolves 33 5 25 1 2 13

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