The Lone Star Brahmas opened NAHL Showcase Tournament play this morning against the Kenai River Brown Bears. As they have in the young season and preseason, the Brahmas got off to a slow start in the first period.
Kenai River controlled play early registering the first eight shots of the game before the Brahmas got their first puck on net while on the powerplay. However, that first shot was a bomb off the stick of Alexey Solovyev putting Lone Star up 1-0. New comer Paul Fregeau carried the puck behind the net and sent it to Anthony Mousseau at the far point. Mousseau spotted Solovyev at center for the big onetimer. Time of the goal was 14:07.
The Brahmas lead would be short lived though as it took the Brown Bears just over a minute to pull even. Brahmas Defenseman Donovan Gardiner pulled the puck off the end boards in the defensive zone but lost an edge as he turned up ice in the near corner turning it over to Alec Butcher. Butcher gave the puck to Jack Bushey in the high slot for a wrister that was redirected past Mattais Soderqvist by Sebastian Fuchs.
Kenai took the lead for good at just 0:55 of the second period when the puck was worked out of the corner to Gustav Berglund at the far halfwall. He circled to center and sent the puck on net. Once again it was a Brown Bears redirect this time by Butcher that beat Soderqvist. With just over two minutes left in the second the Brahmas started a two on one rush into the offensive zone, but Nick Blasé was whistled for a hold behind the play putting the Brown Bears on the powerplay. It took Kenai just 22 seconds to convert. The Brown Bears worked the puck around the perimeter for a Bushey shot from the point that found the back of the net. Vincent Stefan and Fuchs picked up the assists.
The Brahmas made a run at the Brown Bears in the third picking up the intensity. At 3:13 Gardiner made a big poke check to knock the puck off the stick as Kenai tried to move the puck out of their end. Liam Stirtzinger gathered it in at the far point, toe dragged around a defenseman and sent it just under the crossbar to put Lone Star within one.
Exactly five minutes later, the Brahmas coughed the puck up in the neutral zone and Burgland carried it in down the near side on the attack. His saucer pass found the tape of Fuchs who had gotten behind the defense and he tipped it past Soderqvist for the final 4-2 score.
Shots on goal were a one sided affair with Kenai River outshooting the Brahmas 39-13. Both teams took advantage of the power play with the Brown Bears going 1-4 and the Brahmas 1-3.
Elsewhere around the South Division
Corpus Christi won their first game of the season 5-4 over the Minot Minotauros. Down two in the third Minot scored twice to pull even, but Maurin Bouvet scored his second of the night at 18:54 to give the Icerays the win.
After having swept Corpus Christi last weekend the Topeka Roadrunners lost to the Wenatchee Wild 5-2. The Roadrunners were facing a netminder they were familiar with as Mackenzie Sawyer who was the Topeka backup was in net for Wenatchee. The Wild blew open what had been a tight game with three third period goals to hand Topeka their first loss of the season.
Rio Grande Valley fell to Coulee Region 4-3 in a shootout. The Killer Bees went into the first intermission with a 2-1 lead only to see the Chill score two powerplay goals in the second to take the lead. After pulling the team even with an earlier third period goal Ben Greiner had a to seal the deal with a penalty shot at 19:42 of the third but was denied by Blake Cates.
The Wichita Falls Wildcats continued with their hot hand besting the Minnesota Magicians 4-3 in overtime. The Wildcats had multiple chances to put the game out of reach having seven powerplays, but the converted on only one man advantage. Kyle Bauman scored his second of the night at 4:07 of the extra period to grab the win.
The Odessa Jackalopes remain winless after dropping 4-1 decisions to the Wilderness. Minnesota got a pair of goals in both the first and second periods to jump out to a four goal lead and coasted through a game that featured only two minor penalties. Kasimir Kaskisuo made 25 saves on 26 shots faced to record the team’s first ever victory.
Amarillo doubled up Johnstown, defeating the Tomahawks 6-3. The Bulls scored two goals in each period will all six goals coming from a different shooter. Paul Berrafato made 22 saves for the win.
South Division Standings
|Rio Grande Valley||3||1||0||2||4||0.667|