Lone Star Brahmas - Amarillo Bulls Preview

 

The answer to the age old question of “where’s the beef?” will have an obvious answer this week as the Lone Star Brahmas host the Amarillo Bulls on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. This will be the first meeting of the season between two teams that find themselves at opposite ends of the spectrum early in the campaign.

 

Amarillo has carried over their NAHL Champion swagger from last season and is currently tied for second overall in the league and first in the South Division. The Bulls have benefitted from a favorable schedule playing 10 of their 16 games at home where they are 9-1-0. The Brahmas on the other hand have struggled out of the gate following a three point weekend at home to open the season. Since that opening series against Rio Grande, the Brahmas have played all but two games on the road to stand at 4-10-1 overall. Lone Star trails the Bulls by 16 points in the always tough NAHL South Division.

 

Lone Star last took to the ice in an October 25-26 series against resurgent Odessa at the NyTex Sports Centre. The Brahmas have made some recent roster moves to address their lack of scoring and those changes paid early dividends against the Jackalopes. The Brahmas took game one on Friday night 3 – 2 with goals from newcomer Conner Enciso, Donovan Gardiner and Anthony Mousseau. Jacob Nehama made 25 saves for the win.

 

In game two Kellen Wasell and Drew Gannon, both playing in their first series with the Brahmas, teamed up to stake Lone Star to a first period lead. The lead was short lived as Odessa got a good bounce and tied it up with a short handed goal. In the middle frame Enciso got his second in a Brahmas sweater before Odessa scored three times to take a 4 – 2 lead. Gardiner scored late in the third to give the Brahmas a chance, but they fell one goal short for the split.

 

Amarillo will come into NyTex on only one day’s rest coming off their weekend shutout sweep of visiting Topeka. The Bulls used a balance attack against the Road Runners getting goals from five different players to take 4 – 0 and 2 – 0 wins. Collin Delia made 25 saves in game one while Paul Berrafato made 36 saves in game two.

 

Last 5 Games   W   L   OTL   Pts
Brahmas

2

3

0

 4

Bulls

4

1

0

 8

 

Special Teams

 

The Brahmas’ home power play is currently ranked fifth in the league at 23.8% converting on five of 21 opportunities. They will be facing an Amarillo road penalty kill that is fourteenth in the league allowing three goals on 19 times short handed or 84.2%

 

When on the penalty kill, Lone Star will need to step it up a bit against the Bulls. The Brahma’s home penalty kill is setting at twelfth in the league at 86.7% killing off 26 of 30 opponent’s power plays. The Bulls are sporting the league’s second best road power play at 19.0% scoring four goals on 21 opportunities.

 

Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games

 

GP

W

L

OTL

SO

GA

GAA

SV

SV%

Brahmas

5

2

3

0

0

16

3.20

154

.906

Bulls

5

4

1

0

0

5

1.00

124

.961

 

Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)

 

Brahmas

G

A

Pts

RJ Salvato

1

4

5

Anthony Mousseau

2

1

3

Liam Stirtzinger

1

2

3

Alexey Solovyev

0

3

3

Conner Enciso

2

0

2

 
Bulls

 G

A

Pts

Tyler Gernhofer

4

2

6

Matt Sieckhaus

1

4

5

Roman Ammirato

1

3

4

Cody Gylling

1

2

3

Kyle Gattelaro

1

2

3

 

Inside the Game

 

Anthony Mousseau continues to be among the league leaders in Defenseman scoring with 11 points on 3G – 8A good for fifth in the league. Alexey Solovyev is ninth with 1G – 8A and 9 points.

 

Amarillo has three skaters in the top 15 in scoring in the league. Matt Sieckhaus (8G-12A) is tied for third, Tyler Gernhofer (12G-7A) is tied for fifth and Roman Ammirato (4G-13A) is twelfth.

 

Recent Brahmas additions Conner Enciso, Kellen Wasell and Drew Gannon have recorded 3G-2A over the last three games.

 

The Bulls have been getting outstanding play between the pipes this season. Collin Delia is leading the league with a 0.93 GAA and a 0.965 SV% to earn the Brian’s Custom Sports NAHL Goaltender of the Month. Paul Berrafato is tied for fourteenth at 2.35 GAA and seventeenth with a 0.916 SV%.

 

The Brahmas have played much better in their limited home games with a 2-3-1 record. Amarillo, while building an impressive home record is just 3-2-1 on the road.

 

The Bulls lead the league in PIM’s per game average with 26.56 and Majors with 19. Lone Star is third in the league averaging 21.40 PIM’s per game. However, the Brahmas have been working at staying out of the box and have averaged just 10.40 PIM’s per game over the last five games.

 

Of the Brahmas’ 15 games this season only six have come at home, the fewest in the South Division and tied for the fewest in the league.

 

Recent Roster Movement

 

The Brahmas have had made several recent roster moves. They have added Goalie Shane Joyce and Forwards Kellen Wasell, Conner Enciso, Drew Gannon and Sebastian Vidmar. Brief bios of each player are available here. Forwards Paul Fregeau and Liam Stirtziner along with Defenseman Austin Thielges were added to the Inactive List.

 

Tickets are still available for both Tuesday and Wednesday night. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Lone Star Brahmas Sales Office at 817-336-4423 or at the NyTex Box Office.

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Tags: Amarillo Bulls Lone Star Brahmas NAHL

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