Lone Star Brahmas - Wichita Falls Wildcats Preview

The Lone Star Brahmas and Wichita Falls Wildcats will play a home and home series this weekend starting Friday night at the Kay Yeager Coliseum in Wichita Falls. Saturday night the series will conclude at the NyTex Sports Centre in North Richland Hills.

 

This will be the back half of a tough week for the Brahmas who will be going into Wichita Falls on one days rest after loosing a pair of games at home to Amarillo on Tuesday and Wednesday.

 

In game one of the Amarillo series the Brahmas fought hard and skated with the Bulls for much of the night coming up just short as Amarillo got a late empty netter to grab a 4 – 2 win. After staking the Bulls to a two goal lead in the first, the Brahmas came roaring back in the second on and unassisted goal from Alexey Solovyev and an RJ Salvato tally which was his sixth point in four games. Salvato was assisted by Kellen Wasell and Gordie Helmuth. In the third Amarillo picked up an early power play goal and then added the empty netter with less than a minute to play.

 

Early on in Wednesday’s game it appeared that it would be another close contest. The Bulls got a power play goal early for the only scoring in the first. They scored two more in the first half of the second to take a three goal lead into the second intermission. Sitting on the lead coming into the third the Bulls were able to open up the offense and pour in four third period goals to make it a route. Special teams played a big part in the series as the Brahmas were 0 – 12 on the power play including two full two minute 5 on 3’s, while Amarillo capitalized on 5 of 11 opportunities.

 

The Wildcats last played over the weekend hosting Rio Grande for a pair of contests. The Bees went into Wichita   Falls setting in third place in the division two points back of the Wildcats. Rio Grande was able to sweep the Wildcats on their home ice to vault over them in the standings pushing Wichita Falls into third place. Wichita Falls managed just a single goal in each game with Josh Haverstrom netting both. On Friday Haverstrom got an unassisted shorty in the 4 – 1 loss and followed that in the first period Saturday with an assist from Tyler Ledford in the 3 – 1 loss. After getting off to a quick start, the Wildcats have gone 4 – 5 – 1 in their last ten games with two wins coming via a shootout.

Last 5 Games   W   L   OTL   Pts
Brahmas

2

3

0

4

Wildcats

1

3

1

3

 

Special Teams

 

Special Teams have been the Achilles Heal for The Brahmas this season. They currently have a -17 special teams goal differential. Power play goals by their opponents have been the margin of victory in 5 of Lone Stars 12 losses this season.

 

The Brahmas road power play is currently ranked 18th in the league at just 9.7% converting 3 of 31 opportunities. They will be facing a strong Wildcats home penalty kill that is 6th in the league allowing 6 goals on 56 times short handed or 9.7%

 

Lone Star’s road penalty kill ranks dead last in the league at 68.9%. They have allowed 14 goals on 54 penalty kills. They get a bit of a break against a Wichita Falls home power play that has not been burning it up this season. Currently the Wildcats are 19th in the league scoring on 6 of 59 power plays for 10.2%.

Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games

 

GP

W

L

OTL

SO

GA

GAA

SV

SV%

Brahmas

5

2

3

0

0

19

3.80

127

.870

Wildcats

5

1

3

1

0

15

3.00

116

.885

Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)

Brahmas

G

A

Pts

RJ Salvato

2

4

6

Alexey Solovyev

1

3

4

Kellen Wasell

1

2

3

Conner Enciso

2

0

2

Donovan Gardiner

2

0

2

 
Wildcats

 G

A

Pts

Josh Haverstrom

3

0

3

Colin Staub

1

2

3

Jordan Jancze

1

0

1

Rudy Junda

1

0

1

5 Tied At

0

1

1

Inside the Game

 

There will be three Defensemen in the series that rank in the top ten in Defensemen scoring. The Brahmas’ Anthony Mousseau is 6th with 3G-8A. Alexey Solovyev is tied with Wichita Falls’ Sam Piazza at 7th both with 2G-8A.

 

Wildcats Forward Stan Sojka leads the league in Major Penalties with 5. With the Wildcats leading the league with 19 Major Penalties and 7 10 Minute Misconducts.

 

Lone Star Forward Kellen Wasell will be making his return to Wichita Falls where he started the season and played four games with the Wildcats. Since joining the Brahmas Wasell has 1G-2A in five games.

 

Wichita Falls goaltenders David Zevnik and Chase Munroe are 7th and 9th in the league with goals against averages of 1.95 and 2.17.

 

Both Alexey Solovyev and RJ Salvato had four game scoring streaks snapped on Wednesday in the loss to Amarillo.

 

The Brahmas have played the toughest schedule to date in the NAHL South. The combined opponent winning percentage of each team in the division is Lone Star .585, Odessa .547, Amarillo .531, Wichita Falls .522, Corpus Christi .520, Rio Grande .503 and Topeka .496.

 

The Wildcats offense has struggled a bit lately averaging only 1.4 goals per game in their last five. Lone Star on the other had has averaged 2.2 goals per game despite the Wednesday shutout loss.

 

The Brahmas have been making some slow but steady improvement in many facets of their game. Through their first seven games of the season they had a -17 per game shots of goal differential and a -2.57 goals per game differential. With some system changes implemented by Head Coach Dan Wildfong and recent roster moves; those numbers over the last five games have fallen to a -5.2 shots on goal differential and a -1.20 goals per game differential. Now if they can only get a handle on the special teams play, the Brahmas could be in a position to turn around their season.

Recent Roster Movement

There are no recent roster moves for either team.

 

Tickets are still available for Saturday 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: Lone Star Brahmas NAHL Wichita Falls Wildcats

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