The Lone Star Brahmas pulled off the stunning series sweep of Amarillo on Saturday with a 4 – 0 shutout victory, sending the Bulls back to the panhandle licking their wounds. As with Friday’s game the first period ended with the teams deadlocked in a scoreless tie. The pattern continued when the Brahmas took the lead in the second period.
Czechoslovakia native, Jan Hudecek was the offensive catalyst for the Brahmas and kicked off the scoring at the 4:15 mark of the second when he put back a Johan Steen rebound from the high slot. Hudecek’s blast beat Paul Berrafato blocker side for a 1 – 0 lead. Matt Lison who had set up Steen’s shot was credited with the secondary assist on the play. Hudecek picked up his second goal of the contest following a big play by Conner Enciso to pull the puck out of a puck battle along the end boards. Enciso sent it to Todd Koritzinsky in the near corner and he spotted Hudecek sneaking down from the point for a rocket past Berrafato chasing him from net. Time of the goal was 11:30. At 14:29 Enciso made another big play picking clean a breakout pass up the near side. Enciso fed the puck to Koritzinsky breaking back into the zone and his wrister found the back of the net past Colin Delia’s blocker.
Amarillo had a golden opportunity late in the period when the Brahmas went down two men for 35 seconds. Despite the two man advantage the Bulls’ league leading power play got off only a single shot on goal. Lone Star went on to kill off the balance of the power play and never looked back. With just two minutes to go in the second the Brahmas had cleared the puck and Roman Ammirato picked it up behind the Bulls net and headed up ice. Hudecek met Ammirato at the Brahmas blue line and absolutely destroyed him with a clean open ice hit. Brendan McGuire who is 6’ 5” and 210 pounds jumped the 5’ 10” and 175 Hudecek and tried to throw rights. Hudecek immediately covered up resulting in McGuire getting two for instigating, five for fighting and the gate. However, the Bulls were able to kill off the penalties due in part to an Anthony Mousseau interference call that wiped out two minutes of the man advantage.
The Brahmas would finally break through on the power play just past the mid point of the third period. This time, Enciso who had already picked up two assists on the night got the goal. Austin Thielgas made a tremendous keep of an Amarillo clearing attempt at the near point and then gave the puck to Hudecek at the half wall. Hudecek made the across ice pass to Enciso anchored just off the far post for the tip in.
TJ Black stood tall in net for the Brahmas all evening making several big saves to preserve the shutout turning aside all 23 shots he faced. It was Black’s second win in a row and first shutout since joining the Brahmas. Hudecek had three points on the night with 2G – 1A as did Enciso with 1G – 2A. Koritzinsky also had a multi point game with 1G – 1A.
Amarillo won the shots on goal battle 23 – 14, but for the second night in a row the Brahmas held the Bulls power play in check. Amarillo was 0 – 7 with the man advantage to go only 1 of 11 for the weekend. The Brahmas were 1 – 6 on the power play after going 4 – 7 on Friday. Amarillo saw their penalty kill fall from the third best unit in the league to eighth after giving up five goals to the Brahmas in the series.
The Brahmas will head to Wichita Falls and the Kay Yeager Coliseum on Wednesday for a single game against the Wildcats.
Elsewhere Around The NAHL South
The Wichita Falls Wildcats rebounded from a 3 – 0 shutout loss last night to garner a split with the Rio Grande Killer Bees. The teams traded goals in the second period with Adam Morrison putting Rio Grande on the board at the 2:30 mark. Tyler Ledford tied it up on the power play at 9:38 where is stayed through the rest of regulation and overtime. Kyle Bauman had the shootout game winner while David Zevnik turned aside 30 shots in regulation and overtime and then three of five in the shootout for the win.
Corpus Christi completed the road sweep of the Odessa Jackalopes. After falling behind on a Trace Jablin goal in the first, the Icerays ripped off four unanswered, all on the power play, to take the 4 – 1 win. Brad LeLievre scored in the first, Jake Durflinger in the second and Martin Hojbjerg added a pair in the third. Hojbjerg also had two assists for a four point night. Ben Myers got the win with 25 saves.
Topeka fell 3 – 1 to the Jr Blues on the road in Springfield, IL. Tomas Nechala scored late in the first for the Road Runners, but Springfield responded with three goals in the third from Kevin Shand and a pair from Patrick Curry. PJ Bridges made 23 saves in the loss.
Current NAHL South Division Standings