Lone Star Brahmas vs. Wichita Falls Wildcats Preview


On Wednesday the Lone Star Brahmas will travel to Wichita Falls to faceoff against the Wildcats at Kay Yeager Coliseum. In three previous meetings this season the Brahmas have compiled a 1 – 2 – 0 record. After a dreadful 9 – 1 drubbing on the road, the Brahmas have been very competitive against Wichita Falls in two home games. Lone Star picked up a 2 – 1 win the night after the loss in Wichita Falls then on November 27th they lost 3 – 1 with a late empty net goal.

 

The Brahmas pulled off a stunning sweep of the defending Robertson Cup National Champions and current NAHL leading Amarillo Bulls over the weekend. Not only did Lone Star pick up the two wins, but they did so in rather convincing fashion.

 

Friday night saw the teams skate to a scoreless tie through the first period, but this was just the calm before the storm. The Brahmas erupted for three power play goals in the second period after having scored only one goal on their previous 46 power play attempts. The break through on the power play was remarkable considering that coming into the series the Bulls had the third best penalty kill in the league. Kellen Wasell (Conner Enciso, Todd Koritzinsky) got things going for the Brahmas at the 9:53 mark. Amarillo came back just a few minutes later with a power play goal of their own before Captain Matt Lison went on a tear. Lison’s (Anthony Mousseau, Austin Thielges) first came with 1:25 left in the first and he followed it up almost immediately with his second from Jan Hudecek at the 19:20 mark. The Brahmas’ late period outburst was aided by a Mike Davis unsportsmanlike conduct minor which set off Bull’s Head Coach Dennis Williams. Williams picked up a bench minor and an early exit in the process. Lison and Hudecek teamed up again for another power play tally with 16 seconds left in the third to give Lison the hat trick and the Brahmas the 4 – 1 win. TJ Black was outstanding in net turning aside all but one of the 27 shots he faced.

 

As good as the Brahmas were on Friday they were even better on Saturday. As they had Friday the teams went into the first intermission with zeros on the scoreboard, and once again Lone Star put three on the board in the middle frame. On this night it was Hudecek who did the heavy lifting for the offense. After a Koritzinsky (Enciso) goal at 5:31 of the second, Hudecek (Koritzinsky, Enciso) scored at 8:30, Hudecek (Johan Steen, Lison) added his second of the night at 15:45. Hudecek also introduced himself to Roman Ammirato with a crushing open ice check as the Bull’s forward carried the puck into the offensive zone. Brendan McGuire took exception to what was a clean hit and jumped Hudecek earning an early shower and giving the Brahmas a seven minute power play. In the third period Enciso (Hudecek, Thielgas) found the back of the net at 9:21 for a bit of insurance. TJ Black once again battled all evening make some huge saves down the stretch to earn his second NAHL win and first NAHL shutout.

 

Wichita Falls was on the road against Rio Grande over the weekend. They lost game one on Friday by a 3 – 0 score. The Killer Bees scored all their goals in the second period and then held on for the win. The Wildcat’s David Zevnik took the loss allowing the three goals on 16 shots faced. Saturday saw Rio Grande jump out to a lead early in the second before Tyler Ledford (Sam Piazza, Ben Kucera) knotted it up at the 9:38 mark. The two team went the rest of regulation and overtime without another score to send the game to a shootout. Wichita Falls got shootout goals from Rudy Junda, Kucera and Kyle Bauman while Zevnik held the Killer Bees to two shootout goals for the win. Zevnik stopped 30 of 31 shots faced on the night.

 

Wednesday night’s matchup will be the first time that Wildcat’s Defenseman Mitch Mueller will have a chance to face his former team. The Brahmas traded Mueller in early November.

 

Last 5 Games   W   L   OTL   Pts
Brahmas

2

2

1

5

Wildcats

3

2

0

6

 

Special Teams

 

Special Teams which have not been a bright spot for the Brahmas this season played exceptionally well against the Bulls. Considering that Amarillo had the number one power play and number three penalty kill entering the series, the Brahmas 1 – 11 performance on the penalty kill and 5 – 13 performance on the power play were outstanding. The Wildcats power play has been middle of the road so far this season, but their penalty kill has been playing very well.

 

The Brahmas’ road power play is currently ranked 19th in the league at just 9.1% converting 4 of 44 opportunities. They will be looking to carry the momentum out of the Amarillo series into Wichita Falls. The Wildcats home penalty kill will be a test for the Brahmas as they are currently setting at 6th in the league allowing 7 goals on 67 times short handed or 89.6%

 

Lone Star’s road penalty kill is in the cellar ranking last in the league at 69.0%. They have allowed 18 goals on 58 penalty kills. Facing Wichita Falls’ home power play may give them an opportunity to improve on those numbers. Wichita Falls currently ranks 16th in the league with a home power play that is 9 for 66 or 13.6%.

 

Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games

 

GP

W

L

OTL

SO

GA

GAA

SV

SV%

Brahmas

5

2

2

1

1

8

1.59

119

.937

Wildcats

5

3

2

0

0

11

2.20

108

.908

 

Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)

 

Brahmas

G

A

Pts

Matt Lison

4

3

7

Jan Hudecek

3

4

7

Conner Enciso

1

4

5

Todd Koritzinsky

2

2

4

Alexey Solovyev

1

1

2

 
Wildcats

 G

A

Pts

Will Vosejpka

1

4

5

Tyler Ledford

1

3

4

Colin Staub

3

0

3

Jake Townsend

1

2

3

Kyle Bauman

1

2

3

 

Inside the Game

 

Wichita Falls’ David Zevnik and Chase Munroe are among the league leaders in net. Zevnik is currently 7th in the league with a 1.90 GAA and tied for 9th with a .923 SV% in 16 games played. Munroe is 11th with a 2.18 GAA and 16th with a .916 SV% over 15 games played. TJ Black has comparable numbers in his 6 games played since joining the Brahmas. Black has a 1.83 GAA and a .929 SV%.

 

There will be three defensemen on the ice who rank among the league leaders in Defenseman Scoring. The Wildcats’ Sam Piazza 3G- 13A along with the Brahmas’ Anthony Mousseau 3G – 11A and Alexey Solovyev 3G – 9A.

 

Wildcats Defenseman Andrew Kerr is 7th in the league in PIM’s with 77 minutes. The Wildcats as a team are second in the league with 26 Major Penalties.

 

The Brahmas are currently the 2nd most penalized team in the league at 24.70 minutes per game. Wichita Falls is 5th with 21.17 minutes per game. Lone Star leads the league in 10 Minute Misconducts with 10.

 

Wichita Falls has 6 short handed goals to tie for the league lead.

 

The Brahmas have who were being outshot by a wide margin to start the season have cut into the deficit substantially. During the first two months of the season the Brahmas had a -22.3 shots on goal differential since November 1st they have a -9.15 differential.

 

Half of the Brahmas season point total of 18 have come in the last nine games. A win in Wichita Falls would pull them even with Odessa in the standings as they enter their weekend series at home against Rio Grande.

 

Recent Roster Movement

 

Wichita Falls traded Defenseman Kristaps Bazevics to New Jersey of the MJHL. Bazevics had played in 24 games with 1G – 3A and 57 PIM’s. They added Defenseman Mitch Mueller who has a lot of connections with many of the Brahmas players. Mueller played last season with the Texas Tornado prior to the move to North Richland Hills as the Brahmas and played 15 games with Lone Star at the start of this season.

 

 

 

 

Tags: Lone Star Brahmas NAHL