Lone Star Brahmas vs Rio Grande Killer Bees Preview

The Brahmas will face the Rio Grande Killer Bees at the NyTex Sports Centre for the first time since the opening weekend of the season. Friday night will be Teddy Bear Toss night. Fans are encouraged to bring a new unwrapped stuffed toy to throw on the ice following the Brahmas first goal. All Teddy Bears collected will be donated to local charities and less fortunate youth.

 

So far this NAHL season Lone Star has a 2 – 2 – 2 record against the Bees with four of the six games going into extra time. Games one and two were both decided in overtime while games five and six went to a shootout.

 

After sweeping the Amarillo Bulls last weekend, the Brahmas went to Wichita Falls on Wednesday for a single game. Just like the last time they were in the Kay Yeager Coliseum, Lone Star came up on the short end of a lopsided score. While the Brahmas have elevated their level of play recently, they reverted to their roller coaster play of earlier in the season. The Wildcats had built a 4 – 0 lead before Kellen Wasell (Conner Enciso, Todd Koritzinsky) got the Brahmas on the board late in the second. Liam Stirtzinger (Nick Blasé, Ryan Watson) connected less than two minutes into the third, but Wichita Falls got the next two including a shorthanded empty netter to closeout the 6 – 2 win. Things got ugly late as Hogan Davidson ran Conner Enciso who was down on his knees getting back to his skates from a previous hit. Davidson had a full head of steam when he connected with Enciso sending Enciso to the locker room. This is the second trip into Wichita Falls where a cheap shot has resulted in a Brahmas player being injured.

 

Rio Grande played a pair of games against the same Wichita Falls Wildcats last weekend. On Friday night the Killer Bees scored three first period goals by Evan Schmidbauer, Dean Balsamo and Anthony Croston for the only scores in the game in a 3 – 0 win. Olli Kalkaja stopped all 16 shots he saw for the shutout. On Saturday, the teams traded second period goal with Adam Morrison opening the scoring for the Bees. Things were even the rest of the way with the game going into a shootout. Ben Greiner and Croston scored for Rio Grande in the shootout, but Kalkaja allowed three by the Wildcats after making 31 saves through overtime to take the loss.

 

Last 5 Games    W   L    OTL   Pts
Brahmas

2

2

1

5

Killer Bees

2

2

1

5

 

Special Teams

 

The Brahma uptick in play has spilled over into the special teams as well. They still have a way to go before the league begins to dial down their aggressive play against Lone Star. Against Rio Grande, Lone Star is 2 for 17 on the power play, bat have struggled to 16 for 23 on the penalty kill.

 

With 10 goals scored on 67 opportunities, the Brahmas are at 14.9% good for 14th in the league. Rio Grande’s road penalty kill has been playing well and set 6th in the league at 88.6% killing off 39 of 44 penalties.

 

Lone Star’s home penalty kill is ranked 16th in the league at 83.1% allowing 13 goals on 77 times short handed. Luckily they will be facing Rio Grande’s road power play rather than the home version which is ranked 6th. On the road the Killer Bees are 21st with only 4 goals on 49 opportunities or 8.2%.

 

Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games

 

GP

W

L

OTL

SO

GA

GAA

SV

SV%

Brahmas

5

2

2

1

1

13

2.60

129

.908

Killer Bees

5

2

2

1

1

13

2.60

100

.885

 

Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)

 

Brahmas

G

A

Pts

Jan Hudecek

3

5

8

Matt Lison

4

3

7

Conner Enciso

1

4

5

Todd Koritzinsky

1

3

4

Kellen Wasell

2

0

2

 
Killer Bees

 G

A

Pts

Evan Schmidbauer

2

2

4

Ben Greiner

1

3

4

Anthony Croston

2

1

3

Tyler Bruneteau

1

2

3

Dean Balsamo

1

1

2

 

Inside the Game

 

Matt Lison with 4G – 2A leads the Brahmas against Rio Grande while Liam Stirtzinger with 2G – 2A, Alexey Solovyev 1G – 3A and Jan Hudecek 0G – 4A lead the Brahmas in scoring against Rio Grande. Ben Greiner has 1G – 7A to lead the Killer Bees against the Brahmas. Anthony Croston, Tyler Bruneteau and Dylan Abood have each chipped in five points apiece.

 

Lone Star’s Anthony Mousseau is tied for 14th in the league in Defenseman scoring with 3G – 11A.

 

Geriner is tied for 8thth in the league in scoring with 12G – 16A in 29 games played and first in shots on goal with 132.

 

Defenseman Alexey Solovyev leads the league in Defenseman shootout goals with two and tied for first in shootout percentage at .667% for those with more than one attempt.

 

Rio Grande’s Cam Ashley and Adam Morrison are tied for 4th in the league in PIM’s with 81 apiece.

 

Olli Kalkaja 8th with a 1.91 GAA and is 18th with a .914 SV%. TJ Black is setting on a 2.30 GAA and a .915 SV%.

 

Brahmas’ Forward Alex Dagnal is eligible to return to the lineup following his suspension following his fight in Corpus Christi.

 

The Brahmas are the 2nd most penalized team in the league averaging 24.70 minutes per game. Rio Grande is 11th at 18.41 minutes per game. The Killer Bees are tied for 2nd in Major Penalties with 26.

 

Lone Star is 6 – 7 – 1 at home and 2 – 11 – 1 averaging nearly half a goal per game more at home than on the road and allowing 1.36 fewer goals per game at home.

 

Recent Roster Movement

 

The Brahmas released Defenseman Ayrton Valente and added Goaltender Jett Salinas. Valente had played 7 games with 0G – 1A. Salinas started last season with Corpus Christi and had a 2 – 3 – 1 record with a 3.53 GAA and a .882 SV%. Following the Icerays he went to Helena in the AWHL where he was 23 – 3 – 0 with 10 shutouts and a 1.26 GAA and a .955 SV%.

 

Rio Grande released Defenseman Niklas Kumpu. Kumpu had played 8 games with the Killer Bees with no points scored.

 

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: Lone Star Brahmas NAHL

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