Lone Star Brahmas vs Rio Grande Killer Bees Preview

 

Hidalgo Texas is the site for the Lone Star Brahmas next two games as they will face off against the Rio Grande Killer Bees. These two teams have faced each other a total of eight times so far this season and the Brahmas have a 3 – 3 – 2 record against the Killer Bees. Only three of the eight games have been decided in regulation with Rio Grande winning all three. Of the five games that have gone to overtime, three eventually ended in a shootout with Lone Star prevailing in two of the three. The Brahmas won 4 – 3 via shootout in their most recent meeting after dropping a 2 – 0 decision the previous night.

 

The games against Rio Grande will be the final two games of a six game in eight day stretch all on the road. Lone Star swept Odessa before heading to Amarillo for a pair. In game one against Amarillo the Brahmas put up a good effort losing 2 – 0 on a pair of second period goals. TJ Black made 29 saves in a losing effort. On New Years Eve, Jett Salinas got the start in net for the Brahmas and faced 34 shots allowing three goals through the 11:51 mark of the second. Sebastian Vidmar (Matt Lison) had a first period goal which stood as Lone Star’s only tally through two periods. Amarillo got a goal with about nine minutes to go in the third against TJ Black who had replaced Salinas with 8:09 left in the second. Donovan Gardiner (Michael Crowley) answered at 12:42 with the Brahmas first short handed goal of the season. After the Bulls reestablished their three goal lead at the 17:11 mark, Alex Dagnal (Nick Blasé, Conner Enciso) pulled the Brahmas ack to within striking distance at 18:37. However, it was not to be as Amarillo got an empty net power play goal with nine seconds to go for the 6 – 3 win.

 

Rio Grande is coming off a hard fought home-and-home series against the Corpus Christi Icerays. Both games in the series were won by the visiting team with the Killer Bees taking Friday’s game 2 – 1. Ben Greiner (Jared Dedenbach, Ian Janco) scored first for Rio Grande just 21 seconds into the second only to see Corpus Christi tie it up late in the period. Evan Schmidbauer (Anthony Croston, JB Baker) put the Bees back on top at 1:08 of the third and Nick Schmit made the one goal lead stand up the rest of the way. Schmit allowed only the one goal on 26 shots faced for the win. On Saturday, the teams headed back to Hidalgo where the Icerays scored just past midway in the first for the only goal of the contest. Schmit was once again in net for Rio Grande facing only 13 shots in the game.

 

Last 5 Games W L OTL Pts
Brahmas 3 2 0 6
Killer Bees 2 2 1 5

 

Special Teams

 

December was the best special teams month of the season so far for the Brahma. They scored 8 power play goals on 44 opportunities while allowing 8 goals on 40 times short handed. So it is no coincidence that they had a .556 winning percentage for the month. The Brahmas have 4 power play goals against Rio Grande this season on 25 opportunities. However, they have allowed the Killer Bees to convert 10 of 31 power play opportunities.

 

Lone Star’s road power play is still languishing near the bottom of the league at just 7.5% on 5 goals in 67 opportunities. They will be facing a Killer Bees home penalty kill that is ranked 14th in the league having allowed 10 goals on 65 penalty kills for 84.6%.

 

As with the road power play the Brahmas penalty kill has struggled all season. They currently are last in the league at 72.2% having killed off just 57 of 79 opponent power plays. Rio Grande will throw a decent home power play unit at them which is scoring at a 17.7% pace with 11 goals on 62 opportunities good for 7th in the league.

 

Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games

 

GP

W

L

OTL

SO

GA

GAA

SV

SV%

Brahmas

5

3

2

0

0

14

2.80

142

.910

Killer Bees

5

2

2

1

1

8

1.60

97

.924

 

Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)

 

Brahmas

G

A

Pts

Matt Lison

2

1

3

Michael Crowley

0

3

3

Austin Thielges

0

3

3

Sebastian Vidmar

0

2

2

Three Tied at

1

1

2

 
Killer Bees

 G

A

Pts

Evan Schmidbauer

1

2

3

Anthony Croston

1

2

3

Sean Mostrom

1

2

3

Four Tied at

1

1

2

 

Inside the Game

 

Matt Lison with 5G – 2A, Alexey Solovyev 1G – 4A and Jan Hudecek 0G – 5A lead the Brahmas in scoring against Rio Grande. Ben Greiner has 1G – 8A to lead the Killer Bees against the Brahmas. Anthony Croston 5G – 2A and Tyler Bruneteau 4G – 3A have each chipped in five points apiece.

 

Ben Greiner is currently tied for ninth in the league in scoring with 30 points. If he has the puck on his tape in the offensive zone look for it to head toward the net as he is second in the league in shots on goal with 149.

 

With 14 goals, Matt Lison is tied for 7th in the league.

 

Rio Grande’s Adam Morrison is 4th in the league in PIM’s with an even 100 and tied for the league lead in majors with 6.

 

Nick Schmit is 4th in the league with a 1.71 GAA and is 14th with a .919 SV%. The Brahmas’ TJ Black has a 2.19 GAA and a .919 SV% while Jett Salinas has a 2.52 GAA and a .913 SV%.

 

The Brahmas are second in the league in PIMs per game at 24.18, the Killer Bees are 6th at 20.85 per game.

 

Both teams have done fairly well in one goal games this season. The Brahmas are 8 – 1 – 2 whereas the Killer Bees are 8 – 4 – 7.

 

Rio Grande leads the league in major penalties with 35 while Lone Star leads in 10 minute misconducts with 15.

 

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.

 

If the Brahmas are to have an outside shot of reaching the playoffs this series and the series at home on January 17th and 18th against Rio Grande are critical for the Brahmas. The Killer Bees are holding down the fourth and final playoff spot in the NAHL South 17 points ahead of the Brahmas. Cutting eight points off that lead would go a long way toward a late season playoff push.

 

Recent Roster Movement

 

The Brahmas have made no recent moves.

 

Rio Grande traded Forward Nicklas Balboa to Walpole in the EHL and released Forward Trent Dillinger. Balboa had played in one game against Lone Star with no scoring. Dillinger had 1G – 0A in four games played against the Brahmas.

Next Stars Game Full schedule »
Saturday, Oct 2525 Oct7:00at New York IslandersBuy Tickets

Tags: Lone Star Brahmas NAHL

comments powered by Disqus