The Brahmas opened a weekend series against Rio Grande at the State Farm Arena in Hidalgo on Friday night. The game was the fifth road game in seven days for the Brahmas and the bus legs were showing. Rio Grande controlled play for much of the evening and were winning races to nearly every loose puck.
Ian Janco put the Killer Bees on the board at 6:21 of the first on a shot from the far point that went off a body in front and redirected past TJ Black. Jared Dedenbach and Evan Schmidbauer were credited with the assists. Despite outshooting Lone Star 14 – 5 in the period they were only able to put the one goal past Black.
The second period was reflective of the first in that the Killer Bees had the puck in the offensive zone often. When the puck did cross the Rio blue line it was sent right back out without a shot approaching the net. At 8:36 a faceoff to Black’s left led to the Killer Bees second goal as Schmidbauer pulled the draw back to Connor Pelkey at the point for a onetimer through traffic. Again it appeared that even though they were being outshot 10 -2 in the period the Brahmas would escape giving up only a single goal. However, with just 17 seconds to go in the period Schmidbauer sent a rocket from just inside the blueline. Black flashed out the right pad to make the save, but Dedenbach was crashing the net and the puck went right onto his tape for the put back.
Rio Grande came out in the third setting back on their lead and it almost came back to bite them. As momentum started to swing toward the Brahmas as they found more open ice to move through. At 10:54 Anthony Mousseau chased down a loose at the near side hash mark and fired it on goal. Nick Schmit tried to kick it into the far corner, but he gave it right to Michael Cowley who was setting on the backdoor and he put it in the back of the net. The tally seemed to wake the offense up even further and the Brahmas began to get some extended pressure. Sebastian Vidmar, who recently threw the scoring monkey off his back, pulled the puck out of a pile along the end boards and carried it out front before firing it off of Schmit’s pads. RJ Salvato was waiting at the top of the crease and pounded the rebound through Schmit to pull the Brahmas within one. Time of the goal was 18:47. Lone Star had some excellent opportunities late in the period with the extra attacker but could not get the puck to bounce their way resulting in a 3 – 2 loss.
The Brahmas outshot the Killer Bees 8 – 4 in the third to cut the deficit for the game to 28 – 15. Once again the Brahmas power play let them down as they went 0 – 3 while holding Rio Grande to 0 – 1.
Elsewhere Around the NAHL South
Corpus Christi at Amarillo
Amarillo won their second 6 – 3 game in a row. The Bulls score one in the first, four in the second and one in the third while the Icerays managed only one per period. The Bulls’ Ben Jentsch picked up his second fighting major in as many games dropping the gloves with Lucas McDiarmid who is someone a little more his size. On New Years Eve, the 6’ 2” – 200 pound Jentsch butt ended the Brahmas Anthony Mousseau and then started throwing rights before the linemen could separate the players. Mousseau is 5’ 9” – 175. Collin Delia picked up his 12th win of the season making 29 saves.
Wichita Falls at Topeka
The Road Runners got a first period power play goal from Jake Kamrass and a third period marker from Mike Gornall as the only offense in the game. PJ Bridges did the rest turning aside all 29 shots that he faced for the shutout win.
Current NAHL South Standings