Photo Courtesy of David Dudich: Sebastian Vidmar had his best night yet in a Brahmas sweater scoring twice in regulation then adding the shootout game winner. The Brahmas came back from two down, twice to scratch out the 5 - 4 win.

Brahmas Erase Two Goal Deficits Twice For 5 – 4 Win


Following the loss on Saturday night, the Brahmas entered Sunday’s game hoping history would repeat itself. In each of their previous series the Road Runners won game one with the Brahmas bouncing back to take game two.

Both teams came out in the first looking to establish a physical presence and It didn’t take long for things to erupt. Sebastian Vidmar and Avni Berisha collided at the Topeka blue line with both players going to the ice and Berisha’s helmet going all the way to the bottom of the right faceoff circle. Clint Garris took exception to the clean hit and went to Vidmar as he was getting back to his skate and dropped him with a cross check. The two came together and tied up. Vidmar threw a couple of rights and Garris finding himself in a bad spot took Vidmar to the ice.

Topeka put the first goal on the board at 13:55 of the first. Jake Kamrass carried the puck into the zone and walked around Johan Steen on the left wing and drove the near post. Kamrass’ pass through the crease found Tyler Poulsen trailing on the back door for a shot over a diving TJ Black.

At 4:20 into the second the Road Runners padded their lead when they kept in a clearing attempt at the near point just as the Brahmas returned to full strength following a Liam Stirtzinger elbowing minor. Willie Brown skated to the bottom of the near circle and sent it back into the slot to Sam Rennaker who put it past Black glove side. It looked as though Topeka would take a three goal lead at about the 7:30 mark. Mike Gornall led the way on a 3 – 1 rush with only Alexey Solovyev back. Gornall carried it down the far side and tried to saucer a pass to the trailer, but Solovyev played it perfectly dropping to block the pass then sending the puck out of danger.

The Brahmas began to pick things up a bit and had some extended pressure in the offensive zone when Vidmar picked up a loose puck just to the left of the net then skated it into the near corner where he curled around Jasen Fernsler and headed back the other way. Vidmar skated back behind the cage out the right side and tried to stuff it in, but PJ Bridges held the post to deny him. The rebound went right to Jan Hudecek who went top shelf for the goal. Time of the goal was 8:33. On the ensuing faceoff, Michael Crowley pulled the draw back to Anthony Mousseau who sent it into the zone down the near side. Gordie Helmuth won the race to the puck against Cody Champagne and drove it over Bridges blocker at 8:41.

Things didn’t stay knotted up for long. Just 1:10 after the Helmuth goal, Tomas Nechala took the puck coast to coast before giving it up to Poulsen in front for his second of the night. At 11:36, Topeka once again had their two goal lead on a Gornall tally from Fernsler and Sly Sutter.

Lone Star refused to roll over though and at 3:09 of the third Matt Lison poked the puck past Ryan Polin in front of the benches and was off to the races with Stirtzinger to his left. Lison needed no help though ripping it past Bridges’ glove hand. Mousseau and Kellen Wassel were credited with the assists. With 6:45 to go, the puck went bouncing into the Topeka zone with Vidmar and Berisha in pursuit. Vidmar out muscled Berisha to control the puck at the top of the right wing circle. He made a strong move toward the net blowing past Brown and forcing Bridges to bite on the right post. Once Bridges dropped, Vidmar stick handled around him and put it in the back of the net to pull the Brahmas even.

With neither team able to find the net in the overtime period the game went to a shootout.

Lison was up first and carried the puck straight down the gut and drove it five hole for the early lead.

Stirtzinger put the Brahmas up two in the third round. The lefty came in slowly, faked Bridges onto the right post then put a backhander over the left pad.

Michal Uhrik scored in the fourth round to give the Road Runners life.

However,  Vidmar was sent to the dot with a chance to put the game away. He swept wide left, cut across the crease to get Bridges moving to his left, then slammed on the binders and stuffed it between the post and Bridges’ right skate.

Shots on goal were 26 – 17 in favor of Topeka. The Brahmas penalty kill played well holding the Road Runners scoreless on four opportunities. Lone Star’s power play was unable to score on their only man advantage, but it lasted only 21 seconds.

Boxscore

Elsewhere Around the NAHL South Division

Amarillo at Odessa

In the only other game involving NAHL South Division teams, the Jackalopes got out to an early first period lead, but then watched as the Bulls scored four unanswered goals for the 4 – 1 win. Yoshihiro Kuroiwa made 45 saves in a losing effort while Collin Delia allowed the one goal on 37 shots for the win.

Current NAHL South Division Standings

TEAM

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

PCT

Amarillo

44

31

11

2

64

0.727

Topeka

40

24

11

5

53

0.663

Rio Grande

42

22

13

7

51

0.607

Wichita Falls

40

21

16

3

45

0.563

Corpus Christi

43

15

20

8

38

0.442

Lone Star

42

14

25

3

31

0.369

Odessa

41

12

27

2

26

0.317

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