Lone Star Brahmas vs Wichita Falls Wildcats Preview

 

The Lone Star Brahmas will have a one night road trip to Wichita Falls on Wednesday for a game against the Wildcats. The Kay Yeager Coliseum has not been an inviting atmosphere for the Brahmas this season. In two previous trips to Wichita Falls, Lone Star ahs been outscored 15 – 3 while they have fared much better in their two home games. On Nytex ice the Brahmas have managed a 2 – 1 win and a 3 – 1 loss

 

Kellen Wassel leads the Brahmas in scoring against his previous team with 2G – 0A in the four games. Donovan Gardiner and Matt Lison have each chipped in 1G – 1A. Will Vosejpka has scorched Lone Star so far this season with 4G – 2A followed closely by Kyle Bauman with 4G – 1A.

 

The Brahmas are coming off a weekend split in Topeka where they lost a 4 – 1 decision on Saturday, but twice came from two down to win 5 – 4 in a shootout on Sunday. Conner Enciso had the Brahmas lone goal in game one during the second period after Lone Star had already fallen behind 3 – 0. The Hockey Gods were smiling on Topeka on Saturday as not one of their first three goals came off a shot. In each case the puck came off a player’s body or skate. On Sunday, the Brahmas got second period goals from Sebastian Vidmar and Gordie Helmuth to erase their first two goal deficit only to see Topeka score two of their own to retake the lead. On paper, things did not look good for the Brahmas going into the third period. At that time Topeka was 19 – 2 – 0 in games they were leading after two periods, not to mention that they had statistically the league’s leading goalie between the pipes. Fortunately for the Brahmas the games are played on the ice and not on paper. Lison scored early in the third and then Vidmar added his second of the night to send the game to a scoreless overtime. In the shootout Lison, Liam Stirtzinger and Vidmar scored for the Brahmas while TJ Black turned aside all but one of the shooters he faced for the big come from behind win.

 

Since running off a six game win streak including back to back sweeps of Corpus Christi and Amarillo to close out December, the Wildcats have hit the skids. Wichita Falls is winless in the month of January going 0 – 6 – 0 with the last four losses coming at home. On Friday night they lost to the visiting Fairbanks Icedogs. Bauman scored in the second period to pull the Wildcats even, but Fairbanks potted three in the third overpowering Rudy Junda’s tally for the 4 – 2 win. In game two, Tyler Ledford and Vosejpka had first period goals for Wichita Falls to go into the first intermission tied at two. Jake Townsend’s second period shorty gave Wichita Falls a brief lead for the third time in the game, but the Icedogs answered with two in the period to go into the third up by one. Bauman knotted the score at four apiece just 37 seconds into the third and the game looked as though it would go to an extra period. However with just 42 ticks left on the clock the Icedogs found the back of the net for a 5 – 4 win. Wichita Falls’ struggles have coincided with a fall from fist to fourth in the NAHL South Division, six points behind third place Rio Grande.

 

 

Last 5 Games W L OTL Pts
Brahmas 2 3 0 4
Wildcats 0 5 0 0

 

Special Teams

 

Special Teams have not been a bright spot for the Brahmas this season. While the power play has been up and down all year the penalty kill has shown slow, consistent month to month improvement. In January the power play is at 10.00% which is a far cry from their season low of 2.17% in November. The penalty kill which was at 76.09% in the opening month of the season has climbed to 88.24% in January.

 

The Brahmas’ road power play is currently ranked last in the league at just 6.7% converting 5 of 75 opportunities. They will be facing the fourth best home penalty kill in the league at 90.6%. The Wildcats have allowed 9 goals on 96 penalty kills at home.

 

Despite their steady improvement, Lone Star’s road penalty kill is 23rd in the league at 76.3%. They have allowed 22 goals on 93 penalty kills. Wichita Falls’ home power play definitely does not measure up to their penalty kill. The power play unit currently ranks 14th in the league 15.1% scoring on 13 of their 86 opportunities.

 

 Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games

 

GP

W

L

OTL

SO

GA

GAA

SV

SV%

Brahmas

5

2

3

0

1

18

3.60

117

.867

Wildcats

5

0

5

0

0

17

3.40

127

.882

 

Who is Hot (Last 5 Games)

 

Brahmas

G

A

Pts

Anthony Mousseau

0

6

6

Sebastian Vidmar

2

1

3

Alexey Solovyev

1

2

3

Gordie Helmuth

2

0

2

Matt Lison

2

0

2

 
Wildcats

 G

A

Pts

Josh Haverstrom

1

3

4

Matt Koch

0

4

4

Kyle Bauman

3

0

3

Jake Townsend

2

1

3

Tyler Ledford

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 1.93 GAA and tied for 9th with a .926 SV% in 26 games played. Munroe is tied for 16th with a 2.36 GAA and a .910 SV% over 17 games played. TJ Black’s numbers in his 18 games played since joining the Brahmas are 2.46 GAA good for 23rd in the league and a .911 SV% . Jett Salinas has a 2.76 GAA and a .903 SV% in just 7 games played.

 

There will be three defensemen on the ice who rank among the league leaders in Defenseman Scoring. Anthony Mousseau 3G – 19A and Alexey Solovyev 6G – 12A are tied for 13th and 20th. The Wildcats’ Sam Piazza 4G- 17A is tied for 14th.

 

Matt Lison 15 and Kyle Bauman 14 lead their teams in goals scored.

 

Wichita Falls six game losing streak is the second longest current streak in the league.

 

The Brahmas tied for the league lead in shooting percentage at .108% with 91 goals on 842 shots on goal. Unfortunately they have by far the fewest shots on goal with their nearest competitor 179 shots on goal ahead of them.

 

Wichita Falls leads the league with 11 short handed goals scored and is tied for second with 6 short handed goals allowed.

 

For the season the Brahmas are averaging 2.17 goals per game which is 22nd in the league and is last in goals allowed per game at 3.45. However, in January they have moved both numbers in a positive direction scoring 2.38 per game and allowing 3.13 per game.

 

Lone Star’s shots on goal differential has had month to month improvement since the season started and has fallen to -7.5 in January which is drastically improved over the -19.5 of September.

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Tags: Lone Star Brahmas NAHL Wichita Falls Wildcats

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