Sunday, November 30, 2008

Marc Belanger - CHL Power Player

Texas Brahmas rookie forward gets sixth and seventh goal on Saturday night

Texas Brahmas forward Marc Belanger was selected as the Central Hockey League Power Player on the CHL website this week.

Belanger scored a pair of goals leading the Texas Brahmas to their seventh win in their last nine games with a 5-1 decision at Bossier-Shreveport on Saturday night.

Belanger has 8 points (7 G, 1 A) on the season, including two goals on the powerplay in 17 games played.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Texas Brahmas beat the Mudbugs 5-1

Brahmas improve to 11-5-1 with decisive road win

The Texas Brahmas soundly defeated the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs tonight at the CenturyTel Center in 5-1 rout highlighted by four powerplay goals. The bulls looked like a completely different team than the one that took a loss last night at home against the Oklahoma City Blazers. The Brahmas record against the Mudbugs is now 4-1 and tonight's score matched the Mudbug's winning score the last time the two teams played at the CenturyTel Center on opening night.

The first period was filled with plenty of special teams play. After a lot of rough play to start the period, Matt Hanson was called for interference giving the Mudbugs the first powerplay opportunity of the night. But less than a minute later, it was the Brahmas who put the first point on the board. Grant Jacobsen took a pass from Mike Vellinga and then held it long enough for Justin Kinnunen to come in and punch the puck past Kenny Carroll at the 6:29 mark for a short-handed goal.

Despite being outshot 16-12, the Brahmas held the Mudbugs scoreless for the rest of the period. Brett Jaeger was magnificent, stopping shots on five Bossier-Shreveport powerplays including a four on three and a five on three advantage.

There was a delay to the start of the second period due to a mechanical issue with the Zamboni which needed to be towed off the ice by a promotional Dodge Ram pickup truck.

The Mudbugs began the second period with 58 seconds left on their fifth powerplay but remained unable to solve Brett Jaeger.

A melee started when Jason Deitsch crashed the net at the 14:09 mark and ended up with Dale Lupul on top of him. Lupul started throwing punches and Quade Lightbody came in as well. Deitsch was rescued by Tyler Skworchinski and Scott Sheppard. In the end, Deitsch was called for roughing and both Lupul (interference) and Lightbody (roughing) were sent to the box as well creating a 4 on three powerplay for the Brahmas. 22 seconds later, Mudbug defenseman Dave Pszenyczny was called for slashing and the bulls found themselves with a five on three opportunity.

The bulls capitalized on the situation when Travis Clayton knocked a centering pass away to the corner where it was picked up by Jordan Cameron who fed it to Scott Sheppard. Marc Belanger was in position and took the pass from Sheppard and fed it into the net at the 14:49 mark to give the Brahmas a 2-0 lead.

Brett Jaeger stopped all seven of the 'Bugs shots to stay perfect through two periods. Jaeger had some truly remarkable saves through 40 minutes. The Brahmas defensemen prevented several more shots by crowding the shooting zone and deflecting several Mudbugs attempts. The Brahmas special teams killed two more Mudbug powerplays for a total of seven on the night.

Dale Lupul finally got the Mudbugs on the board at the 8:33 mark in the third period. Mike Vellinga was called for interference and during a powerplay faceoff, Brett Smith won the draw, put the puck in front of Lupul who was able to catch Brett Jaeger off guard and the Mudbugs narrowed it to one.

Marc Belanger scored his second of the night at the 11:02 mark after the Mudbugs gave the puck away in the offensive zone. It was an unassisted goal. Belanger and Chris Brassard got into it immediately and out of the mix came Mark Carragher and Brett Smith who dropped the gloves. Smith handled Carragher quickly and then Brett Angel went after Belanger who wanted nothing to do with it. Carragher and Smith received five-minute fighting majors and Angel received two minutes for roughing.

The Brahmas got another five on three opportunity at the 13:44 mark when J.R. Bria was called for slashing and Neil Clark was called for roughing. Scott Sheppard scored 26 seconds later making the score 4-1. Jordan Cameron and Jason Deitsch were credited with the assist. It was the Brahmas' 2nd five on three goal of the night.

Greg McConnell made it 5-1 on another powerplay opportunity at the 18:37 mark off a feed from defenseman Eric Lundberg. Jordan Cameron was credited with his third assist of the night. The Brahmas held off the 'Bugs for the remainder of the period and took the win, improving their road record to 4-3-1.

Brett Jaeger had a tremendous night stopping 37 of 38 shots and improved his record to 7-1-1.

Scott Sheppard received the third star for a goal and an assist on the night. Brett Jaeger received the second star for his performance in the net and Justin Kinnunen received the first star for his shorthanded goal in the first period.

You can view the box score
here

The Brahmas travel to Tulsa for their next game against the Tulsa Oilers on Tuesday night.
Game 5 of the I-20 Series tonight

Brahmas and Mudbugs at CenturyTel Center

What needs to be said here? The Brahmas (10-5-1) have defeated the Mudbugs (10-4-2) in each of the three games played at the NYTEX Sports Center (3-2, 5-4, 2-1). Did you notice that each win was by one point? Any of those game could have gone the 'Bugs way.

The Brahmas are coming of a loss at home. The 'Bugs are coming off a win at home. The two teams are pretty evenly matched roster-wise. Bossier has better goalie stats but that hasn't mattered against the Brahmas lately. The Brahmas are number two in the league on the powerplay. The 'Bugs are the number three penalty killers.

Give the Mudbugs the advantage of home ice. The 'Bugs creamed the Brahmas in the season opener at the CenturyTel Center by a score of 5-1. And don't discount Muscutt's boys. They are a better team than we have seen at NYTEX.

After their performance last night, the Brahmas (3-3-1 on the road) need a strong showing against a Bossier-Shreveport club that is 6-1-0 at home.

The game starts at 7:05pm and can be seen on Nifty-TV.

Craig Minard and son Luke hold up a special Tim Laurila Jersey

Texas Brahmas raise $8,950 for charity at jersey auction

Money raised for Toys for Tots and the Laurila family

The Texas Brahmas held a special auction of their "Lady Liberty" game jerseys, worn over the past two games during the NYTEX honors the military series.

The auction took place after the game Friday night, with players holding up their jerseys while fans placed their bids. The auction raised $8950 from 23 jerseys. One special fan won three jerseys with $1650 going to charity.

The proceeds from the auction will benefit the local chapter of Toys for Tots. The proceeds from the special #26 Tim Laurila jersey went to the Laurila family who recently suffered a loss.

Photos from the auction can be viewed here

Photo Credit: Robert Keith
Cam Doull's second goal of the night bypasses Brahmas netminder David Cacciola

You take the loss and you move on

Oklahoma City Blazers 2, Texas Brahmas 1

Doug Sauter wasn't concerned about this trip. Prior to the game, he sat in the visiting coaches room casually working out a Sudoku puzzle. Assistant Coach Chris Dashney made the trip to the bleachers to take notes during the warm-ups. When the time came, the great one made his way to the visitor's bench, his team took to the ice and the rest is now history. For the third time in the month of November, the Oklahoma City Blazers outplayed, outshot and outscored the Texas Brahmas.

The Brahmas looked out of sorts for the first two periods, lacking in fundamentals. Poor passing, few takeaways, lax defense. The frustration on Dan Wildfong's face was immeasurable. After opening a Costco-sized can of whoop-a** in the locker room after the second period, the real Texas Brahmas emerged. The third period reflected a strong performance by the bulls, but it was too little, too late. Despite an aggressive, fast-skating and penalty-free period of Brahmas hockey and a Greg McConnell score to prevent the shut-out, the Brahmas took their second home loss and afterwards, a long bus ride to Bossier City.

"We didn’t play 60 minutes, we played 20," Texas coach Dan Wildfong told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "Against a good team you have to play 60 minutes. You can’t take shifts off.

The Blazers have handed the Brahmas their only losses (4-2, 7-3, 2-1) in their last eight games. Watching them play in person, it's obvious why they're a 30-point team. It's obvious why they're being considered as an AHL franchise. And it's obvious that success for the Brahmas this season will require solving a team like the Blazers.

The game began with both teams playing aggressively. The skating was fast and the hitting was hard. Rookie forward Cam Doull provided all the offense for the Blazers with his two even-strength goals in the first period.

The first goal came at the 9:51 mark when Ted Vandermeer worked the puck from the corner to Doull who was stationed in front of David Cacciola. Doull quickly put the puck into the net while Cacciola was screened by a fellow teammate. Jeff MacDermid was also credited with the assist.

Later in the period, MacDermid and Brian Passmore combined to place the puck in Doull's path and with a long blast, the Blazers were up 2-0. The Blazers outshot the Brahmas 11-6 in the period.

The second period provided a lot of action but no scoring. The Blazers outshot the Brahmas again, this time 13-7 but both Cacciola and Doug Groenestege were perfect.

In the third period, Greg McConnell finally put the Brahmas on the scoreboard with the deflection of a Grant Jacobson shot from the right-wing boards. McConnell was positioned by Groenestege and was able to tip it by at the 7:24 mark. Jordan Cameron and Mike Vellinga assisted. The Brahmas had several opportunities to score in the remainder of the period but the Blazers defense was on fire and they held the Brahmas to one, earning the win and improving to 14-1-2.

Doug Groenestege stopped 30 shots and earned the win. He is now at 5-0-0 on the season. David Cacciola dropped to 3-4-0.

Lets talk about some positives. Cash did well in the net. Yes, he was a little shaky in the first period but was excellent for the next 40 minutes.

The Brahmas faced the number one penalty-killers in the league but also held their own. Neither side managed to score on the powerplay.

The Brahmas remain the least penalized team in the league, averaging just 18.25 minutes per game. Last night, they were only assessed 5 minors for 10 minutes.

Greg McConnell was given the third star of the game for his first goal of the season.

You can view the box score here

You can view photos from the game here

The Brahmas take on the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs tonight at the CenturyTel Center. The game starts at 7:05pm and will be broadcast of Nifty-TV.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Update on former Texas Brahma Anders Strome

High scoring wing makes impact in Holland

Former Texas Brahma Anders Strome continues his season with the Odense Bulldogs, playing in the AL-Bank Ligaen (League) in Holland. After 23 games, the Bulldogs are in third place with a 13-2-3-6 (Win, Loss, Overtime loss, Tie).

Strome, 27, has 25 points (13 G, 12 A) and 56 penalty minutes in 23 games played. Eight of his goals have been scored on the power play. Two were scored on the box play. The 6' 3", 210 pound wing was the Brahmas third highest scorer last season with 60 points (34 G, 26 A).

The Bulldogs home ice is called the Odense Isstadion. Up to 3,000 fans can enjoy a game in the arena where there are 1,024 seats, 1,992 standing-room spaces and 16 seats for handicapped visitors. In addition to this about 100 spectators have a view on the 30x60 meter-ice-surface from the restaurant inside the arena.

Prior to each game the lights get turned out inside the arena and the fans welcome their team with firecrackers.

The following photos of Anders are from recent games.



Image Credits: Odense Bulldogs Hockey Club

Texas Brahmas host Oklahoma City on Friday night

Blazers make their first trip to NYTEX this season

The Texas Brahmas and the Oklahoma City Blazers meet for the third time this month, each leading in their division.

The Blazers have the second best record in the league at 13-1-2 and are tied with Colorado for the most points (28). Three of their games were decided by Shootouts (2 losses). The won their last four games in a row (Amarillo, Texas, Wichita, Amarillo); three of them at home. They have a 5-1-0 road record. Their road loss was on November 15th at the Mississippi RiverKings. The Brahmas are 7-1-0 at home.

The biggest scoring threats are right wings Bill Vandermeer (17 points; 7 G, 10 A) and Simon Lambert (15 points; 9 G; 6 A). Oriel McHugh leads the defense in scoring (12 points; 6 G, 6 A).

The Blazers have the number one penalty killing squad in the league with a 89.71% kill rate and the number five powerplay at 19.42%. The Brahmas remain the least penalized team in the league with an average of 18.80 minutes per game. They are second in the league on the powerplay at 22.50%. They are 13th on the penalty kill at 77.36%.

Goaltender Andy Franck is number one in the league with a 1.53 GAA and a .938 save percentage. His record is 9-1-2. Backup goaltender Doug Groenestege is number two in the league with a 1.84 GAA and a .935 save percentage. His record is 4-0-0. Groenestage is expected to start on Friday due to Franck being out due to injury.

The Blazers beat the Brahmas in each of the two previous meetings at the Ford Center. On November 7th, the Blazers won 4-2 in a game with shots even at 27. Two of their goals were on the powerplay (2 for 6). Brett Jaeger was in the net. On November 23rd, the Blazers won 7-3 in a game where the Brahmas were outshot 33-29. Five of their goals were on the powerplay (5 for 10). Bill Vandermeer scored two powerplay goals in 30 seconds. Chad Hinz had 5 assists. David Cacciola was in the net.

The Brahmas have won their last five home games and need a win against the Blazers to maintain their slight lead over Laredo in the Southeast division. Last season, the two teams met three times at NYTEX with the Brahmas winning two.

The game begins at 7:05pm and can be seen on Nifty-TV.

All military personnel, active and retired will receive half priced tickets at the Brahmas Box Office for the conclusion of "NYTEX Honors Military Night". Following the game will be a live game worn jersey auction for the fans.

NYTEX and the Texas Brahmas host free post-game skate

Team, fans mix it up on the ice

The NYTEX Sports Centre hosted a free post-game skate with the Texas Brahmas. Fans were treated to an on-ice autograph and photo session with the upbeat Brahmas who had just won a shootout victory over the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs.

"I think it's great," said Brahmas head coach Dan Wildfong. "I think we need to do this again."

Players stayed out on the ice for over an hour, signing autographs, skating and playing with the kids and posing for photos. It was great event and everyone had a lot of fun. Thanks to NYTEX and the the Brahmas for this special event.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith
Texas Brahmas beat Mudbugs in Shootout thriller

Win gives the bulls lead in Southeast Division

The Texas Brahmas defeated the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs 2-1 on Wednesday night in a their first shootout of the season. The win gives the Brahmas a 10-4-1 record, but more importantly, the two points needed to overtake the Laredo Bucks for first place in the Southeast Division.

The opening period saw a lot of action but both Kenny Carroll and David Cacciola were solid. There were a few scoring chances both ways, but neither team cracked the scoreboard and for the first time this season, the Mudbugs were held to a scoreless first period. The Brahmas outshot the Mudbugs 11-8.

In the second period, play became more physical and although the officiating was terrible, several players went to the penalty box. The Brahmas had five powerplay chances, including a 50 second two-man advantage , but the Mudbugs penalty killers managed to keep them off the scoreboard. The Mudbugs had the shot advantage at 12-8 but could not solve Cacciola.

The Brahmas broke the deadlock early in the third period when Jason Deitsch put the rebound of a Scott Sheppard shot past Kenny Carroll to make it 1-0 at the 2:36 mark. Grant Jacobsen was also credited with the assist. It was Deitsch's 10th point in five games.

The Mudbugs finally scored on the man-advantage after being held by the Brahmas penalty killers in the previous five opportunities. Todd Paul fired a slapshot from the point with Neil Clark and Brett Smith crashing the front. Cacciola stopped Clark but not Smith, who backhanded home his sixth goal of the year to tie the game at one with just 5:05 remaining. The Mudbugs had the shot advantage again at 18-6 but Cacciola was able to hold the Bugs to one score.

With stellar goaltending on both sides, the game was forced into overtime. The Mudbugs outshot the Brahmas 4-1 , but neither team could score and the game went to a shootout, the first for the Brahmas this season.

Jason Deitsch scored as the Brahmas' first shooter to put the Brahmas up 1-0. The next six combined shooters for both teams would miss before Simon Mangos tied the shootout at one as The Bugs’ fourth shooter. Pete Rouleau then beat Carroll stick side and Smith missed as the last shooter to give the Brahmas the 2-1 shootout win.

David Cacciola stopped 41 of 42 shots and earned the win to improve to 3-3 for the season.

Jason Deitsch received the third star for his third period goal. David Cacciola received the second star for his remarkable goaltending performance and Pete Rouleau received the first star for his game-winning goal.

You can view the box score here

You can view photos from the game here

The Brahmas are now 7-1-0 at NYTEX and will host the 13-1-2 Oklahoma City Blazers on Friday night. All military personnel, active and retired will receive half-priced tickets at the Brahmas Box Office for the conclusion of "NYTEX Honors Military Night". Following the game will be a live game-worn jersey auction for the fans.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lance Galbraith placed on waivers

Veteran Forward returning to the ECHL

Just 10 days after being placed on team suspension, veteran forward Lance Galbraith has been placed on waivers by the Texas Brahmas.

Galbraith, 28, returned to Ontario after receiving his suspension. It was evident that he would not be returning to the Brahmas organization. It turns out that the difference in systems and the overall experience of playing in the CHL got the best of him quickly after so many years in the East Coast League. Galbraith wanted out and he got his way.

Rumours had been circulating that Galbraith will return to the ECHL, possibly with the Alaska Aces. Those rumours held true and the Insider has confirmed that Galbraith has in fact signed with the Aces. The Aces have a 12-3-1 record, leading the Western Division in the National Conference.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

Brahmas host the Mudbugs on Wednesday night

A Brahmas win puts them in first place in the Southeast Division

The Texas Brahmas and the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs will meet for the fourth time this season on Wednesday night at the NYTEX Sports Center. Both teams have a 9-4-1 record and 19 points. Both teams are in second place in their division. Both teams are coming off of a big loss.

Thanks to the Mississippi RiverKings' 5-3 victory over the Laredo Bucks on Tuesday night, the Brahmas have the opportunity to take the top spot in the Southeast division with a win against the 'Bugs.

The Brahmas will have an advantage on home ice with their 6-1-0 record at NYTEX. In their previous three meetings, the Brahmas went 2-1-0. The Mudbug's visit will cap a five-game road trip that began at NYTEX on November 14th. The Mudbugs have gone 1-3 on this trip.

This will be a different Mudbugs team than the Brahmas faced in their last two meetings, Several players who were out due to injuries will be back on the ice; notably, defenseman Clay Thoring. In addition, forward Joe Ori has re-signed with the team. As of this writing, goaltender Ryan Mior, who is second in the league with a 2.22 GAA is still out on injured reserve. Kenny Carroll has been back from his injury for three games now. He won two of them and has a 3-2-0 record.

The Brahmas have benefitted from Dan Wildfong's in-season recruiting with the return of Grant Jacobsen, Scott Shepard and Jordan Cameron. In addition, Jason Deitsch's return from his stint in the AHL has been an additional boost to the team. Deitsch now wears the "A" on his jersey, once worn by Lance Galbraith who was placed on waivers on Tuesday.

The Brahmas still lead the league in the powerplay but are second to last in penalty killing. The Mudbugs are third in the league on the powerplay and sixth in penalty killing. In their last meeting, the Brahmas won with a powerplay goal by Grant Jacobsen in overtime. The previous game was won on three powerplay goals by the Brahmas. The game is certain to be a physical one. Mudbugs goon Brett Angel has returned from a leave granted by the league and there have been several brawls between the two teams this season.

If you can't get out to NYTEX, don't miss the game on Nifty-TV.
NYTEX and the Texas Brahmas to honor the military this week

Post game skate with players and jersey auction highlight activities

For those looking for pre and post Thanksgiving action, the Texas Brahmas and NYTEX Sports Centre have you covered with games and events for "NYTEX Honors Military" nights beginning Wednesday at 7:05 PM.

The Brahmas will host the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs Wednesday evening at the NYTEX Sports Centre to kickoff "NYTEX Honors Military Night", where all active and retired military personnel will receive half priced Brahmas tickets. All retired and active military members can simply show their military I.D. at the Brahmas Box Office at the NYTEX Sports Centre to receive their discount. The team will be donning special 'Lady Liberty' jerseys in honor of those who have served and currently serving the country.Following the action on Wednesday, all those in attendance are invited to a free post game skate with the Brahmas players. Rental skates will be provided at no cost to patrons at the NYTEX front desk.

On Friday, Texas will face the Oklahoma City Blazers at 7:05 PM for the final game in the special two-game Military Night series. After the game, the Brahmas will be placing the game worn 'Lady Liberty' jerseys on a live auction block. Fans will have the opportunity to buy the jersey directly off of their favorite player's back and receive autographs.

Text and image from the Texas Brahmas press release

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Texas Brahmas come up short In Oklahoma City

Blazers win 7-3, remain unbeaten at home in regulation

In an offensive battle against the Northeast Division leading Oklahoma City Blazers who were 6-0-2 at home, the Texas Brahmas lost their second meeting 7-3 at the Ford Center.

The Blazers struck first on a powerplay opportunity when Stacey Bauman took the puck down ice and passed it to Jeff MacDermid who fed the puck to Cam Doull. Doull curled it past David Cacciola for the 1-0 lead at the 3:37 mark.

Play was halted for several minutes at the 4:39 mark, when referee John McIssac injured his right leg and was unable to continue. T.J. Nua took over as referee for the remainder of the game.

Back-to-back hooking calls on Jason Deitsch and Justin Kinnunen gave the Blazers a two-man advantage which led to another score at the 18:19 mark. Chad Hinz fed the puck to Oriel McHugh who missed his shot but Brian Passmore got the rebound off the end boards and put it past Cacciola to give Oklahoma City a 2-0 lead. The Blazers outshot the Brahmas 6-3 in the first period and their special teams shut down two Brahmas powerplay opportunities.

Cam Doull scored his second of the night on a gift from Brahmas defenseman Eric Lundberg. Lundberg inadvertently teed up the puck for Doull who took it away and was able to shoot it past Cacciola for an unassisted goal, giving the Blazers the 3-0 lead. A few minutes later, Grant Jacobsen was able to get down low and dribble the puck past Doug Groenestege, putting the Brahmas on the board at the 6:16 mark, one second after the end of a powerplay. Jason Deitsch and Craig Minard were credited with the assist. The Brahmas were called six times on penalties in the second period, but David Cacciola was able to stop all of the Blazers shots, including on the two-man advantage. Shots were even at 12 at the end of the period.

The Blazers entered the third period with a two-man advantage for 48 seconds and capitalized on it 20 seconds in when Chad Hinz placed a cross-ice feed from Brian Passmore into Bill Vandermeer's path and Vandermeer was able to put it behind Cacciola who never had a chance.

Just 30 seconds later, Oriel McHugh put an on-target point shot into the pads of Cacciola and Bill Vandermeer picked up the off-the-pad rebound and smacked the puck past the Brahmas netminder.

Oriel McHugh scored the third powerplay goal of the period with the assist from Chad Hinz and Bill Vandermeer at the 7:11 mark. The Blazers led 6-1 having gone 5 for 10 on powerplay opportunities.

A minute later, tempers flared and Marc Belanger took on Blazers forward Brennen Francon, resulting in multiple penalties. Belanger received a five minute fighting major and Francon was given four penaties for 19 minutes, including a 10 minute Fighting (Instigator) Misconduct.

Scott Sheppard took advantage and got a powerplay goal of his own on a two-man advantage at the 10:08 mark. Sheppard fired it in from a steep angle after receiving a pass from Jason Deitsch. Craig Minard was also credited with the assist.

Sheppard scored again at the 14:44 mark, getting an extra attacker goal after Cacciola was pulled. Jordan Cameron and Pete Rouleau were credited with the assist.

The Blazers Jeff MacDermid made it 7-3 on an empty net goal at the 18:32 mark, sealing the final score. MacDermid was assisted by Chad Hinz and Brian Passmore. It was Hinz' fifth assist of the night.

The Blazers outshot the Brahmas 33-29 and had their highest offensive output on the season with six goals improving to 12-1-2 and 7-0-2 at home.

The Brahmas go to 9-4-1 and 3-3-1 on the road.

Doug Groenestege earned his third win, stopping 28 shots. David Cacciola falls to 2-3-0.

You can view the box score here

The Brahmas return to North Richland Hills to prepare for the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, who will visit the NYTEX Sports Centre on Wednesday night.
Texas Brahmas travel to Oklahoma City to take on the Blazers

Brahmas seeking sixth win in a row

The Oklahoma City Blazers (11-1-2) and the Texas Brahmas (9-3-1) meet for the second time this season at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City this afternoon. The Blazers won the previous match-up 4-2 on November 7th. Simon Lambert scored a pair of goals in that game and Andy Franck made 25 saves.

These are arguably the two hottest teams in the CHL with OKC losing just once in regulation all season and Texas winning five straight games.

The Blazers have met the Brahmas 37 times since the merger of the CHL and WPHL in 2001. Oklahoma City holds the edge with a 21-11-5 record. That includes a 12-5-0 mark in Oklahoma City.

The Blazers could be without Franck who has started all but one of the team’s 14 games. He left last night’s game at Wichita, a 3-1 win, after 11 minutes due to an undisclosed injury. Doug Groenestege replaced him and won his second straight decision improving to 2-0 on the season.

David Cacciola will start for the Brahmas.

Texas’ offense has been potent in recent games totaling 22 goals over their five-game winning streak.

The game begins at 5:10pm and can be heard on Sportsjuice.com

Image Credit: Oklahoma City Blazers

A few minutes with...Dan Hodge

The Tulsa head coach talks about the Oilers season thus far

Despite a record of 4-8-1 to start the season, Dan Hodge remains upbeat. The former defenseman knows the ups and downs that occur in professional hockey and he isn't letting a rough start get the best of him.

Hodge, 37, was selected (ninth round, #194 overall) by the Boston Bruins in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft. He was a member of the 1999-00 Kelly Cup Championship Peoria Rivermen (ECHL) team and has played in the AHL, IHL, UHL and CHL.

Hodge ended his 10-year professional career as captain of the Oilers after the 2005-06 season. He became the assistant coach the following season. Hodge took over the reins of the team last December and is now in his first full season as head coach.

The Oilers went 25-35-4 last year (20-25-3 under Hodge) and Hodge is obviously looking for improvement.

I spoke with Dan at the recent game against the Brahmas. Here's our conversation.

Q: The season hasn't started out well for the Oilers, but I'd like to talk about some positives. The road win against the Colorado Eagles, for example. How did you feel beating the number one team in the league at the Budweiser Events Center?

A: It felt great. We played real well. A lot of teams, when they go into Colorado, are already beat basically, because of the aura of Colorado and the success they've had. We played them the previous Tuesday and kind of sat around and let them do what they wanted and they thought that was pretty good and then on Friday night, we just played our game and played well. We didn't sit back; we took the game to them and we stood up to them and we did some good things.

Q: Michel Beausoleil has had a great start to the season. How do feel about having him on the team?

A: I played against Mike when he was in Oklahoma City. I've coached against Mike; he's a heck of a player. He's dynamic. He's a guy who can really put the puck in the net which he has already this year. We're looking for more from him and also just being strong defensively, too.

Q: How do you prepare for a game against the Texas Brahmas?

A: They are very well coached. Dan is a great coach. He's had success obviously here last year and this year. He comes from a great system in Bossier-Shreveport with Scotty Muscutt. I'm sure he'd tell you that he's learned a lot from Scott. You've got to play hard. You know they're not going to quit for 60 minutes; you've got to be able to compete for 60 minutes against them.

Q: You've played against Fonger. Would you prefer to play against him or coach against him?

A: I don't know (laughing). He's intense either way. Dan and I have actually gotten to know each other through coaches meetings and talking on the phone. It's a good relationship we've built. Dan's a fiery guy and he's a heck of a coach.

Q: It's early enough in the season, so anything can happen to turn things around. Some say you have issues at goaltender. What's your take?

A: Goaltending is not just the goalie. Everyone looks at the goalie stats, but it's a team game. They're the last line of defense. It's kind of like the quarterback in football, you know, if you're not winning, it's the quarterback's fault. We've got two great goalies. We've just got to better in front of them. These guys, they can't stop everything. We can't be giving up 40-plus shots a night. We're starting to turn a corner here. Hopefully, we're starting to see what we need to do to win. We had a big meeting after the loss against Mississippi. A lot of guys said a lot of things. Now it's a put up or shut up kind of deal.

Q: The fans in Tulsa have been great. You are leading the league in attendance at this point. How important is it to have the fans behind you, regardless of what's going on record-wise?

A: It's great. Obviously the 17,000 we had on opening night was a huge boost to that number, but we have a great arena. The BOK Center is beautiful. People are coming to see the arena and they're enjoying it. It's huge to have the community of Tulsa behind us. We're part of the the community. It's funny because we're kind of the forgotten part of the community because we've got the Talons who have had success in football and they've got high school football. Tulsa is a football town. We're trying to make it a hockey town. We're trying to really turn it around here, hopefully more sooner than later.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Texas Brahmas rout the Tulsa Oilers 6-2

Jason Deitsch: 2 goals, 2 assists on the night

The Texas Brahmas buried the Tulsa Oilers on Saturday night in a 6-2 rout at the NYTEX Sports Centre.

It was the Brahmas fifth win in a row and their record improves to 9-3-1. The Brahmas also improved to number one in the league on the power play with a 24.51 powerplay percentage. They went three for eight on powerplay opportunities tonight.

Jason Deitsch opened up the scoring at the 7:03 mark in the first period off of an assist by Grant Jacobsen and Scott Sheppard. It was just the beginning of Tulsa goaltender Guy St. Vincent's troubles. Grant Jacobsen took a pass from Deitsch and put it past St. Vincent to give the Brahmas a 2-0 lead at the 16:56 mark. Less than two-and-a-half minutes later, Marc Belanger made it 3-0 with a slapshot coming off passes from Matt Quinn and Justin Kinnunen. Brett Jaeger was perfect, stopping all seven Tulsa shots. The Brahmas outshot the Oilers 10-7.

Tulsa stung Brett Jaeger with two goals 15 seconds apart in the second period but the Brahmas shut their momentum down exactly five minutes later when Craig Minard scored a powerplay goal off the feed from Scott Sheppard and Jason Deitsch. It was Minard's third goal of the season. The Brahmas outshot the Oilers once again; this time 14-8.

The Oilers had a 13-6 shot advantage in the third period but to no avail as Brett Jaeger stood strong and the Brahmas scored two more powerplay goals. The first came from Kevin McLeod off of a feed from Mike Vellinga and Tyler Skworchinski just 58 seconds into the period. Jason Deitsch scored his second goal of the night at the 13:48 mark with the assist from Jordan Cameron and Justin Kinnunen to provide the final score of 6-2.

Brett Jaeger earned the win for Texas making 26 saves, improving to 7-1-1 on the season and lowering his goals against average to 2.64 (6th in the league).

The Brahmas remain the least penalized team in the league with 243 penalty minutes. The were assessed 13 minutes on 5 infractions while the Oilers were hit with 41 minutes on 11 infractions including the ejection of Oilers head coach Dan Hodge for an Abuse of Officials Game Misconduct in the third period.

Grant Jacobsen retains the league-leading shooting percentage of .500. He has netted six goals on 12 shots this season.

Scott Sheppard received the third star with two assists. Grant Jacobsen received the second star with a goal and an assist and Jason Deitsch received the first star for two goals and two assists. In two nights, Deitsch has scored seven points (3 G, 4 A). This was Deitsch's first game back at NYTEX after his assignment with the AHL's Houston Aeros. His twin brother Marc was in attendance tonight.

Tonight was Dan Wildfong's 49th win as Texas’ head coach. In his second season, Wildfong needs 14 more wins to surpass Terry Menard’s 62 during his term as head coach of the then Fort Worth Brahmas from 1998-2000.

You can view the box score here

You can view photos from the game here

The Brahmas travel to the Ford Center in Oklahoma City to take on the 11-1-2 Blazers tomorrow at 5:10pm. The game can be viewed on Nifty-TV.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith
Scott Sheppard - CHL Power Player

Texas Brahmas sniper gets fifth and sixth goal Friday night

Texas Brahmas forward Scott Sheppard was selected as the Central Hockey League Power Player on the CHL website this week.

Sheppard scored a pair of goals on Friday night as the Brahmas won their fourth straight game beating Wichita 4-2 in the Kansas Coliseum. Sheppard has 12 points (6 G, 6 A) on the season, including two goals and four assists on the powerplay, in 10 games played. The 5' 11", 190 pound forward from Selkirk, Ontario re-signed with the team on October 24th.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

Friday, November 21, 2008

Brahmas take on Tulsa at NYTEX

Bulls seek fifth win in a row vs. 3-7-1 Oilers

The 8-3-1 Texas Brahmas will meet the Tulsa Oilers on the ice for the first time this season Saturday night at the NYTEX Sports Centre.

The Oilers took a 6-4 loss at home Friday night versus the Mississippi RiverKings. At 3-7-1, Tulsa is tied with the Rocky Mountain Rage for least points (7) and the bottom of the Northern Conference. The only bright side of the Oilers 1-4-1 road record is that their one win came against the Colorado Eagles.

Tulsa is the fourth most penalized team in the league. It's an understatement to call the Oilers' defense weak and their goaltending is awful. Tulsa has given up 55 goals in 11 games and their goaltenders have only three wins between them.

On special teams, the Oilers are last in the league with a 71.58 penalty kill percentage and 14th in the league in power play percentage at 14.49%.

It's hard to find anything positive to say about the Oilers this season, but keep an eye on sniper Michel Beausoleil. The 28-year-old right wing has scored points in nine straight games, including eleven in the last five.

The game starts at 7:05pm and will be broadcast on Nifty-TV. It's $1 hot dog night, so bring your appetites!

Image Credit: Tulsa Oilers
Brahmas beat the Wichita Thunder 4-2

Jason Deitsch has a goal and two assists in his first game back with the bulls

The Texas Brahmas won their fourth in a row and improved their road record to 3-2-1 after beating the Wichita Thunder tonight at the Kansas Coliseum.

The Thunder played aggressively in the first minutes of the game but were unable to solve Brett Jaeger. During an early Wichita powerplay, Jordan Cameron missed an open net opportunity after being stymied by a Thunder defenseman.

The Brahmas opened up the scoring at the 13:21 mark. After the puck was deflected off of the glass by Brett Jaeger, Pete Rouleau received a pass from Matt Hanson and took it down the left side of the ice on a breakaway. Rouleau beat the Thunder defender and put the puck to the left of Krister Toews, scoring his fifth goal of the season. Brett Jaeger and Matt Hanson were credited with the assist.

Jason Duda had an opportunity to even the score a couple of minutes later but was the victim of incidental contact and ended up falling into the net, landing on Brett Jaeger, the puck rolling out of play.

After Jordan Hack was called for tripping Jordan Cameron, the Brahmas scored again on the man advantage. Jason Deitsch scored his first goal of the season, taking the puck from the Brahmas defensive zone all the way up the ice and with a defender on his left and his right, centered the puck past Toews. Grant Jacobsen and Craig Minard were credited with the assist.

The Wichita offense tried everything they could muster to beat Jaeger but the Brahmas' netminder was able to hold them off, stopping all 10 shots sent his way. The Brahmas killed two Thunder powerplays and although the Thunder had a 10-2 shot advantage in the first ten minutes, the Brahmas offense fired back and evened the shots at 10 before the period was over.

After an action-filled start to the second period, Thunder forward Chris Greene took advantage of a turnover and ripped one past the right side of Brett Jaeger at the 10:32 mark, making it 2-1. He was assisted by Chris Tarkir and Jordan Hack. Five minutes later, after a turnover in the neutral zone led to a two-on-one for the Brahmas, Jason Deitsch passed the puck to Scott Sheppard who slapped it past Krister Toews, giving the bulls a two goal advantage. The Thunder outshot the Brahmas 8-7 in the period.

Matt Hanson had a shot hit the cross bar early in the third period, but it was Wichita's Pascal Bedard who was able to get one into the net on a powerplay at the 10:12 mark. Bedard, with his back to Brett Jaeger, backhanded the puck past the Brahmas netminder giving the Thunder their 14th powerplay goal in 13 games. Scott Rozendal and Brad Thompson were credited with the assist.

Scott Sheppard gave the Brahmas their third two-goal lead of the night when he tipped the puck over the goal line at the 15:04 mark. Jason Deitsch and Mike Vellinga assisted. The Brahmas were able to hold off a 17-5 Thunder shot advantage in the period to win the game with a final score of 4-2. The Brahmas improve to 8-3-1 on the season. With 17 points, the Brahmas are edging closer to the Laredo Bucks (who have 18) for the lead in the Southeast Division.

Brett Jaeger stopped 33 of 35 shots and improved his record to 6-1-1.

The Brahmas went one for two on the powerplay and killed four of five Wichita opportunities.

Penalties were minimal for both teams with the Brahmas called five times for 10 minutes and the Thunder called twice for four minutes. The Brahmas remain the least penalized team in the league with 230 minutes.

Jason Deitsch received the first star for his three points in his first game back with the Brahmas after a 10-game stint with the AHL's Houston Aeros. Scott Sheppard received the second star for his two goals tonight.

You can view the box score
here

The Brahmas return home to the NYTEX Sports Centre for their first match-up against the 3-7-1 Tulsa Oilers on Saturday night.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Topher Scott takes leave

Rookie forward will be out for a couple of weeks

Rookie forward Topher Scott has been granted a leave of absence by the Central Hockey League due to a personal matter and will be out for at least a couple of weeks.

Scott, 23, has three points (1 G, 2 A) and no penalty minutes in seven games since joining the Brahmas on October 25th.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Texas Brahmas travel to Wichita to silence the Thunder

Bulls look to improve on their road record

The 7-3-1 Texas Brahmas are on the road again for the first of three meetings with the Wichita Thunder this season. The game will take place on Friday night at the Britt Brown Arena in Valley Center, Kansas.

Last season, the teams met five times, with the Brahmas winning four and outscoring the Thunder 22-12. The one Brahmas loss took place at the Kansas Coliseum. The Thunder ended up finishing the season 20-42-2; their worst record in franchise history.

At 4-7-1, the Thunder have had a rough start this season. Rookie head coach Brent Bilodeau is taking things one game at a time, but with a 1-3-1 record at home this season, he is trying to find a way to light a fire and get his team motivated. Bilodeau has been vocal about his players showing little emotion and their lack of consistency.

A persistent problem continues for the Thunder who have failed to reach 30 shots in regulation in their last seven games. They are second to last in the league with 311 shots, averaging just 26 per game. The Thunder offense has shown flashes of potential, scoring five or more goals three times in 12 games. The Thunder reached that total just six times in 64 games last year.

The Thunder has struggled late in games, getting outscored 15-7 in the third period. That's the second-worst differential in the league (Tulsa has been outscored 15-5). They have also lost three straight home games, giving up 16 goals in the process. Their only win at home was against the Rocky Mountain Rage. They have lost five of their last six games.

The Thunder have had issues with its defense but will get some help with the addition of Andrew Davis, who will make his debut with the team on Friday. Although their penalty-killing percentage is 78.65 (13th in the league), the Thunder killed 14 of 16 power plays (87.5 percent) in two road games this past weekend.

Rookie goaltender Krister Toews has a 3.58 GAA (14th in the league) and a .896 save percentage (11th in the league). Last week though, his save percentage was .952, stopping 80 of 84 shots. He is 4-3-1 on the season.

The Brahmas are battling the Laredo Bucks and the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees for the top slot in the Southeast Division. They are coming off three straight home wins and are looking to improve on their road record which stands at 2-2-1.

The bulls have been given an offensive shot in the arm with the return of forward Jordan Cameron who scored two goals and an assist in two games since returning from Germany.

The Brahmas will be without forwards Lance Galbraith, who is on team suspension and Topher Scott, who was granted a leave of absense by the league. Back for the Brahmas will be Jason Deitsch who played 10 games with the Houston Aeros (AHL).

The game begins at 7:05pm and can be seen on Nifty-TV.

Texas Brahmas Wallpaper available

Fan club website offers fun stuff

If you haven't visited the Texas Brahmas Fan Club website lately, you are missing out on some fun stuff. Webmaster Russell Farris has been creating some great wallpapers for your computer like the one above.

If you're not already a member, you should consider joining. The fan club does a lot of great things for and with the players as well as the fans. For more information, visit their website at http://www.texasbrahmas.org/

Image Credit: Texas Brahmas Fan Club
Dan Wildfong on Hockey This Morning show

Texas Brahmas head coach appears on satellite radio

Texas Brahmas head coach Dan Wildfong hit the airwaves on Wednesday morning with Scott Laughlin of Hockey This Morning on XM and Sirius Radio 208. Here is the transcript. You can also go here for a link to listen to the interview.

Q: Now we shine the spotlight on the Central Hockey League and a nice story developing down there with the Texas Brahmas. The head coach of the Brahmas is Dan Wildfong. How are you doing Dan?

A: I’m doing great Scott, how are you?

Q: I’m pretty well. Now you hail from Clinton, Ontario, right?

A: Yeah, the city of Clinton.

Q: Where the heck is that?

A: It’s up near London, Ontario, the Toronto area, so I made it down South; I’m pretty happy to get away from the cold.

Q: Yeah, and I bet that you’re pretty happy with the start to your season as well at 7-3-1…

A: Yeah, we’re pretty happy. We’re obviously not where we want to be as of yet but we’re making steps towards where we want to go so we’re getting there but we’re not there yet.

Q: Well, you’ve got Laredo that you’re chasing now. That’s Terry Ruskowski’s team, right?

A: Yeah. He’s got a pretty good team there every year…they play really well every night.

Q: I want to talk to you Dan, about your transition to coaching. You made the move I guess about two years ago. You’re what, 33?

A: Yeah, 33 now.

Q: Very young head coach; what was it that made you decide that maybe at the age of 31 it was time to move on from the playing career and to get into the coaching ranks?

A: Well, it was obviously a tough decision. You know, I felt like I could still play but injuries over the last eight years, they just added up. It was a tough transition in the beginning because you don’t have to get ready yourself. Now you have to get 19 guys ready to go and if you don’t get those guys ready, you’re going to be out of a job soon. It was a little bit of a transition in the beginning but I couldn’t think of a better thing to go into after playing hockey beside being a coach and I was pretty fortunate to get an opportunity that Frank and Sal Trazzera, our owners gave me here.

Q: Well, you were a playing assistant with Shreveport, a former captain there at Shreveport. Did that help you prepare for this role that you now have, the fact that you were a player assistant, that maybe you a had a little bit of time, a little bit of closeness with the coaching staff there and that gave you a little preparation for where you are now?

A: Oh definitely. I worked side-by-side with Coach Muscutt in Shreveport and he really helped me out there a lot but there are a lot of things I had to learn last year that I really wasn’t prepared for. You learn as you go. I think we adapted well. I had a great assistant coach last year with Forbes MacPherson that really helped me and Ron Vogel this year. If you have a good team and office staff and you have good assistants, they can really help you. I think that is what has contributed to our success on the ice.

Q: Earlier this hour Dan, we had a conversation with David Andrews, the American Hockey League’s president. We talked about the success of hockey down there in Texas. They’ve got Houston of course in the American Hockey League; the Dallas Stars have done well since moving from Minnesota. We know that the Central League has a number of franchises down there in Texas. Generally, in the American South, how much has the game changed in terms of fan appreciation, fan support and attendance, thinks like that, media coverage, from the days when you started your career there to today where you’re a head coach?

A: It’s been unbelievable, the support we’ve had from all of our success. You know, the knowledge of the fan has really grown. I know my first years playing in Shreveport, they would shoot the puck from the other end and the goalie would stop it and the fans would cheer. Obviously, they don’t do that now. They know the game a lot better with the Stars being so successful and with teams like Houston and San Antonio and with our youth hockey programs here. It’s been unbelievable how much the fans know and how much they come out and support the organizations. Oklahoma City, they’re getting 8-10 thousand a night and we’re getting several thousand a night so it’s an exciting venue to watch minor pro hockey in the Central League.

Q: What’s the mindset Dan, that you try to impress upon your players as to their futures in the game? Some of these guys will go on to closer steps toward the National Hockey League. For others, this might be it, the Central Hockey League. Not a bad place to play professional hockey and to get paid for it to really carve out a niche for yourself. Some guys will move on and some guys won’t. What’s the philosophy that you try to impress upon your players as to the present point and time and what they’ve got here in front of them?

A: Our philosophy is like a business. You get paid to play a game and you’ve got to come to work every day and I think that instills a lot in our players of what it’s like in the real world too, of basically coming to work every day and having that character to battle through stuff. When you’re down here playing, there are a lot of opportunities for players that aren’t going to be going to play in the American league or the NHL. They get a lot of connections with our sponsors and they can get great connections for job opportunities after hockey and I know a lot of guys have done that in the past in this league and they set themselves up really well. It’s unfortunate that careers come to an end but when they do it’s nice to be able to set yourself up. The guys that do go on to the American League, it’s a benefit to guys in the Central League and they really promote the players well here. There’s a lot more affiliations happening and a lot more guys get called up and down in the Central League from when I started.

Q: Well Dan, congratulations on your success so far this season. Best of luck in trying to track down Laredo; as you say, Ruskowski’s always got a great team and they’re one the teams that you guys shoot for. Congratulations on your success and best of luck the rest of the season.

A: I appreciate you having me on here. Thanks again.

That’s Dan Wildfong, the head coach of the Texas Brahmas of the Central Hockey League. Now this franchise was formerly the Fort Worth Brahmas. They suspended operations back in 2006-07; took a year off, had a bit of a lease agreement problem with the building at the time in Fort Worth. They returned last season as the Texas Brahmas. They brought in the new head coach, Dan Wildfong who was a real good player for many years with the Shreveport organization and last season they went to the playoffs for the first time since 2001-02 and this is an interesting concept, we know that the teams at the minor-league level often have these great promotional nights and not only will they have some home games coming up at their home rink, the NYTEX Centre, in salute of the military, they will honor the military in a couple of games coming up towards the end of the month, but their next home game will come on Saturday night against the Tulsa Oilers down there. The game taking place in North Richland Hills, Texas and its $1 hot dog night. All hot dogs on sale that night – suddenly the producer perks up – Mr. Levine’s got thumbs up and he’s right now got the phone and he’s trying to get in touch with his travel agent to book a flight down to Texas. We thank Dan Wildfong for his time here this morning.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A few minutes with...Randy Murphy

The New Mexico Scorpions head coach talks about his team and coaching against Dan Wildfong's Brahmas

Randy Murphy is now in his second year as head coach of the New Mexico Scorpions. Last season, the Scorpions finished with a record of 34-24-6. They lost to the Arizona Sundogs in the playoffs.

Murphy, 36, previously served as an assistant coach for the Scorpions during the 2006-07 season and was a player/assistant for three years with the Elmira Jackals (UHL) from 2001-2004.

Over a 11-year professional playing career the Elmira College graduate appeared in 751 games racking up 895 points (328 G, 567 A). He played in the SHL, UHL, AHL, ECHL, WPHL and CHL.
Murphy wore the Scorpions sweater for 199 games from 1998-2000 and 2004-05.

In addition to the Scorpions Hall of Fame, “Murph” has his hockey stick inside the Pro Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. On December 31, 1999 in a game versus El Paso, he scored the final professional goal scored in the millennium.

I spoke with Coach Murphy during his recent visit to the NYTEX Sports Centre.

Q:How do you feel about the performance of your team thus far?

A: You know what? To sum it up in one word, I would say inconsistent right now. There's a lot of good signs. I like the core of guys that we have. It's just a matter of building and getting better day-to-day here. If we can get better every day, then we're on the right track.

Q: Rookie center Torren Delforte has been really dynamic. Are you surprised, or is that what you'd expected of him?

A: Torren's really been a great edition. We probably didn't expect as much of an offensive outpouring from him this early on but he's certainly grasping the pro game pretty quickly. I'm real excited to see a guy like that who's a first-year guy with that much work ethic and talent combined into one package.

Q: At this point in the season, coaches are still trying out their systems and see where everybody is at as a team. With where you're at and what you've seen so far, in what area would you like to see the most improvement for your team?

A: I think definitely our D-zone coverage. Play in our end has to get a lot better . It's something that we work on every day in practice. It seems to be taking us a while to grasp it. Part of that's my problem to fix and part of it is the guys. I like to think of it as somewhat like a marriage. You know, give and take a little bit. Both sides have to understand that we're trying to come to a common ground and that's overall improvement. Right now it seems to be a bit of a struggle for us. We don't really have a problem scoring goals but you don't want to be a run-and-gun team. They don't seem to last very long in this day and age in the pro hockey game. We'll try to keep the puck out of our net and hopefully our goaltending gets to the point where they're at their best and our defense are at their best and our forwards are committing their own end.

Q: You've played against Dan Wildfong. Would you rather play against him or coach against him?

A: I'd rather coach against him (laughing). He wasn't a lot of fun to play against. That's for sure. He was a competitor, a tough guy. You know, I wish I had a couple of Dan Wildfongs. He's a guy who really brought it every night and tried to help his team win every night. I respect Dan. Dan and I have a pretty good relationship when it comes to the off-ice stuff and he's done a tremendous job over there.

Q: What do you think, in preparing against the Brahmas, what are you looking at mainly?

A: They've got a great team. Their personnel is tremendous. They've got some real big forwards. Our key is to try and neutralize their bigger guys up front and try to just control them. If we can do that, I think we'll be OK.

Q: What did you think when you heard that Jordan Cameron came back from Germany?

A: I wasn't really very excited about that (laughing). He's a good player. He's not unlike a lot of their other guys. Obviously he's got a great scoring touch. He's just one of the other guys we have to key on.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith
Pete Rouleau - CHL Power Player

Rookie forward leads Brahmas in scoring

Texas Brahmas forward Pete Rouleau was selected as the Central Hockey League Power Player on the CHL website this week.

Rouleau, 25, leads the Brahmas in scoring this season with 13 points (4 G, 9 A) in 11 games played. He has three goals and five assists in his last five games and is tied for fifth place among rookie scoring leaders. All four of his goals and four assists have come on the powerplay.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

Jason Deitsch returns to the Texas Brahmas

High scoring forward to play this weekend

Texas Brahmas forward Jason Deitsch will retun to the lineup this weekend after playing 10 games with the Houston Aeros (AHL). Deitsch tallied 7 points (2 G, 5 A) during his time in Houston.

Deitsch played in the pre-season match against the Odessa Jackalopes and the season opener against the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs before being called up to the Aeros on October 18th.

The timing of his return is ideal with the Brahmas taking the momentum of a three-game winning streak on the road to play the 4-7-1 Wichita Thunder. This will be the first meeting between the two teams this season. Wichita, coming off of a shootout victory against Rio Grande Valley Saturday night is 1-3-1 at home.

The Brahmas will return home to the NYTEX Sports Centre to take on the 3-5-1 Tulsa Oilers on Saturday night.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Texas Brahmas hand the New Mexico Scorpions another loss

Bulls win 4-1, move to second place in the Southeast Division

The Texas Brahmas dominated the New Mexico Scorpions Saturday night, defeating them handily and winning their third game in a row in front of a home crowd at the NYTEX Sports Centre.

The Scorpions opened up the scoring in the first period after fending off two Brahmas powerplay opportunities. Scorpions forward Mike McDonald worked through several Brahmas defenders and was able to make a pass to center Jamie Herrington who was able to slap the puck past David Cacciola at the 12:56 mark.

Just 50 seconds later, the Brahmas capitalized on a tripping call on Aaron MacInnis when Pete Rouleau tipped in a shot, scoring his fourth powerplay goal of the season with the assist from Mike Vellinga and Jordan Cameron. Less than two minutes later, Cameron scored an even-strength wrap-around goal, his second goal in as many nights, with credit to Pete Rouleau and Mike Vellinga on the assist.

The Brahmas went without a penalty call and outshot the Scorpions 17-6 in the first period.

Defensive play ruled the second period until the Brahmas' Grant Jacobsen took advantage of a powerplay opportunity and flicked a shot past Scorpions netminder Andrew Martin at the 15:21 mark to give the bulls a 3-1 lead. The Brahmas outshot the Scorpions again in the second; this time 11-9.

The Brahmas sealed the win in the third period when Jacobsen got free in the neutral zone and was able to tuck the puck just under the crossbar. It was his fifth goal in nine games. Despite being outshot 11-5 in the period, the Brahmas held on to their lead and the game ended with the bulls on top with a final score of 4-1.

David Cacciola stopped 25 of 26 shots for the victory, improving his record to 2-2-0.

New Mexico failed to convert on four powerplay opportunities. The Brahmas went two for eight. The Brahmas improved to second in the league (behind the Colorado Eagles) with a 22.83 powerplay percentage.

The Brahmas went 30:05 minutes before getting their first penalty and were only called for 12 minutes on 6 infractions. The bulls have the second lowest penalty minute total in the league at 220 (Rio Grande Valley has 200).

Forward Pete Rouleau is tied for fifth in the league for scoring by rookies with 13 points after his performance tonight with one goal and two assists. He also leads the Brahmas in points scored.

The third star went to Grant Jacobsen who had two goals. The second star went to Pete Rouleau who had a goal and two assists and the first star went to Jordan Cameron who had a goal and an assist for a total of three points in two nights.

The Brahmas improve to 7-3-1 with 15 points and move to second place in the Southeast Division behind the Bucks. Only Laredo has a better home record at 6-2-0. The Brahmas are tied with the Colorado Eagles and the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs at 5-1-0.

You can view the box score here

The Brahmas next game is on Friday. They will play the 4-7-1 Wichita Thunder for the first time this season at the Britt Brown Arena in Valley Center Kansas.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith