Heart & Hustle were no match for the Texas Brahmas in an exciting game at the CenturyTel Center as the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs were defeated 6-4. Two goals in 35 seconds in the third period made the difference as the Brahmas improved to 2-2-1 and Joe Palmer recorded his first win.
Tyler Liebel gave the Mudbugs the early lead after receiving a feed from Joe Blaznek. His attempt to tip it in went wide but the puck came back in front and he was able to smack it past Joe Palmer to make it 1-0 at the 3:20 mark. Mark Johnson was also credited with the assist.
Watching the game on CHL-TV was horrible as it appeared a drunken monkey was given camera duty. Also the sound quality was terrible and the local radio station was not broadcasting the game. Foo!
After Joe Blaznek was called for Interference, it took less than a minute for the Brahmas to score their first power play goal since Anders Strome's game winner in overtime on opening night against the Eagles. Jason Deitsch, assisted by Craig Minard and AJ Gale, received the puck in the right circle and fired it right inside the elbow of Ken Carroll who wasn't able to get his glove up in time to make the save. It was 1-1 at the 9:22 mark.
The period was full of fast, physical play and tempers began to flare late in the period. Neil Clark nearly came to blows with Jason Reese in front of the Brahmas' net after the two collided at the end of a play. Wow, pick on someone your own size and age, Neil.
The Brahmas took the lead at the 15:26 mark on a crazy play when Dan Welch took a shot on net that hit one pipe, bounced off the other, and then just trickled past the goal line. I don't think Ken Carroll or any of the Mudbugs believed it was a goal, but the referee did and the Brahmas led 2-1.
The Brahmas were able to maintain the lead for the remainder of the period and narrowly out shot the Mudbugs 14-13 in the first 20 minutes. Joe Palmer looked a little uneasy at the beginning of the period but he made some great saves as time wore on.
Lots of action but little scoring and only one penalty in the second period. A shot from Jordan Cameron hit the pipes about three minutes in and then Cameron took a stick to the face, setting up the Brahmas' second power play opportunity of the game. Unfortunately, they failed to capitalize.
A tremendous effort by Joe Palmer was witnessed when Dave Pszenyczny made four consecutive attempts to beat the Brahmas net minder before the puck was finally cleared by Kevin McLeod.
The Mudbugs evened the score at the 12:34 mark when Brett Smith picked off a pass in the Brahmas zone and fired the puck over Palmer's left shoulder. I'm surprised Simon Mangos and Joe Zappala were credited with the assist because it was all Smith on that score.
The Brahmas were out shot 16-9 in the period and had a 29-23 shot advantage after 40 minutes.
The third period was a thriller as six goals were scored - fortunately for the Brahmas, four of those goals were on behalf of the purple and black.
Lee Jubinville tallied his first professional goal on a tremendous play in which Pete Rouleau sent a long pass to Justin Kinnunen who fed it to a waiting Jubinville just outside the crease. Ken Carroll was able to stop the first attempt but was unable to stop the rebound as he fell to the ice. The Brahmas had the 3-2 lead at the 4:57 mark.
The Mudbugs regained some momentum after Shawn Limpright scored a goal at the 7:37 mark to make it a 3-3 contest. After being knocked to his knees by Kevin McLeod, Joe Ori was able to get back up, keeping control of the puck he received from Dale Lupul and fed it to Limpright who fired it over the left shoulder of Joe Palmer.
Nearly five minutes passed with terrific defensive efforts by both teams to keep the score even. But the Mudbugs' aforementioned momentum was deflated by two Brahmas goals in a 35 second span which made the difference in the game.
Justin Kinnunen took a feed at center ice set up by Jordan Cameron and Grant Jacobsen and then made the play of the game. Ken Carroll came out of the net, apparently expecting Kinnunen to shoot the puck along the boards but instead, Kinnunen fired the puck into the top corner of the unprotected net, again, from center ice, to make it a 4-3 game at the 12:19 mark.
"He (Carroll) stopped a lot of plays because he wasn't in the net, and we were wondering why," Dan Wildfong told the Shreveport Times. "The guys picked up on it and tried it, and it worked. Obviously, it's luck, but it's being smart in seeing the play."
Then, at the 12:54 mark, AJ Gale did a great job of stick handling as he made his way past Dave Pszenyczny to score an unassisted goal to make it 5-3. Gale now leads all rookies in scoring in the league with seven points (3 G, 4A, +3)
But the Mudbugs weren't ready to lay down and die. After a Hooking call on Jason Deitsch at the 18:11 mark, Scott Muscutt pulled Carroll in favor of the extra attacker for a six on four advantage. It only took two seconds to score after Brett Smith won the ensuing draw and passed it to Joe Zappala, who immediately fired over the glove hand of a stunned Joe Palmer and all of a sudden it was a 5-4 game.
Unfortunately for the Mudbugs, the continuing six on four power play did not pay off as Tyler Skworchinski scored on the empty net to provide the final score of 6-4 at the 19:08 mark. He was assisted by Jason Deitsch and Joe Palmer. It was a great effort by Bossier-Shreveport, but those two goals were a nail strip in the road as the Mudbugs dropped to 2-3-0 and 0-3-0 at home. The Brahmas had the 11-5 shot advantage in the final frame but the shots were even on the night with both teams at 34.
Joe Palmer stopped 30 of 34 shots faced to improve to 1-0-1. Ken Carroll stopped 28 of 33 and took the loss with his record now at 0-2-0.
The Brahmas went 1 for 2 on the power play. The Mudbugs went 1 for 5.
The Brahmas were assessed 10 minutes on five infractions. The Mudbugs were called for four minutes on two infractions.
The 3rd Star of the game was awarded to Justin Kinnunen who had a goal and an assist. The 2nd Star went to Bossier-Shreveport's Brett Smith who also had a goal and an assist and the 1st Star was given to AJ Gale a goal and two assists on the night.
You can view the box score here
- James Hiebert obviously wasn't going to see a lot of ice time tonight but he was quick to show his instigator skills. With Greg McConnell out, Hiebert will fill that role nicely.
- A power play goal was nice to finally see again but the Brahmas are now last in the league with an 8.33 percentage (2 on 24). They are now 12th in the league on the PK at 80.00%.
- AJ Gale not only leads all CHL rookies in scoring, but he also leads the Brahmas with seven points (3 G, 4 A, +3) including a power play assist, a short-handed goal and a game-winning goal.
- Not a bad effort by Joe Palmer tonight considering four goals allowed. He had a truly acrobatic save in the first period and maintained his focus during Pszenyczny's onslaught in the second. A win is a win and he was even credited with an assist. He now sits fifth among active CHL goalies with a 2.73 GAA and fourth with a .917 save percentage with 131:56 playing time.
The Brahmas return home tonight to get some rest in order to prepare for tomorrow night's game against the undefeated Allen Americans (4-0-0) at the NYTEX Sports Centre.
Halloween activities begin at 6:05 PM and fans who attend wearing their costumes will receive a free ticket to an upcoming Brahmas game. The first 1,000 fans to enter the rink will be given a 2009-10 Brahmas magnet schedule featuring Jordan Cameron.
Photo Credit: Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs