Friday, December 11, 2009

Insider Preview: Arizona Sundogs @ Texas Brahmas

Brahmas seek fifth win in a row at NYTEX tonight

The Texas Brahmas (11-9-3, 25 points) will host the Arizona Sundogs (6-12-2, 14 points) tonight at the NYTEX Sports Centre for the first of four games to be played between the two teams this season.

After winning the Central Hockey League’s coveted Ray Miron President’s Cup in May of 2008, the Sundogs have struggled to return to championship form. A lackluster 27-32-5 record last season failed to earn a playoff berth and thus far, there have been few bright spots this season. With just six wins in 20 contests, the teams sits in last place in the Southern Conference and second to last place in the league with 14 points.

The two teams have only played four times before, with the Brahmas owning the series 3-1. The Brahmas won the only previous game played at NYTEX 5-0 on January 16th.

Player for player, I think the Brahmas have the better team, but the Sundogs always put up a good fight. Oh, did I say fight? Yeah, there have been some good ones between these two teams and the Sundogs like to battle.

The Sundogs haven’t played since last Saturday when they defeated the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees 3-1 on the road. They lost four games in a row prior to that.

The Brahmas have won four in a row (Allen, Bossier, Corpus and Tulsa) and will no doubt once again come out strong, continuing to ride the momentum of their vastly improved play as of late.
The Sundogs are 4-5-1 on the road thus far this season. The Brahmas are 7-4-0 at home.

Arizona’s top three scorers include Kevin Gardner (F) with 18 points (7 G, 11 A, 0), Torren Delforte (F) with 17 points (9 G, 8 A, 0) and Konrad Reeder (F) with 17 points (7 G, 10 A, +6). Reeder is the leading road warrior with 12 points (4 G, 8 A, +6). Their leading defensive scorer is Jon Landry with 15 points (3 G, 12 A, +1).

Arizona’s top goon is forward Kyle Hood (59 PIM).

On special teams, the Sundogs have the number 13 power play with a 11.59 percentage (13th at 9.2% on the road) and the number 10 penalty kill with an 81.82 percentage (eighth on the road at 83.1%). They have scored two short-handed goals this season.

J.F. Perras (6-7-1-1) is expected in goal tonight. Perras is 21st in the league with a 3.48 GAA and 18th with a .890 save percentage.

Arizona forwards Matt Foy, Cedric Bernier and Steve Potvin are all out on injured reserve and not expected to play tonight.

The Brahmas top three scorers are Jordan Cameron (F) with 22 points (4 G, 18 A, +1), Grant Jacobsen (F) with 16 points (10 G, 6 A, 0) and A.J. Gale (F) with 16 points (9 G, 7 A, +2). Kevin McLeod is the Brahmas leading defensive scorer with 16 points (9 G, 7 A, -3).

On Special Teams, the Brahmas remain last in the league with a 10.95 percentage and 11th on the penalty kill with an 81.63 percentage. They are tied with Tulsa for the league lead in short handed goals with seven.

Brett Jaeger (5-6-1) will start tonight in net for the Brahmas. He is currently 15th in the league with a 3.22 GAA and 21st with a .882 save percentage.

For the Brahmas, forward Jason Deitsch remains on the 30-day IR retroactive to November 20th. He is not expected to dress tonight. James Hiebert and Luke Sellars will not play tonight due to their suspensions as a result of the pre-game fracas on Wednesday night with the Allen Americans.

The game begins at 7:05pm and will be broadcast on CHL-TV if you can't be there.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

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