Saturday, January 23, 2010

Kevin McLeod, just back from the Springfield Falcons (AHL) scored the game winning goal

Brahmas defeat Corpus Christi in shootout thriller

Jaeger magnificent, McLeod settles contest in first game back

No matter how you look at it, this was one of the best defensive battles of the season with two stellar performances in net. Thankfully, the Texas Brahmas came out on top with a 1-0 shootout victory over the Corpus Christi Ice Rays tonight at the NYTEX Sports Centre.

The Brahmas made a 180 degree turnaround from last night's effort, playing hard for 60 minutes against an equally strong and motivated Ice Rays team.

The shot count per period went this way - 8-5 Brahmas in the first, 13 all in the second, 11-10 Brahmas in the third and 9-1 Corpus Christi in overtime. Kyle Peto and Ryan Garbutt led the Ice Rays in shots with six each. Tyler Skworchinski and Jason Deitsch led the Brahmas in shots with five each.

In the shootout, Corpus Christi's fourth shooter, Chris Richards became the only man to solve Brett Jaeger all night. The Brahmas' second shooter, Jordan Cameron was the first to solve Nastiuk and it was the prodigal Kevin McLeod, who won the game as the fifth and final shooter, sending the puck over the shoulder of Kevin Natiuk.

With the win, the Brahmas' record goes to 20-14-5 with 45 points, keeping them in third place in the Southern Conference. They remain two points ahead of Laredo and 12 points behind Allen.

It was the Ice Rays' fifth straight shootout loss this season. Still, they take home three out of a possible four points in two games, their best showing against the Brahmas in years. They remain tied with Rio Grande Valley for sixth place in the conference with 38 points.

Brett Jaeger made 37 saves on 37 shots and earns the win. His record goes to 9-9-1-1. Kevin Nastiuk made 33 saves on 33 shots and takes the shootout loss. His record goes to 11-10-4-3. Each are awarded shutouts for their efforts.

The Brahmas went zero for five on the power play. Corpus Christi went zero for nine. The Brahmas were assessed 18 minutes on nine infractions; the Ice Rays received 10 minutes on five infractions.

The 3rd Star of the game went to Kevin Nastiuk for his performance in goal tonight. The 2nd Star was awarded to Brett Jaeger for the same reason and the 1st Star went to Kevin McLeod, who scored the game-winning goal.

You can view the box score

The Brahmas begin a three-game road-trip on Tuesday when they take on the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs at the CenturyTel Center. On Friday, the Brahmas visit the Laredo Bucks and on Saturday, they take on the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees in Hidalgo, Texas.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith (Disclaimer: photo not from tonight's game)

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