The Texas Brahmas, on the road after last night's overtime win against the Colorado Eagles, lost in a 4-3 decision against the Laredo Bucks today. It was the Brahmas' fourth game in five nights and still playing with a short bench, the boys made a good effort but couldn't catch a break against the Bucks, who finally earned a win after seven straight losses.
With the loss, the Brahmas record goes to 16-12-5 with 37 points, good enough to retain the third position in the Southern Conference, but just two points ahead of Laredo.
Mark O’Leary made an immediate impact in his first game with the Bucks as he jammed in a rebound from a shot by Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel. Joe Palmer was committed to the right side of his crease to stop the previous shot and left the net wide open behind himself. Eric Giosa was credited with the assist. At the 9:59 mark, Laredo was up 1-0.
Unfortunate stat: The Bucks entered the contest 9-2-4 when scoring first this season.
The Brahmas tied the game less than three minutes later when Kevin Seibel centered a feed that hit Laredo goalie Kyle Gajewski's skate bounced into the back of the net. Jordan Cameron and Matt Burto were credited with the assists.
The Bucks would re-take the lead just 19 seconds later when Evan Schwabe hammered in a slap shot from the slot off of a pass from Mark O’Leary. The score was 2-1 at the 13:00 mark.
The Bucks outshot the Brahmas 14-7 in the first period and went into the locker room with a lead they would not give up for the remainder of the game.
There was only one score in the middle frame. After a Cross-Checking call on Matt Burto for crushing Justin Styffe into the boards at the 19:07 mark, Laredo scored on the power play with just one second left in the period. Defenseman Adam Rivet hit the puck as he got upended (on what may have been a pass attempt), sending it right past Joe Palmer and into the net. Neil Trimm and Lance Monych were credited with the assist.
The Bucks were out shot by the Brahmas 13-7 in the second period but had the 22-20 advantage and the 3-1 lead through 40 minutes.
A holding call on Neil Trimm 32 seconds into the final frame allowed Tyler Skworchinski to cut the Bucks lead to 3-2 when he scored a goal at the 2:28 mark with the assist from Kevin Seibel.
With 1:06 left on the clock, Jordan Cameron looked to score the tying goal but Kyle Gajewski was just pushed into his net, taking the puck with him and although the goal light was lit, referee Jon McIssac ruled no goal, instead sending Neil Trimm into the sin bin for a pending Holding call to give the Brahmas a final power play opportunity. Dan Wildfong pulled Joe Palmer in favor of the extra attacker but Darryl Smith was able to put the Bucks up 4-2 when he scored an empty-net goal with 24 seconds left in the period, ending the Brahmas chance for a comeback.
Refusing to give in, AJ Gale scored with six seconds left to cut the Bucks lead to 4-3 but Laredo won the ensuing face off and ran the clock out to preserve the win.
Joe Palmer made 28 saves on 31 shots and takes the loss. His record goes to 9-4-4-2. Kyle Gajewski made 28 saves on 31 shots and takes the loss. His record goes to 4-5-2-1.
The Brahmas went 2 for 8 on the power play. Colorado went 1 for 9. The Brahmas were assessed 16 minutes on eight infractions; the Eagles received 18 minutes on nine infractions.
The 3rd Star of the game went to Laredo's Evan Schwabe who had a goal. The 2nd Star was awarded to Kevin Seibel who had a goal and an assist and the 1st Star went to Laredo's Mark O'Leary who also had a goal and an assist in his first action on his new team.
You can view the box score here
- Craig Minard, Justin Kinnunen, Tyrell Mason, Lee Jubinville and Elias Godoy remained scratched for today's game. All but Minard are listed on Injured Reserve.
- The Brahmas penalty kill has moved up to number five in the league with a 84.33 percentage. They are 13th in the league (ahead of Corpus Christi and Wichita) on the power play at 12.56%. They still have the most short-handed goals at 11 (Tulsa is at nine).
- AJ Gale leads the team in power play goals with five. Tyler Skworchinski leads in short-handed goals with three.
- Joe Palmer still leads all goaltenders and all rookies in 3 Star points with 27. Kevin McLeod is second among all defensemen with 16 points.
The Brahmas will return home tonight to rest up and then begin preparing for their next game on Friday, when they host the Allen Americans for game two of the North Texas Vintage Series.
Photo Credit: Robert Keith