Saturday, January 30, 2010

Brahmas fall in Rio Grande Valley 6-3

Sixth straight road loss; 47-23 shot advantage no match for Wylie Rogers

The Texas Brahmas were defeated tonight in a 6-3 contest against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees at the Dodge Arena in Hidalgo. Despite a 47-23 shot count, the Brahmas had a hell of a time against a magnificent Wylie Rogers, who stymied countless scoring opportunities.

Unfortunate fact: The Brahmas have not won on the road since December 19th at Arizona.

With the loss, the Brahmas record goes to 20-17-5; their road record to 6-12-4. Fortunately, Laredo was tossed at home by Corpus Christi, 6-3. The Bucks hold onto third place in the Southern Conference and remain tied with the Brahmas at 45 points. Rio Grande Valley maintains their hold on the fifth and final playoff berth with 42 points.

By the way, in case you've forgotten, Rio has defeated the Brahmas in all three meetings this year; twice at the Dodge Center and once in the shoebox. They've also scored five goals on the Brahmas in all three contests; outscoring Texas 15-7.

The Brahmas had an early five-on-three opportunity at the 2:52 mark of the first period but were unable to convert despite a strong attack on Wylie Rogers .

The Bees got off to a slow start, out shot 10-0 by the Brahmas, but their first shot of the game proved deadly. Jesse Bennefield came right down the middle on a breakaway, skated to the left hash marks, then cut to the right and fired his shot past Palmer on the glove side to make it 1-0 at the 8:29 mark. Nathan Ansell and Matt Sweazey were credited with the assist.

The Brahmas would answer less than three minutes later with their 13th short-handed strike of the season by Jordan Cameron; his second in as many nights. With Luke Sellars in the sin bin (Hooking), Cameron and Tyler Skworchinski quickly gained control of the puck passing it back and forth past Rio defenders. Cameron skated in and was able to thread the puck past Wylie Rogers for his unassisted tally at the 11:12 mark.

There would be no further scoring in the period which was dominated for the most part by the Brahmas, ending with a 10-17 shot advantage.

Texas began the second frame with :29 seconds on the man advantage courtesy of a late call on Jesse Bennefield (Hooking). Unable to convert again, the Brahmas were the victims of a heads up play by the Killer Bees, just after the five-on-five play resumed. Jesse Bennefield sent a pass to Aaron Lee who was able to fire his shot Palmer to make it 2-1 at the :41 second mark. Jay Hardwick was also credited with an assist.

Zak McClellan gave the Bees a two goal advantage with a power play goal at the 9:11 mark. With Todd Paul in the bin (Cross Checking), McClellan, set up by Aaron Lee and Sean Muncy, poked the puck just over the goal line on a wrap around attempt for the 3-1 lead.

Later in the period, the Brahmas got back into the game with a beautiful play by Matt Burto and Justin Kinnunen. Short-handed with Tyler Skworchinski (Roughing) in the box, Burto threaded the puck right in front of the crease for Kinnunen who swooped in like an eagle and fired his shot past Rogers to make it 3-2 at the 16:05 mark. Grant Jacobsen was also credited with the assist. It was the second short-handed strike of the night; the third in two nights and the 14th of the season for the Brahmas.

The period ended with the Brahmas on the power play after a Hooking call on Rio defenseman Mike Harr. The Killer Bees had a 10-9 shot advantage in the middle frame but a 20-26 deficit after 40 minutes.

After failing to score on the remaining power play to begin the third frame, the Brahmas attacked throughout the period, out shooting Rio 21-3. Jay Hardwick was called for Slashing at the :34 second mark and the Brahmas were able to tally a rare power play goal 32 seconds later.

Joe Palmer made 18 saves on 23 shots and takes the loss. His record goes to 11-7-4-3. Wylie Rogers made 44 saves on 47 shots and earns the win. His record goes to 8-6-2.

The Brahmas went one for 10 on the power play. Rio Grande Valley went two for 10. Both teams were assessed 22 minutes on 11 infractions.

The 3rd Star of the game went to Aaron Lee, who had a goal and an assist. The 2nd Star was awarded to Jesse Bennefield, who had a goal and three assists and the 1st Star went to Wylie Rogers for a magnificent night in net for the Killer Bees.

You can view the box score

The Brahmas will make the long journey home overnight in order to prepare for tomorrow afternoon's game against the Tulsa Oilers at the NYTEX Sports Centre.

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