Saturday, January 9, 2010

Chris Whitley suffers the first of three goals against in the Friday night contest

Brahmas, Palmer shut out the Americans

Win 3-0 at the NYTEX Sports Center

The North Texas Vintage Series ended in a draw last night as the Texas Brahmas defeated the Allen Americans in a 3-0 contest. The Brahmas dominated in all areas except shots, in which the Americans had a 27-22 advantage. But that was the only advantage they had as rookie net minder Joe Palmer earned his third professional shut out by stifling every Allen scoring opportunity.

The Americans wore Dallas Black Hawks jerseys, while the Brahmas donned Fort Worth Wings sweaters in a night commemorating old minor league hockey rivals in the DFW area. On hand for the festivities were Fort Worth Wings forward Herb Boxer and Dallas Black Hawk winger Duane “Whip” Wylie who dropped the ceremonial first puck.

Defenseman Tyler Skworchinski netted two goals, Jordan Cameron had two assists, James Hiebert pummelled Liam Hukulak and the 303 Rowdies took off their shirts to give the large visiting Allen crowd the full NYTEX Sports Centre experience.

With the win, the Brahmas record goes to 17-12-5 and with 39 points, they remain in third place in the Southern Conference, two points ahead of Laredo and seven points behind Allen.

The first period turned into a great defensive struggle as neither team was able to beat the opposing net minder. Allen nearly scored midway through the frame, but a shot hit the crossbar and went out of play. Each side had three power play opportunities, but failed to convert.

Things changed in the second period. The Brahmas opened up the scoring when Matt Burto fed a pass across Chris Whitley’s crease to Tyler Skworchinski, who beat Whitley with a shot though the five hole taken in a kneeling position to make it 1-0 at the 8:04 mark. Jordan Cameron was also credited with the assist.

Allen defenseman Sean Perkins was called for Holding 28 seconds later in what would be the only infraction of the middle frame but the Americans' special teams held off the Brahmas attack.

The period ended without any further scoring. The Brahmas had the narrow 7-6 shot advantage and it was the difference maker as they took the 1-0 lead into the second intermission.

The third period opened with a waived-off goal for the Americans. I didn't hear the explanation from referee Tudor Floru, but the Brahmas got lucky.

The Brahmas scored when Mark Kolanos overpowered Allen defenseman Jordie Benn and slipped the puck past Chris Whitley who had fallen backward in a crowded crease for his fifth goal of the season. James Hiebert was credited with the assist at the 13:04 mark. Whitley and Allen head coach Dwight Mullins argued that the puck should have been whistled dead before the Brahmas had the opportunity to score, but referee Floru disagreed and the home team had the 2-0 lead.

Skworchinski wrapped up the game with another goal on a one-timer at the 13:04 mark. Jordan Cameron assisted.

Frustrations came to a head a little over a minute later when James Hiebert made it clear to Liam Hukulak that his crap wouldn't be tolerated. Hukulak eventually pulled Hiebert's sweater over his head but not before Hiebs got in a couple of good shots. Hiebert would receive two minutes for Roughing and a two-minute Fighting (Instigator). Both would receive a five-minute Fighting Major and a 10-minute No Category Game Misconduct and an early trip to the locker room.

Allen out shot the Brahmas 11-6 in the final frame and 27-22 in the game but went home with their tails between their legs and their five-game win streak ended.

Joe Palmer made 27 saves on 27 shots, earning the shut out win. His record goes to 10-4-4-3. Chris Whitley made 19 saves on 22 shots and takes the loss. His record goes to 16-6-2-1.

The Brahmas went 0 for 4 on the power play. Allen went 0 for 9. The Brahmas were assessed 25 minutes on 10 infractions; the Americans received 31 minutes on seven infractions.

The 3rd Star of the game went to Mark Kolanos who had a goal. The 2nd Star was awarded to Tyler Skworchinski who had two goals and the 1st Star went to Joe Palmer for his outstanding performance in net.

You can view the box score here

You can view my photos from the game here

  • Easily the best overall performance by the Brahmas this season. I spoke with Dan Wildfong after the game and it was the most satisfied I've seen him after a win.
  • Grant Jacobsen appeared to get speared by a frustrated Chris Whitley late in the game. Of course, Tudor didn't see that one, but all in all, I think Floru went easy on the Brahmas for once.
  • Jordan Cameron has an overwhelming lead over his teammates with 39 points (10 G, 29 A, +6).
  • Tyler Skworchinski leads all CHL defensemen with 14 goals and three short-handed goals. He is also tied for first place with three game-winning goals.
  • Joe Palmer moves into second place among all CHL goalies with a .924 save percentage. He is in third place with a 2.34 GAA. He leads all rookies and is second amongst all CHL players with 32 Star Points.
  • For a guy who hasn't played in a while, defenseman Tim Laurila looked pretty good out there. Fonger seemed pleased with his performance as well. Way to go T-bone!

The Brahmas held their sweater auction after the game and then boarded the bus for the trip up to Amarillo where they take on the Gorillas tonight at 7:05pm. The game will be broadcast on CHL-TV for the three people who won't be watching the Cowboys-Eagles game.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

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