Saturday, January 2, 2010

Jason Beatty and Ryan Tobler watch helplessly as Kevin McLeod's game-winning shot flew past Mike Mole

Who's house?

Brahmas win nail biter 4-3; McLeod fires game-winning goal in overtime

Once again, the Colorado Eagles are leaving the NYTEX Sports Centre after a heart-breaking loss. Their last visit on May 6th ended with the Brahmas winning the 2009 Ray Miron President's Cup Championship. Tonight, in the final regular season meeting between the two teams, the Texas Brahmas pulled out all the stops and bet the Eagles in overtime by a score of 4-3. The Brahmas are responsible for both of Colorado's overtime losses this season.

With the win, the Brahmas halted their two game slide and go to 16-11-5 with 37 points. They remain in third place in the Southern Conference, nine points behind the Americans and three points ahead of the Bucks. Colorado suffered their second straight road loss in devastating fashion and go to 21-6-2 with a tenuous hold on the lead in the Northern Conference with 43 points. Rapid City is knocking at the back door with 42 points.

The Eagles had a goal waived off in the first minute of play when referee Jon McIsaac blew the play dead but I didn't get what the issue was.

The Brahmas capitalized on the Eagle's first penalty of the night, a roughing call on, who else but Ryan Tobler. It took just 59 seconds for the score, a shot by Jordan Cameron off the assist from Tyler Skworchinski and Ross Rouleau to make it 1-0 at the 3:01 mark.

The Eagles would be called for three more penalties in a row but their penalty killers managed to prevent any more scoring chances for the Brahmas. Kevin McClelland made it very clear that he was unhappy with the undisciplined play.

The Brahmas had a shot hit the crossbar at about the 12:00 mark but I didn't see who made the shot.

Later in the period, a call on the Brahmas bench for an ineligible player translated into the tying score when Riley Nelson connected with Kevin Ulanski, whose cross-crease pass deflected past Joe Palmer at the 17:08 mark. Aaron Schneekloth was also credited with the assist.

The period would end with the 1-1 tie. Colorado had the slight shot lead at 11-10.

Over 15 minutes passed in the middle period before Fraser Filipic and his line charged the Brahmas defense and were able to convert their efforts into a goal when Filipic banged home a rebound on Alex Penner's shot for the 2-1 lead at the 15:04 mark.

Just 42 seconds later Tyler Skworchinski caught Colorado net minder Mike Mole out of position and scored with a wraparound goal after a turnover behind the Eagles' net. Jordan Cameron and Matt Burto combined on the assist and it was a 2-2 game at the 15:46 mark.
Colorado had a 17-9 shot advantage at periods end and a 28-19 advantage after 40 minutes but the score remained tied.

An errant pass from Jordan Cameron just inside the blue line was intercepted by Steve Haddon who sent the puck to Jay Birnie who was waiting at the top of the circles. Birnie managed to beat Joe Palmer on Colorado’s 34th shot of the evening to take the lead again at the 8:05 mark.

The Brahmas fought hard for the remainder of the period and their efforts paid off when Joe Palmer was pulled for the extra attacker with :40seconds remaining. Ross Rouleau's shot from the right point found its way through traffic and into the net with just 33.5 seconds left on the clock. Jason Deitsch and James Hiebert assisted on Rouleau's first goal of the season.

Tyler Skworchinski rushed the net and nearly had the game winner with about eight seconds left in regulation, but Penner made the stop and game went into sudden death overtime. Shots were even in the third period at 12 apiece.

The Brahmas out shot the Eagles 4-0 in the extra frame. It was a pass from Jordan Cameron to Kevin McLeod that set up the game winner at the 2:17 mark of the overtime period. McLeod was stationed near the half boards and patiently set up his first shot, which bounced of Mole's pads but McLeod recovered the puck and sent it in before Mole could react and the fans went wild and the Brahmas bench cleared as the team celebrated one of the most satisfying wins of the season.

The final shot count was 40-35, advantage Eagles but once again, the Brahmas were triumphant at NYTEX.

Joe Palmer made 37 saves on 40 shots and earned the win. His record goes to 9-3-4-2. Mike Mole made 31 saves on 35 shots and takes the loss. His record goes to 8-3-1.

The Brahmas went 1 for 8 on the power play. Colorado went 1 for 6. The
Brahmas were assessed 12 minutes on six infractions; the Eagles received 16 minutes on eight infractions.

The 3rd Star of the game went to Joe Palmer for his performance in net. The 2nd Star was awarded to Kevin McLeod for the game-winning goal and the 1st Star went to Jordan Cameron had a goal and two assists on the night.

You can view the box score here

You can view my photos from the game here


  • Didn't see much of Alex Penner during the game (except over my right shoulder behind the Colorado bench). Wonder is the Perrott factor negated his presence.
  • Speaking of Perrott - my favorite post on the Brahmas board in a long time from John Blanding...goes like this: "Beatty (Col) tries to put some pookie on Cam. Cam doesn't buy it. (Tex) line change...Cam to the bench, Perrott to the ice. Perrott has a chat with Beatty.
    Problem solved." You killed me with that "Beatty tries to put some Pookie on Cam"
  • Fraser Filipic nearly went back out on injured reserve after he started to challenge Perrott. Unwise move, Fraser.
  • Ross Rouleau will never have to prove his toughness again after the hits he absorbed in last night's game. If the collision with Tobler wasn't enough, being driven into the boards near the Brahmas bench a little while later might have been. But Rouleau got up each time and shook it off. Even scored his first tally of the season!
The Brahmas loaded up the bus and are on their way to Laredo for a Sunday afternoon contest tomorrow. The game starts at 4:00pm CST and can be seen on CHL-TV.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

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