Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It was a hard night night for Brett Jaeger who takes his first loss since January 26th

Brahmas drop second straight on the road

Mudbugs score four unanswered goals to win 4-2

After a promising start, the Texas Brahmas had their skates handed to them by the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs at the CenturyTel Center tonight. The Mudbugs came back from a 2-0 deficit to score four unanswered goals, three in the final period, to earn an impressive 4-2 win.

Mistakes hurt the Brahmas, translating to three power play goals for Bossier-Shreveport who solidified their hold on third place in the North. The Mudbugs now have an eight point lead over the Mississippi RiverKings (who lost in a shoot out to the Missouri Mavericks). The win was also the tie-breaker in the I-20 series this season, with the Mudbugs winning four of seven regular season contests.

With the loss, the Brahmas record goes to 28-19-5 with 61 points, maintaining their two point lead over the Laredo Bucks in the Southern Conference. It was a rough night for Brett Jaeger (to say the least) who suffered only the 2nd loss in his last 12 starts.

During the pre-game activities, the Mudbugs held a short ceremony to honor defenseman Dale Lupul, who has retired from the game. Choosing not to speak, Lupul waved to the crowd of 3,612 after receiving a final ovation at the CenturyTel Center. Lupul was presented with one of his game worn sweaters from team owner Tommy Scott.

The Brahmas came out strong to open the game, led by some physical play by Matt Burto. Just 30 seconds in, the Mudbugs found themselves on an early penalty kill after Brett Smith was called for Unsportsmanlike Conduct. Smith had some words with Burto (who had gotten rough with Dave Pszenyczny) and picked up the penalty. 36 second later, the Brahmas were on the board as Ross Rouleau received a feed from Jason Deitsch and sent a bullet in from the point to make it a 1-0 game.

That would be the only score of the first frame in which the Mudbugs had a 10-6 shot advantage. The Brahmas, who would kill off two penalties in the first 20 minutes, were in charge defensively and Brett Jaeger was a brick wall in net.

The Mudbugs came out strong to begin the second period with two early challenges to Jaeger. Joe Blaznek, who had four goals in his last three games, came at the Brahmas net on a breakaway 11 seconds in, but Jaeger caught the puck against his chest for the save. 19 seconds later Brett Smith sent in a slap shot, but Jaeger, unable to make a catch, managed to bat the puck away. A couple of minutes later, Simon Mangos had an opportunity but had a shot and a rebound from just outside the crease stymied by the reigning CHL Goaltender of the Week.

After an equal amount of back and forth, the Brahmas took a 2-0 lead when Matt Burto deflected a shot from Tyrell Mason into the net at the 11:44 mark. Tyler Skworchinski was also credited with the assist.

Later in the period, with Jason Deitch in the sin bin for Hooking (the only penalty in the middle frame), the Mudbugs finally solved Brett Jaeger to get on the board. After a shot by Travis Clayton was blocked by a Brahmas defenseman, Jeff Kyrzakos banked the puck off the post stick side and it rolled over the goal line to make it a 2-1 game at the 15:20 mark. Shawn Limpright was also in on the assist.

Shots were even at nine when the period ended and the Brahmas went into the locker room up by one.

Unfortunately, the Mudbugs took control of the game early into the third frame with a couple of quick strikes. The first came just 45 seconds in as Jeff Kyrzakos tallied his second of the night. Travis Clayton out muscled a couple of Brahmas defenders in the left corner and sent the puck to defenseman Chris St. Croix whose shot was deflected in front of the crease by Kyrzakos to tie the game at two.

Less than two minutes later, a Slashing call on Matt Pierce led to a power play goal by Jim Jorgensen (his first as a Mudbug) from between the hash marks, beating Jaeger just inside the post at the 2:30 mark. Travis Clayton and Shawn Limpright were credited with the assist.

The Mudbugs dominated the period, out shooting the Brahmas 13-4. Shawn Limpright scored the final goal of the night with 2:52 remaining in the game, beating Jaeger high to the glove side from the
hash marks to provide the final 4-2 margin.

Brett Jaeger made 28 saves on 32 shots and takes the loss. His record goes to 17-11-1-0. John DeCaro made 17 saves on 19 shots and earns the win. His record goes to 18-11-1-1.

The Brahmas went one for three on the power play. Bossier-Shreveport went three for six. The Brahmas were assessed 14 minutes on seven infractions. The Mudbugs received 12 minutes on six infractions.

The 3rd Star of the game went to Jim Jorgensen who scored the game winner. The 2nd Star was awarded to Travis Clayton who had three assists on the night and the 1st Star went to Jeff Kyrzakos who had two goals and an assist.

You can view the box score

  • Notably absent from the line up was Kevin McLeod whose presence was definitely needed tonight. No clue what's up with that.
  • The Brahmas were in it up until the final frame when they seemed to lose all steam and were forced to mitigate any further scoring in a pure defensive mode. Considering the short bench, it was a good effort.
  • Despite the loss, Jaeger remains second in the league with a 2.51 GAA but drops to fifth with a .919 save percentage.
  • That 9-14-4 road record is a killer - the boys are going to need to change that if they expect to go anywhere in the playoffs. Those two points lost to Wichita on Sunday seem all the more important after tonight's effort.
  • The Bucks have an opportunity to tie the Brahmas again on Thursday night when they travel to the AEC for a match up against the Americans, who clinched a playoff berth tonight with a 5-4 overtime win against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees.
The Brahmas return home to prepare for a three in three weekend starting with a home game against the Corpus Christi Ice Rays.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith (Not from tonight's game)

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