Yeah, at this time of the year, this is two points you don't just hand over to a team like the Wichita Thunder. The Brahmas essentially did just that in from of 3,782 Thunder fans at the Intrust Bank Center today in Wichita.
After a tremendous performance against the Odessa Jackalopes last night, this one was hard to watch (and hear, as the broadcast on CHL-TV was terrible). But at least there was Olympic hockey for those who enjoyed watching the U.S. pull off perhaps its biggest Olympic hockey upset since the Miracle on Ice, stunning Team Canada 5-3 on Sunday to advance to the quarterfinals. Slap Shot was on Versus also, so the night wasn't a total loss.
With the loss, the Brahmas record goes to 28-18-5 and their road record goes to 9-13-4 (unfortunately, the worst road record since the team was revived in 2007-08).
On the up side, the Brahmas took four of six points this weekend and remain in third place in the South. Outside of an injury to Luke Sellars (right leg) last night, the boys remained healthy.
As far as today's game, I'm going to keep this brief because there's not too much to say.
First period - Both teams played air-tight defense and the Brahmas out shot the Thunder 10-9. Both teams had two power play opportunities. Neither team scored.
Second period - Wichita out shot the Brahmas 22-6 (a single period season-high). What the hell? Well, Ian Keserich was red hot and prevented the Brahmas from scoring on breakaways by Scott Thauwald and Kevin McLeod.
Rookie forward Brent Ottman scored the only goal of the game, a fluke goal at that. Ottman fired a long shot from behind the blue line that Joe Palmer initially stopped with his stick. But the puck bounced over Palmer's right shoulder and rolled over the goal line to give the Thunder a 1-0 lead at the 12:16 mark. Rookie forward Brent Ottman scored the only goal of the game and a fluke goal at that. OttmanAJ Bozoian and Ian Keserich were credited with the assist.
Later in the period, Keserich denied Tyler Skworchinski on a point blank slap shot after a pass from behind the net.
Wichita made the lead stand up in the third, with Keserich stopping 11 more shots to finish off the 27-save shutout. Wichita killed off two penalties late in the frame and prevented the Brahmas from gaining any quality chances with Palmer pulled in favor of an extra attacker in the final minute of the game.
The win snapped the Thunder's seven-game losing streak and also halted an eight-game winning streak for the Brahmas. The 1-0 loss marks the first time the Brahmas have been shut out this season.
Joe Palmer made 39 saves on 40 shots and takes the loss. His record goes to 11-7-4-3. Ian Keserich made 27 saves on 27 shots and earns the shut out win; his first with the Thunder. His record with Wichita (he started the season with Mississippi) goes to 1-12-1-1.
The Brahmas went zero for four on the power play. Wichita went zero for five. The Brahmas were assessed 14 minutes on seven infractions. The Thunder received 12 minutes on six infractions.
The 3rd Star of the game went to Joe Palmer who had a great performance in net despite the loss. The 2nd Star was awarded to Brent Ottman, who scored the game-winning goal and the 1st Star went to Ian Keserich for his performance in net.
You can view the box score here
- Back to the wasted opportunity. With a win, the Brahmas could have had a four point lead over the Laredo Bucks which would have been huge. Instead, they remain two points ahead and have an opportunity to add another two points on Tuesday night in Bossier City.
- The Brahmas power play is second-to-last in the league at 12.78%. The Tony PK remains third in the league (behind Odessa and Rapid City) at 86.08%.
- Joe Palmer remains in second place among rookies (behind Chris Whitley with 33 Star Points. He is fourth among all goalies.