Denied! Deitsch, Sellars and Seibel teach Brendon Hodge you don't mess with Texas! (Click on photo to enlarge)
Rush get the NYTEX experienceWow - didn't see that one coming. We can all say that - especially the Rapid City Rush, who through 20 minutes thought they were in the game. Last night at the NYTEX Sports Centre, the league champion Texas Brahmas took to the ice and dismantled the top team in the Northern Conference with a 7-3 win in front of a raucous, sold-out crowd.
Five goal second period leads Brahmas to 7-3 win; seven Brahmas score goals
Five goal second period leads Brahmas to 7-3 win; seven Brahmas score goals
What is missing on the road is found at home - this team has the moxy to pull out a big win when they need to and today, the Brahmas are once again in lone possession of third place in the Southern Conference, awaiting the Allen Americans, who come to the shoe box on Wednesday night.
Seven, count 'em, seven Brahmas scored goals last night, showing the scoring depth of Dan Wildfong's team. Perrott, Kinnunen, Deitsch, Jubinville, Seibel, Cameron, Skworchinski had goals. Five more had assists - Thauwald, Rouleau, Pierce, Hiebert and Sellars with two, in a game we'll remember for a long time to come.
But the Brahmas aren't where they want to be, by a long shot. With a record of 31-22-5 and 67 points, the Brahmas have but a one point lead over the Laredo Bucks (who have a game in hand). The Bucks lost last night at Odessa in a 5-4 shoot out. Both teams play next on Wednesday night - the Brahmas host the Americans; the Bucks host Corpus Christi. The war for third place will wage on and could be decided as late as the final games of the regular season on March 20th.
The whole thing started pretty cautiously as both teams tested each other and got to know one another on the ice.
A Hooking call on Colt King presented the opportunity for the first goal of the game. Unfortunately, it wasn't the Brahmas who scored. Instead, it was Rapid City scoring leader Les Reaney who tallied the first goal, shorthanded, as the Brahmas power play expired at the 8:31 mark. Brendan Cook was credited with the assist.
Less than five minutes later, the crowd at NYTEX erupted when Nathan Perrott answered for the Brahmas, skating in on Danny Battochio and slapping the puck past the rookie net minder to make it a 1-1 contest at the 13:12 mark. Scott Thauwald and Ross Rouleau were in on the assist.
Perrott and Colt King dropped the gloves a few minutes later, drawing matching five-minute Fighting Majors.
Rapid City out shot the Brahmas 16-9 in the first 20 minutes but the game was a draw going into the first intermission.
Then it all fell apart for Rapid City.
The Brahmas out shot the Rush 10-6 in the middle frame and since the Brahmas notched all the goals, here's how it went.
The first tally came just 45 seconds in as Justin Kinnunen, set up by Jason Seitsch and Matt Pirce, sent a shot past Danny Battochio to give the Brahmas a 2-1 lead.
A Hooking call on Rush defenseman Jamie VanderVeeken put the Brahmas on the power play where Jason Deitsch deflected the puck past Battochio at the 5:21 mark for the 3-1 lead.Luke Sellars and Justin Kinnunen assisted.
Battochio was pulled in favor of Miguel Beaudry, but things didn't go any better for the former Austin Ice Bat. Less than four minutes later, a shot from Lee Jubinville beat him glove high to give the Brahmas a 4-1 lead. Luke Sellars and Kevin Seibel were in on the assist.
The Brahmas continued to attack and a slapper from the point by Kevin Seibel fooled Beaudry at the 10:33 mark, taking the score to 5-1. James Hiebert and Jason Deitsch assisted.
A little bit of frustration was vented at the 16:22 mark as Tyler Skworchinski got into it with defenseman Gio Flamminio after taking a Cross Check from Les Reaney. Reaney got two minutes for his part and Skworchinski and Flamminio each got Roughing minors.
The relentless Brahmas attack continued with just over a minute-and-a-half remaining in the second when Jordan Cameron joined the scoring affair with an unassisted goal at the 18:25 mark.
Whew! A frustrated Rush team left the ice with a 22-19 shot advantage after 40 minutes but down 7-1, with the game clearly out of their hands.
Tyler Skworchinski banged the gong for the final Brahmas score at the 3:17 mark of the third period off of a set up by Jordan Cameron and Justin Kinnunen.
The Rush finally managed to get back on the board at the 5:24 mark with a power play tally on Brett Jaeger, scored by John Pelle; assisted by Les Reaney and former Fort Worth Brahma Scott Wray.
A little over five minutes later, the Rush salvaged a little more dignity with an even-strength tally by Rich Hansen; assisted by Derek LeBlanc and Luke Fritshaw.
Rapid City out shot the Brahmas 9-7 in the final frame and 31-26 in the game but left the barn with their heads hanging low after a 7-3 beat down at the Shoe Box. They travel to Odessa next to take on the Jacks on Tuesday night.
Brett Jaeger made 28 saves on 31 shots faced and earns the win. His record goes to 19-13-1-2. Danny Battochio made 8 saves on 11 shots in the first period. Miguel Beaudry made 11 saves on 15 shots in relief and takes the loss. His record goes to 14-8-3.
The Brahmas went one for five on the power play. Rapid City went one for six. The Brahmas were assessed 19 minutes on eight infractions. The Rush received 17 minutes on seven infractions.
The 3rd Star of the game went to Jordan Cameron, who had a goal and an assist on the night. The 2nd Star was awarded to Jason Deitsch, who had a goal and two assists and the 1st Star went to Justin Kinnunen, who also had a goal and two assists on the night.
You can view the box score here and the Game Live broadcast here
You can view my photos from the game here and here
- Five goals on 10 shots in the middle frame - by five different players! It doesn't get much better than that! And the last time the Brahmas scored seven goals in a game was in another 7-3 rout, this time at the Odessa Jackalopes on November 19th.
- A pretty good compliment from Rajan in his blog today: "To beat the Brahmas in the Shoebox or even have a chance, you've got to bring a man's game, the kind that teams in the South play this year. The 'Box is to the CHL what Chicago Stadium and Boston Garden were to the NHL. Any win you get is earned and you'll likely leave with ice packs on your back." Greg - if you're reading this - you've got to get up here someday and experience "the 'box" for yourself. Cowtown, on the Brahmas board, brings up the Brahmas all-time record at NYTEX - 85-21-3 including 14-2 in the playoffs. Astounding indeed!
- Compliments also from the Rush's leading scorer Les Reaney. In the third period, with the game wrapped up - Reaney asked me about Matt Burto, who he complimented on his play. Of course I had only good things about one of the truest Brahma players. Reaney also said he liked playing at the Shoe Box. Said he really liked the atmosphere here.
- For the first time in my memory, a fan was ejected from the building. Apparently, the Rapid City bench was getting more than an earful from the fans seated behind their bench. At one point, Les Reaney got into some verbal sparring and then squirted a fan with his water bottle. The fan retaliated with beer. This led to a delay of the game while the individual was escorted away.
- Apparently, Mike Looby's tantrum on Friday night was not the only one at NYTEX this weekend. Witnesses say that Rush forward Derek LeBlanc bashed several fluorescent light screens with his stick on the way to the visitor's locker room during the second intermission. Wow - I wonder how frustrated the Brahmas will make the Americans on Wednesday night!
Photo Credit: Robert Keith