Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tough night for Kevin Beech; this save prevented a third Brahmas score (Click photo to enlarge)

Brahmas advance!

IceRays stymied for 60 minutes, fall 2-0 at the Shoe Box

On a night when an official of the Central Hockey League re-took possession of the Ray Miron President's Cup, the Texas Brahmas showed the mettle it took to win the trophy with a 2-0 victory over the Corpus Christi Ice Rays.

Brett Jaeger stopped all 28 shots faced to secure the shut out and improve the Brahmas post-season record at the NYTEX Sports Center to 15-2. Jaeger leads the playoffs thus far with a 1.93 GAA and his second win.

With the first round sweep, the Brahmas will advance to the Southern Conference Semi-Finals where they will face the Odessa Jackalopes. Texas eliminated Odessa in the 2009 Conference Final round in seven games en route to winning the league championship.

A crowd of 2,231 fans watched in delight as the home team all but dominated the IceRays for 60 minutes.

A Hooking call on R.G. Flath gave the Brahmas their first power play opportunity of the night and the home team used the advantage to take the 1-0 lead nine minutes into the first frame. Matt Pierce took a feed from Grant Jacobsen at the bottom of the left circle and threaded the puck between defenseman Jesse Dudas and goalie Kevin Beech into the back of the net. James Hiebert was also in on the assist.

Tyler Skworchinski gave the Brahmas the two goal edge when he swooped in from the right circle and fired a bullet shot past the gloved hand of Beech at the 13:19 mark. Jordan Cameron and Kevin Seibel were credited with the assist.

The Brahmas had an 11-8 shot advantage after 20 minutes and took the 2-0 lead into the first intermission.

There was no scoring in the second period, thanks in part to a four-minute penalty kill after Brahmas defenseman Kevin Seibel was sent to the sin bin for a High Sticking Double Minor. Tied for second in the league with 19 short-handed goals in the regular season, Texas out shot the IceRays on their own man advantage but were unable to solve Kevin Beech.

Corpus Christi suffered a break down in discipline in the final frame and was assessed four consecutive penalties. Despite a narrow 12-11 shot advantage, they spent most of the period defending their zone against a nearly constant attack.

No matter how they tried, the IceRays couldn't find a way past Jaeger who now holds a 19-7-3 playoff record in his third season with the Brahmas. The final shot count was 30-28, advantage Texas.

The Brahmas will travel to the Ector County Coliseum in Odessa for Game One of the Conference Semi-Finals on Friday night. Game Two of the best of seven series will be played on Saturday.

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