Saturday, October 16, 2010

Adrien LeMay denies Matt Pierce during tonight's shootout win over the Brahmas (click photo to enlarge)

Brahmas lose 5-4 in Allen

10-round shootout decides thriller at the AEC

The Texas Brahmas earned a point in the standings but lost their second game in a row tonight in a 5-4 shootout at the Allen Events Center.

Special teams shined again, killing 7 of 8 Allen power plays and scoring a power play goal and a short-handed goal in the battle royale that was this contest.

In his first pro start, Wayne Savage faced 57 shots in regulation, stopping 53.
Young Adrien LeMay, who I had the pleasure of seeing during a Dallas Stars camp this summer, also had his first pro start and earned the win for the Americans.

This was an excellent game from start to finish and I have to complement players on both squads for restraining themselves when things started to get chippy in the latter part of the second period and throughout the third period. The crowd of 3,192 was loud and into it throughout the game and stood on their feet during the shootout. I have to admit, though focused on the game through the lens of my camera, I was on the edge of my seat (so to speak, because I was standing) during the final minutes of regulation, the final minute of OT and throughout the shootout.

The Americans were hosting a Pink in the Rink event, benefiting the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which is why the players donned pink sweaters, which were auctioned off after the game.

The Americans came out strong, firing 11 shots against Wayne Savage in the first half of the opening period, while the Brahmas were held in their defensive zone and unable to challenge Adrien LeMay until later in the frame when they scored two goals on seven shots.

Forward Mick Lawrence sent a pass through the slot to Jason Deitsch, who quickly set up a Chad Woollard, who charged the net and caught LeMay out of position and sent the puck sliding past LeMay's left skate, giving the Brahmas a 1-0 lead at the 14:23 mark.

A Hooking call on Tyler Allen with 50 seconds remaining to play set up the Americans' third power play but the Brahmas' special teams were on the case. Greg Hogeboom managed to take possession of a loose puck and went in on a breakaway, sending the puck over a sprawling LeMay and into the net, making it 2-0 with seven seconds left in the period.

The American had a 17-7 shot advantage in the first period and like the previous evening, they out shot the Brahmas in every frame (in regulation).

The Americans came out strong in the opening moments of the middle frame and immediately too the fight into the Brahmas' zone. Just 1:39 into the period, Allen Captain Jarret Lukin took a shot that was blocked but he caught the rebound and was able to rifle it past Savage, who was caught seated and unable to make the save from the right edge of the crease. Colton Yellow Horn and Erik Adams were credited with the assist.

Keeping up the pressure, Allen struck again just under a minute later when Bruce Graham took the puck to the net from behind the goal line. His initial shot was blocked by the goalie's stick, but he wristed the rebound over Savage’s right shoulder, tying the game at 2-2.

The Brahmas would take back the lead four and a half minutes remaining in the period. A cross-ice pass from Jesse Dudas found Jeff Hazelwood as he charged in from the face off circle to Lemay’s right and buried it to make it a 3-2 contest.

That lead wouldn’t last long, 36 seconds to be exact. After a pile-up in front of the crease, David Nimmo found the puck near Savage's left skate and quickly shuffled the equalizer into the left side of the net, recorded at the 16:06 mark. Nino Musitelli and Bruce Graham registered assists on the play.

The Americans had a 21-17 shot advantage and led 38-24 after 40 minutes.

There was no scoring in the first half of the third frame, but a Hooking call on Chad Woollard led to an entertaining score by Allen's David Strathman. The rookie defenseman started from behind the Americans' net and weaved his way through defenders, all the way to the Brahmas' net, where he faked out Savage with a backhander, putting the Americans up for the first time in the game, 4-3. It was the second unassisted goal for the Americans and the third in the contest.

put the Brahmas special teams back on the ice. Once again, the lead didn't last for long; this time for 48 seconds. A Holding call on David SimoesDefenseman Jason Krischuk fired a shot from the point to tie the game up again at the 11:51 mark. Greg Hogeboom and Mick Lawrence were credited with the assist.

The remainder of the period was filled with a back and forth battle but neither team could put the finishing touch on the game. Three penalties in the final two minutes gave the Americans a man-advantage - first a five-on-four, then four-on-four and then four-on-three for the final 37 seconds, but Savage held strong and the game went into overtime.

The Brahmas had a 6-4 shot advantage, but neither team was able to score despite a concerted effort by both squads and a shootout would decide the game.

beat Savage in the tenth round of the shootout and when Craig The shootout was very intense and both goaltenders turned in strong performances and the shooters matched one another when it counted. Finally, Americans defenseman Justin DeCostaMinard couldn’t match the goal, the Americans had the win.

Allen led the shot count 57-36 through the overtime period. The win gave the Americans a weekend sweep over the Brahmas and a 2-0-0 record to start the season.

Wayne Savage stopped 53 of 57 shots faced and takes the loss. Adrien LeMay stopped 32 of 36 shots faced and earned the win.

The Brahmas went 1 for 3 on the power play, the Americans went 1 for 8. Texas was assessed 18 minutes on nine infractions, Allen was assessed 12 minutes on six.

Allen took all three stars of the game - the 3rd Star was awarded to Adrien LeMay, for his performance in net. The 2nd Star went to David Nimmo, who had a goal and the 1st Star went to Jarret Lukin, who also had a goal.

Referee: Dan Dreger
Linesmen: Chris Petrin, Jean Menard

  • Wayne Savage made 83 saves on 88 shots by the Americans over the two-game series. He is third in the league in time played (120:41), eighth with a 2.49 GAA and fourth with a .943 save percentage. He also leads the league in saves (83).
  • Brahmas special teams went 2 for 6 on the power play and killed 12 of 13 Allen power plays. They lead the league with a 33.33 power play percentage and are fourth in the league with a 92.31 penalty kill percentage. What a change from last season.
  • Greg Hogeboom was the most productive Brahma with a goal and an assist on four shots. He had three points on special teams in the two-game series ( 2 G, 1 A, +0), including a power play goal, a short-handed (unassisted) goal and a power play assist. He leads the team in goals, points and a .333 shot percentage.
  • Former IceRays teammates lead the Brahmas with 19 penalty minutes and are tied with Arizona's Adam Smyth to lead the league in PIM after the opening weekend.
You can view my photos from the game here

You can view the Pointstreak Box Score here and the Pointstreak Game Live broadcast here

You can view the Brahmas' press release here

The Brahmas will return to NYTEX to regroup and prepare for Friday night's home opener against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. Chris Brooks' boys split their weekend home stand against the Laredo Bucks, winning 4-2 on Friday and losing in a 4-3 shootout on Saturday. The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive Brahmas rally towels. The Brahmas will host the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs on Saturday night and attendees will receive magnet schedules.

If you don't already have tickets, make it I like to say: It's not just hockey. Be there, be loud, believe!

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

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