Brahmas drop season opener 5-2
The Texas Brahmas had a rough time last night, to say the least. Yeah, things went South in a hurry when rookie forward Alexandr Quesnel beat Kevin Beech just 22 seconds into the first period. Tobias Whelan and David Simoes were in on the assist.
Less than three minutes later, another rookie, Dustin Donaghy sent one in through the five hole to make it a 2-0 game. Tobias Whelan had his second assist on that one. 72 seconds later, Judd Blackwater, who signed a five-game contract yesterday, sent a backhander past Beech to make it a 3-0 contest. Colt Yellow Horn and Liam Huculak were credited with the assist.
Blackwater's goal ended Beech's night after allowing three goals on just four shots. That had to hurt, but we all know that performance wasn't indicative of Beech's capabilities. Wayne Savage took his place in defense of the net.
Things started looking up for the Brahmas when Tyler Allen registered his first professional goal at 8:04 mark, assisted by Jim Burichin and Matt Pierce, but that would do it for the scoring in the first frame. Brahmas special teams shut down two power play opportunities later in the period after back-to-back tripping calls on Matt Pierce and Kevin Kraus.
The Americans out shot the Brahmas 11-8 after 20 minutes of play.
The second period would remain scoreless until the the Brahmas special teams went on the power play after Allen defenseman Iain Mcphee was sent to the sin bin for cross-checking. Greg Hogeboom’s shot from the point sailed over Chris Whitley's shoulder and into the back of the net to cut the Americans' lead to 3-2. Former IceRays Jason Ktischuk and Chad Woollard assisted. Things were hopeful at that point.
The American led again in the shot count, 13-6 in the middle frame
Great defensive play on both sides held off any third period scoring until an unassisted strike by Liam Huculak made it 4-2 for the home team. Tempers flared and Steven Later got into it with Dustin Donaghy, bringing the fans to their feet with just 1:31 remaining in the game.
With just over a minute remaining in the game, Wayne Savage was pulled in favor of the extra attacker but Allen defenseman Erik Adams was able to slide one in at the 19:01 mark to seal the final score at 5-2.
The Americans had the 12-8 shot advantage in the final frame and 36-22 in the game.
Thanks to Chip Crail/43 Photography for the following photos from the game (click to view larger images):
You can view the box score here
You can view the Brahmas press release here
Kevin Beech made one save on four shots and takes the loss. Wayne Savage stopped 30 of 31 shots faced in relief. Chris Whitley saved 20 of 22 shots and earned the win.
The Brahmas went 1 for 2 on the power play. The Americans went 0 for 3.
Texas was assessed six minute on three penalties, Allen received four minutes on two.
The 3rd Star of the game went to Wayne Savage, for his performance in net. The 2nd Star was awarded to Chris Whitley, for his defense of the crease and the 1st Star went to Tobias Whelan, who had two assists.
Referee: Dan Dreger
Linesmen: Brian Bull, Anthony Rivera
You can view the box score here
- Special teams play was the highlight of the night for the Brahmas, scoring on one of two power plays and shutting down all three Allen power plays. Texas starts the season atop the league with a 50.00 power play percentage and 100% on the penalty kill.
- Wayne Savage ended the night with a 1.08 GAA and a .968 save percentage with 55:41 in net. Turns out he's everything Forbie said he was.
- Three goals allowed in the first 4:19 of play? How do you recover from that? Can't blame Beecher as the Brahmas defense regularly leaves the goalie on his own. Not saying that was the problem on each goal, but this needs to change.
- The Brahmas have not won a regular season road game since February 15th.
- The Americans raised their 2009-10 Southern Conference Champions banner in a pre-game ceremony. They had a great run last season and considering a trip to the finals in their first tear on the ice, they deserve a high-five.
Tonight’s game will feature the Susan G. Komen Foundation, benefiting breast cancer research. The Americans players will wear special pink jerseys for Pink in the Rink night, which will be auctioned off after the game.
Prior to the game, musical guest Petty Theft, which features Mike Rhyner of Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket, will perform in front of the building, starting at 5:00 pm.
Photo Credit: Chip Crail/43 Photography