Brahmas swat Killer Bees in home opener
Rio Grande Valley meltdown leads to 3-2 Brahmas win
Dejected after a 0-2 start on the road against the arch rival Allen Americans, 1,962 fans at the NYTEX Sports Centre witnessed a refreshing display of hometown hockey with a 3-2 win over the visiting Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees.
The Brahmas out shot Rio 45-18 and went 2 for 8 on the power play while rookie goaltender Wayne Savage earned his first professional win.
A Tripping call on Chad Woollard just 32 seconds into the first frame put the Brahmas penalty kill to an early test but the Killer Bees managed to capitalize with an aggressive power play. Defenseman Jake Obermayer took a feed from Zak McClellan and ripped a slap shot from the point that was deflected into the net at the 2:05 mark by Sean Muncy, who was stationed in front of the crease.
The Brahmas sent a flurry of shots at second-year goalie Juliano Pagliero but the former Niagara University Purple Eagle kept his guard up and stopped all 16 shots faced in the first 20 minutes - just two shots shy of the total Wayne Savage would see in the game.
Later in the period, Killer Bees defenseman Rob Cowan made the mistake of taking on Brahmas enforcer Roger Maxwell. While the two wrestled upright for a time, each landing some ineffective blows, Maxwell eventually got the upper hand - or should I say fist -square across Cowan's left jaw, dropping the 6' 4", 233 pound defender like a rag doll. Maxwell's smile couldn't be bigger as he skated off the ice for an early trip to the locker room. Matching Fighting Majors were of course assessed.
The Brahmas out shot the Killer Bees 16-5 in the first 20.
Opening the middle frame on the power play due to a slashing call on Jake Obermayer at the final tic of the first period, the Brahmas scored the equalizer at the 1:27 mark. Defenseman Jesse Dudas registered his first goal as a Brahma with a blast that hit the back of the net, beating a stunned Pagliero. Steven Later and Matt Pierce were in on the assist.
Less than 40 seconds later, Killer Bees bad guy Brett Clouthier lost his composure and like a scene from When Animals Attack, the disreputable forward tried to maul Steven Later and would find himself tossed with a Fighting Major and a 10 minute Fighting (Aggressor) Game Misconduct.
Clouthier's attacked earned the only penalty minutes of the period and there was no further scoring. The Brahmas led the shot count again at 12-8.
A High-Sticking Double Minor on Brett Wilson at the 1:03 mark and a Roughing call on Matt Smyth put the Brahmas on an early two-man advantage, resulting in Greg Hogeboom netting his third goal of the season from the doorstep of Pagliero’s crease to give the home team their first lead of the night at the 2:17 mark.
shot of the night, assisted by Kyle Aaron Lee put a damper on celebrations when he beat Wayne Savage with the Killer Bees' 14thRadke and Zac McClellan at the 14:06 mark. Less than a minute later, a feed from Matt Pierce led to the first professional goal for right wing Tyler Allen who sent the puck past Pagliero to seal the win for the Brahmas at the 15:33 mark.
The Brahmas held a 17-5 shot advantage in the final frame and a 45-18 advantage in the game.
Wayne Savage stopped 16 of 18 shots faced to earn the win. Juliano Pagliero stopped 42 of 45 shots faced and takes the loss.
The Brahmas went 2 for 8 on the power play. The Killer Bees went 1 for 4. Texas was assessed 15 minutes on six infractions while Rio faced 36 minutes on 11 infractions.
The 3rd Star of the game went to Jesse Dudas, who had a goal and was a +1 on six shots. The 2nd Star was earned by Tyler Allen, who had the game-winner and was also a +1 on five shots. The 1st Star was awarded to Greg Hogeboom, who scored a power play goal and was a -1 on five shots on the evening.
Referee: Geoff Miller; Linesmen: John Grandt, Chris Petrin.
You can view the box score here
You can read the Brahmas press release here
You can view my photos from the game here
The Brahmas will host the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs for the first game of this season's I-20 Series on Saturday night. It's also Magnet Schedule Night - the first 1,000 fans in attendance for the contest will receive 2010-11 magnet schedules courtesy of ZuRoma Bar and Grill.
Photo Credits: Robert Keith