Griffith forces overtime, Hazelwood gets game-winning goal
The Laredo Bucks won their third straight home game (for the first time this season) and their first overtime contest, defeating the visiting Texas Brahmas 3-2 in overtime tonight at the Laredo Energy Arena.
In the end, it was the players dealt in a trade between the two teams on November 3rd that determined the outcome of the game. Todd Griffith, formerly of the Bucks, scored the tying goal that forced the game into overtime and a wraparound goal by former Brahma Jeff Hazelwood won the game 1:50 into the extra frame.
It was a wild and aggressive start to the game with a combined 31 shots registered in the first frame.
The Brahmas went up 1-0 just 2:39 into the game when Matt Pierce jammed in his own rebound on the right side of the crease to beat Pier Pelletier and pick up his fourth goal of the season. Tyler Allen was in on the assist. It was the only score in the first 20 minutes, which saw no penalties.
The Bucks, who came into the game 4-5-1 at home, narrowly out shot the Brahmas 16-15 in the period.
Laredo tallied the equalizer 1:56 into the middle frame when Hans Benson took possession of a loose puck in the slot and sent a slap shot past Kevin Beech. Neil Trimm was credited with the assist.
Each team had two power play opportunities but were stymied by the others penalty killers. The Bucks killed off a 32 second five-on-three and the Brahmas killed off a four-minute double minor.
The Brahmas out shot the Bucks 11-8 in the second period.
Benson gave the Bucks a 2-1 lead with 6:53 left in the third period when he tipped in Jarred Mohr’s slap shot from the top of the left circle. Jeff Bes was also in on the assist.
The Brahmas tied the game with just 1:04 left in regulation after Beech was pulled in favor of the extra attacker. Todd Griffith jammed in a rebound (with a little help from Jason Deitsch and Alex Curran), ultimately forcing the game into overtime with his fourth goal of the season.
Hazelwood's tally on the Bucks' second shot in overtime sealed the win for the home team, whose record improves to 9-9-3 (.500, 21 points) on the season. Hans Benson and Jarred Mohr earned their third and second points, respectively, with the assists.
The Brahmas out shot the Bucks 37-32 in the game but the 2-1 shot advantage in overtime favored Laredo; you know, because they won the game.
With the loss, the Brahmas record goes to 10-6-3 (.605, 23 points) and they remain in third place in the Berry Conference. They now have a two point lead on both Mississippi and Laredo, who have both played two more games than the bulls. Texas is now 4-3-2 on the road.
Kevin Beech stopped 29 of 32 shots faced and takes the loss. His record goes to 7-2-2-1 with a 2.84 GAA (16th in the league) and a .906 save percentage (13th in the league).
Pier Pelletier turned away 35 of 37 shots faced to earn the win. His record goes to 4-5-2.
The Brahmas and the Bucks both went 0 for 3 on the power play. Both teams were assessed six minutes on three infractions. The Brahmas still have the number one penalty kill in the league with just 12 power play goals allowed and a 87.10 percentage.
The 3rd Star of the game went to Pier Pelletier for his night in defense of the net. The 2nd Star was awarded to Jeff Hazelwood, who tallied the game-winner in OT and the 1st Star went to Hans Benson, who registered two goals and an assist.
Referee: Ryan Hersey
Linesmen: John Grandt, Jon Shaw
You can view the box score here and the Game Live broadcast here
You can view the Brahmas' press release here
The Brahmas continue their December road trip this weekend with a game in Tulsa Friday and a visit to their I-20 rivals, Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, Saturday evening. The Brahmas next home game is set for Saturday, December 18 when they host the Odessa Jackalopes.
Photo Credit: Laredo Bucks