Sunday, October 23, 2011

Kyle Howarth watches as the final minute plays out on the ice at NYTEX

A taste of their own medicine

Brahmas shut out 3-0 in season opener

Coming off the high of last Saturday's 5-0 win over the Allen Americans, the stage was set for another high energy, high-spirited effort by the boys in purple and black. There wasn't a person in the house that wasn't amped up for the season opener and ready to see a big win.

Unfortunately, that win placed two points in the column marked Tulsa Oilers and the Texas Brahmas received nothing but a wake up call and a whisper in their ears: "All glory is fleeting, All glory is fleeting".

Still, a good effort was put forth although a little bit of the fire displayed during the pre-season was missing. In the end, the team that worked harder won. Sometimes it's as simple as that. The two teams were very well matched and Tulsa was hot, coming off their 4-1 season-opening win over the Allen Americans on Friday night. Hats off to Ian Keserich who has allowed just one goal in 120 minutes of play.

If anything positive can come out of the loss, it will be a show of character - how these men will learn from what they experienced on the ice and how they can rebound from adversity and make the necessary adjustments to move forward with their chins held high. After all, it could be worse (finger pointed at the Allen Americans).

One request to Fonger and Ronnie: can we have at the very least, one entire practice a week devoted to special teams, specifically the power play? I hate to go through another season of watching nothing come out of 5-on-3 advantages. It's past time to make an effort to improve on this part of the game.

ad·van·tage (ad-van-tij) noun

1. any state, circumstance, opportunity, or means specially favorable to success, interest, or any desired end.

(Thanks to Dictionary.Com for the definition)

I hate to single any one out one way or another, but I have to give a verbal high five to Al Curran, who in my opinion has been showing a lot of moxie on the ice. I want to also give special thanks to Mark Guggenberger, who wore his catcher last night and used it to shield yours truly from wayward pucks, allowing me to leave the rink with an intact noggin.

What to say about the game? Well, a scoreless first period with power plays that came up short
for both sides. Tulsa out shot the homies 11-9 but had yet to solve Silverthorn, who made some sharp saves.

The middle frame saw the Brahmas take the SOG lead 12-7, but it was the Oilers who drew first blood when Gary Steffes found the back of the net at the 5:00 mark, assisted by rookie defenseman Jeff Terminesi and Michel Beausoleil. Two more power plays for each side; nothing gained. It's safe to say that the Brahmas appeared disorganized during the period and their defense of the net faltered.

In the final frame, the Brahmas led the shot assault again, this time 13-10 but Keserich was true to form and halted any scoring opportunities. A hooking call on Brahmas Captain Adam Hogg at the 12:50 mark led to the Oilers second strike 36 seconds later, this time by rookie forward Ryan Kramer. Dylan Clark and Mike Ullrich were credited with the assists.

Down by two, Ron Vogel pulled Silverthorn in favor of an extra attacker but the gamble backfired when Patrik Levesque drove the puck down ice, adding the final insult to injury tally at the 19:25 mark. Gary Steffes and Ryan Kramer were credited with setting up the score.

Steve Silverthorn stopped 25 of 27 shots faced in 58:20 of play and takes the loss. Ian Keserich stopped all 34 shots faced and earned the win.

The Brahmas were assessed eight minutes on four infractions; the Oilers received six minutes on three infractions. Texas went 0 for 3 on the power play; Tulsa went 1 for 4.

Referee: Zak Blazic
Linesmen: Bill McGoldrick, John Grandt

1st Star: Keserich, Ian (Tulsa) - 34 saves on 34 shots faced
2nd Star: Silverthorn, Steve (Texas) - 25 saves on 27 shots faced
3rd Star: Steffes, Gary (Tulsa) - Two points on five shots (1 G, 1 A, +2)

You can view Pointstreak's box score here and their Game Live broadcast here

Photos from the game can be viewed here and here. As always, it takes time to edit the 800+ shots taken, so be patient and keep checking back.

The Brahmas will be off today but practice resumes on Monday in preparation for next weekend's three-in-three, which includes hosting the Allen Americans on Friday night, a road trip to play Tulsa at the BOK Center on Saturday night, followed by a trip home to host Tulsa on Sunday afternoon.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

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