Welcome to Brahma Land!
Americans dominated in 5-0 shut out
Americans dominated in 5-0 shut out
The Texas Brahmas introduced the newest Allen Americans to a taste of NYTEX Sports Centre hospitality tonight by handing them their a**es along with a "to go" box from Zuroma for the bus ride home.
One hates to get over excited about a pre-season win, but what the young bulls showed the fans tonight was nothing short of magnificence. If there was a down side to the evening, it was the fact that the fans were denied any chicken for the five goals scored - and believe me, no one minded.
Despite the shoot out loss on Friday night, the Brahmas showed excellent form and the home crowd (who chose to sacrifice watching the Texas Rangers win the American League pennant) got a taste of the excitement that's sure to come next Saturday night when the regular season opens at home against the Tulsa Oilers.
Highlights? How about a shut out for goalie Steve Silverthorn in his first game as a Texas Brahma? How about three goals scored in a span of just 71 seconds? How about two special teams goals including Ross Rouleau's unassisted, short-handed, empty netter while on a 6-on-3 penalty kill? How about another full 60-minute effort by a team built from scratch and molded over the course of five days in the shoe box? Magnificent!
Let's not forget how proud Dan and Ronnie are of these young men who have already proven to themselves and to each other that they have what it takes. Now it's time to make the final, difficult cuts and then to present the final product to the rest of the Central Hockey League. By the way, four have to go (Forward Stuart Stefan was placed on waivers today) - likely a goalie, a defenseman and two forwards; however I'd keep a seventh blue liner. History has shown we need the extra man.
The crowd in attendance tonight was far smaller than the announced 2,084 - understandable due to the Rangers game. There was a good number of Allen fans in the house as well as the small Mudbugs contingent, who made the long drive this weekend for their CHL hockey fix. As is the case at NYTEX, the smaller crowd didn't reduce the impact of the noise level - the cheers and jeers, led by the venerable 303 Rowdies turned the heads of several of the young players, who were getting their first taste of the NYTEX experience.
The Americans came out firing blanks again but out-shooting the Brahmas 7-2 in the first 10 minutes of play. Mark Ehl drew the first penalty of the night with a Hooking call 28 seconds into the contest and once again the Brahmas penalty killers shut down the Allen advantage. Mark Towns and Allen defenseman Ryan Hand drew matching Fighting Majors at the 7:44 mark although you could hardly call the display a "fight". Seriously guys, if you're going to drop the gloves, at least make a fist.
Brendon Hodge struck first blood at the 11:16 mark, sending the puck into and off the left shoulder of Brian Mahoney-Wilson (who looked like he was stuck in glue) to give the Brahmas a 1-0 lead. Kyle Howarth and Alex Curran were in on the assists.
33 seconds later, Greg Eskedjian made it 2-0 with a little help from Hodge and Andrew Lackner. Tyler Ludwig drew an interference call at the 12:18 mark, which led to a third goal nine seconds later, courtesy of Erik Spady, assisted by Phil Fox and Brock Meadows.
The Brahmas had a 13-10 shot advantage in the first 20 minutes and went into the locker room with a comfortable lead.
The middle frame was highlighted by Jordan Kary's goal (his second in as many nights) at the 8:34 mark. Phil Fox and Adam Hogg were credited with the assists. Allen had an 8-4 shot advantage and a 18-17 advantage after 40 minutes but could not solve Silverthorn.
The Brahmas out shot the Americans 8-4 in the final period which included six infractions called by referee Brent Coulombe; the last four against the Brahmas. The big fun began at the 17:30 mark when Silverthorn was called for Tripping (unfortunately, my photos appear to uphold the call) and then the Brahmas were assessed a Delay of Game penalty while arguing the initial call.
Allen pulled Mahoney-Wilson to provide a 6-on-3 advantage but were stymied by Ross Rouleau, who sent the puck across the length of the ice and into the Allen net for the "eff you" goal at the 18:25 mark, much to the delight of the crowd, needless to say. 'Nuff said.
Steve Silverthorn stopped all 22 shots faced for his first win as a Brahma. Brian Mahoney-Wilson stopped 20 of 24 shots faced in 59:05 minutes of play and takes the loss.
Allen was assessed 15 minutes on six infractions; Texas received 19 minutes on eight infractions. Allen went 0 for 7 on the power play; Texas went 1 for 5.
Referee: Brent Coulombe
Linesmen: Cory Piche, T.J. Nua
1st Star: Silverthorn, Steve (Texas) -22 saves on 22 shots faced in 60 minutes of play
2nd Star: Rouleau, Ross (Texas) - One goal on one shot
3rd Star: Meadows, Brock (Texas) - One assist, one shot, four PIM
You can view the box score here and the Game Live broadcast here
You can view my photos from the game here (It usually takes at least a couple of days to get all the shots edited and uploaded, so keep checking back!)
The Brahmas will get some rest tomorrow before beginning preparation for nest Saturday's home opener against the Tulsa Oilers. Plan on being there and as always, remember the Brahmas have One Goal in Mind, so Be there, Be loud, Believe!
Photo Credit: Robert Keith