Saturday, March 31, 2012

Brian McMillin tips the puck towards the five-hole of Mark Guggenberger
Brahmas drop Game One to Amercks, 5-0

Beauchemin stops all 22 shots faced in playoff opener

The Allen Americans outwitted, outplayed and outlasted the Texas Brahmas at the Allen Event Center on Friday evening, taking a 5-0 victory and a 1-0 series lead in the opening round of the Berry Conference playoffs. The question now is, can the purple and black survive Sunday's game at "the library" or will they go down 2-0 on the road to the fabled Palookaville?

Former Dallas Cowboys Tony Hill and Drew Pearson were in-house and in Americans sweaters for the ceremonial puck drop between opposing defensemen Andrew Lackner and Nick Layton.

And then it started.

Jim McKenzie got the Americans on the board at the 8:50 mark thanks to a beautiful set up by Jarret Lukin and Bruce Graham. Lukin and McKenzie came in on a two-on-one and Lukin managed a bullet of a cross-ice pass which McKenzie put past Brahmas netminder Mark Guggenberger to make it a 1-0 contest.

Sy Nutkevitch had a from out-of-knowhere breakaway chance outside the blue line shortly thereafter, but unfortunately his shot hit the pipe.

Despite the score, Guggenberger was on his game in the opening frame, stopping numerous shots that had the potential to run up the score early.

Chad Woollard took an unexpected shot by Bruce Graham late in the period but seemed OK after he got his wind back.

The Americans outshot the Brahmas 10-6 in the opening frame and as well, had the best scoring chances, capitalizing just once.

The Americans took a 2-0 lead when Guggenberger, who had left the crease, was caught off guard by Brian McMillin, who managed to deflect a Mike Berube shot from the right side to make the score 2-0 Allen.

14 minutes later, the Americans added to their lead when Bruce Graham picked up the first of two on the night. Jarret Lukin, flying in on the left wing, dropped one back to Graham, who buried a one-timer with four seconds left  on the power-play to make the score 3-0 Americans.

Texas outshot Allen 10-7 in the middle frame but was unable to solve Rejean Beauchemin, who was outstanding in net.

Bruce Graham and Keith Johnson scored for the Americans in the third, as Allen built a 5-0 lead. Ryan Hand dropped the gloves with Brett Clouthier and Tyler Barr went toe-to-toe with Dylan King during the period.

'Nuff said.

Shots were even at six apiece in the third period and the Americans had the narrow 23-22 shot advantage in the game.

Allen was 1-1 on the power-play on the night, while Texas went 0-5.

Mark Guggenberger made 18 saves on 23 shots faced and takes the loss.
The Brahmas were assessed 16 minutes on 5 infractions and went for 0 for 5 on the power play.

Referee: Boone Bruggman
Linesman 1: John Grandt
Linesman 2: Bill McGoldrick

1st Star: Bruce Graham (ALN)
2nd Star: Rejean Beauchemin (ALN)
3rd Star: Jim McKenzie (ALN)

You can view Pointstreak's Box Score here and their GameLive broadcast here. You can view Chip Crail's photos from the game here
The Brahmas will meet up with the Americans for Game Two on Sunday with a 5:05 pm CST face-off at the Allen Event Center. 

Photo Credit: Chip Crail/Pro Hockey News

Friday, March 30, 2012


Brahmas begin fifth consecutive playoff run

Game One of the Berry Conference opening round begins tonight

They may have lost six of their last seven regular season games, but don't count the Texas Brahmas as an underdog in the best-of-seven opening round of the Berry Conference playoffs which begin tonight at the Allen Event Center.

texas-brahmas_2.jpg
While it may be a cliche in any sport, in the Brahmas' case, the post-season most certainly is a whole different game. Now entering their fifth consecutive playoff run, the Brahmas have gone 26-16, including a 12-4 run in 2009 that culminated in their first Ray Miron President's Cup  Championship.

The Texas Brahmas finished the regular season with a 33-25-8 record (.561), good for third in the Berry Conference. They began the season winning just one of their first five games, but quickly turned their play around, finishing every month except for March with a positive record.

The highlight for the franchise was in mid-February when goaltender
Guggenberger broke a CHL record for most consecutive scoreless minutes at 238:31 and the team went on to win seven straight games and 12 out of 14. However, Texas finished the season losing six straight games, before coming from behind to win their season finale. 

Goaltending

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Mark Guggenberger
Rookie backstopper Mark Guggenberger was one of the most impressive CHL goalies all season. The Richfield, Minnesota native finished the season 22-11-3 and had a league-best 2.27 GAA. On top of that, he registered a .912 Save Percentage and had three consecutive shutouts, which broke a league record. The winning goalie at the CHL All-Star Game also earned league recognition as the Rookie of the Year, Goaltender of the Year Award and a member of the All-CHL Team.

Recently added to the playoff roster is another rookie 'tender, Brad Fogal. Fogal, 25, played 10 games with the Quad City Mallards (6-2-0) and 11 games with the Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL) where he went 4-4-3 before he was acquired by the Kalamazoo Wings. He was waived after one game, a 2-0 loss to the Chicago Express. Fogal was called up to the Wilkes  Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL) and signed a PTO in October, but did not  play.

Players to Watch

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Ross Rouleau
Defenseman Ross Rouleau was a particular thorn in the side of the Americans this season with nine points (4 G, 5 A) and will continue to prove to be dangerous on both sides of the blue line. 

T.J. Fox
has also tallied nine points (3 G, 6 A) against Allen and was second in scoring for the Brahmas this season with 55 points (18 G, 37 A).

Captain Adam Hogg played in the CHL Finals last season with Colorado and in the series against Allen this year, he led the Brahmas with two game-winning goals. Hogg also leads the team with nine game-winners; seven coming in the second half of the season.

Sy Nutkevitch is a relative newcomer to the Brahmas but has already made an impact with five points (2 G, 3 A) in seven games played. 

Watching Dan Nicholls on the ice is like watching a human wrecking ball clearing a path for the offense. Half Ben Grimm (for you Fantastic Four fans) and half Sgt. Rock, Nicholls is the definition of toughness on the Brahmas roster - and once the playoffs are over, he'll be flying to Australia to start a whole new season with the Adelaide Adrenaline.

A Not So Secret Weapon

There's little argument that the Brahmas home ice at the NYTEX Sports Centre is the hardest place for an opposing team to play. Texas had the second most home wins this season with 22, going 22-7-4 at "the shoebox" as it's affectionately called.


Part of a 500,000 square foot multi-use complex, the ice seems smaller (it's regulation) and the fans seem to be right on top of you. Those fans by the way, have been named the "Most Annoying" for the past two seasons in the CHL's annual Best of the Best Awards. 

Games Four and Five will be played at NYTEX as well as Game Six (if necessary).

The Physical Game

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Adam Hogg
The Brahmas and the Americans took no time emulating the fierce rivalries known throughout the history of Dallas/Fort Worth ice hockey. In fact, the last time the teams played, there were 143 penalty minutes in the game. The two rivals combined for 508 PIM’s in the season series (more than 46 combined per game).

While both teams have proven they can play a reserved game, the likelihood of a very physical series overall, is high.

Weaknesses

Texas is last in the league with their 12.2 power play percentage and has the lowest number of power play goals in the league at 30 (a dozen fewer than any other squad).

Injuries have taken a toll on a number of players on the Brahmas' post-season roster but the same players have also shown the fortitude to play through their problems in the past and motivation is high on the Texas squad, to say the least.

Tonight

The Brahmas are confident coming into the series but place a high value on taking Game One. In an article in today's Fort Worth Star-Telegram, head coach Dan Wildfong admitted they are worried about the initial meeting but at the same time, they know the series is all about winning four games, not just one.

"We won a couple there already," Wildfong said of Allen's home arena. "We know what we have to do there."

Brahmas forward T.J. Fox shared Wildfong's sentiment and expressed his and his teammates' confidence.
"I think we played them enough we know what they're going to throw at us, and we'll be ready for them," said T.J. Fox.

Game One is set to start tonight with a 7:05 pm CST start time.

Findlay expected to make impact for Brahmas in post-season

Soo Greyhounds winger makes pro debut tonight


He may be one of the youngest skaters on the ice tonight at the Allen Event Center, but 19-year-old Brett Findlay won't be thinking of age or experience in his professional debut for the Texas Brahmas. 

"It's a chance for me to show my stuff," Findlay told The Sault Star. "I'm going to do the best I can and hopefully impress somebody." 

Findlay has been an impact player since joining the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds as a free agent in 2010. Known as a power skater with a quick-release shot, excellent vision, with an innate ability to make things happen, the Echo Bay, Ontario native was second in scoring for the Greyhounds this season, notching 56 points (20 G, 36 A) with 44 penalty minutes. 

As an OHL rookie last season, Findlay was one of the most productive players on a talent-rich Greyhounds squad - he tallied 44 points (20 G, 24 A) in 57 games. 

"When he gets the puck, something happens," former Hounds head coach Denny Lambert said. "He's a gifted player. He's not an energy guy, he doesn't run people over. But he can skate and he has vision and he does a lot of things most people can't do." 

Exactly the qualities the Brahmas were looking for to help make a difference in the playoffs this year. When his agent told him of the Brahmas interest last week, Findlay jumped at the opportunity.

"They want me to be the second-line center and play a scoring role," Findlay said of the Brahmas' plans for him. "Hopefully, that's what I can bring." 

Findlay will become the fifth Hounds player to enter the pro ranks since the regular season ended. Goaltender Jack Campbell (Texas Stars), winger David Broll (Toronto Marlies), centre Nick Cousins (Adirondack Phantoms) and defenseman Ryan Sproul (Grand Rapids Griffins) are all with American Hockey League teams.

Findlay will be playing against a former Greyhounds teammate, Americans defenseman Dylan King, who played 13 post-season games with Allen last year. This season, King contributed eight points (4 G, 4 A) and 55 PIM in 48 games played and earned an eight-game call-up to the AHL's Lake Erie Monsters.

Photo Credit: Soo Greyhounds

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Brahmas notes
  • The Brahmas are hosting a post-season pep rally tonight at Anejo House of Tequila (located at 9159 Boulevard 26, Suite 300 in North Richland Hills) for the fans to usher in the 2012 CHL playoffs with the team’s players, coaches and staff. The party will go from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
  • If you weren't there (or even if you were), take a listen (here) to Christina Major's rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, recorded at NYTEX on 03/18/12

Monday, March 26, 2012

Brahmas announce 2012 playoff roster

Seven defensemen, 10 forwards and two goalies make up post-season corps

The Texas Brahmas are headed to their fifth consecutive post-season, the only active CHL team that can make this claim.

Texas will face their crosstown rivals, the Allen Americans, in the opening round set to begin Friday, March 30. The series will be the first ever post-season meeting between the Brahmas and Americans as well as the first meeting between a Dallas and a Fort Worth team since the 1978 CHL finals (Dallas Black Hawks and Fort Worth Texans).

The Brahmas’ final playoff roster is as follows:

Defensemen:

Jim Burichin
Jacques Perreault
Greg Eskedjian
Ross Rouleau
Erik Spady
Andrew Lackner
Brock Meadows

Forwards:


Tyler Barr
Adam Hogg
T.J. Fox
Sy Nutkevitch
Ryan Hand
Dan Nicholls
Mike Hellyer
Calin Wild
Brendon Hodge
Chad Woollard

Goaltenders:

Mark Guggenberger
Brad Fogal

Left out, but remembered fondly for their service to the team this season are Jordan Kary, Mark Ehl, Thomas Galiani and Phil Fox.

The Brahmas can still add two amateur players during the playoffs.
Fogal during practice last Thursday at NYTEX

Brahmas waive Carroll, sign Brad Fogal


Rookie goaltender played in CHL, ECHL this season

The Brahmas have waived veteran goalie Ken Carroll and have signed rookie goaltender Brad Fogal to the roster. Fogal is expected to back up Mark Guggenberger throughout the playoffs.

Fogal, 25, played 10 games with the Quad City Mallards (6-2-0) and 11 games with the Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL) where he went 4-4-3 before he was acquired by the Kalamazoo Wings. He was waived after one game, a 2-0 loss to the Chicago Express. Fogal was called up to the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL) and signed a PTO in October, but did not play.

Before turning pro, Fogal played four seasons at Adrian College (MCHA) where he had an overall record of 93-11-2 with a 2.04 GAA, a .922 Save Percentage and 15 shutouts. He holds the NCAA Division III record for career victories, ranks eighth in career GAA and is tied for 10th in career Save Percentage.

Fogal was selected MCHA All-Conference the past four seasons. The Sharon, Ontario, native earned only one loss in 72 career conference games. He owns MCHA records for career wins (70), career minutes played (4,138) and season wins (19).

Fogal appeared in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” last April.

With Fogal between the pipes, Adrian won four straight Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association championships, four Harris Cup titles and qualified for the Division III tournament the past two seasons.

In 2010, Adrian advanced to its first Division III Frozen Four and finished as national runner-up in the program’s fourth season.

Fogal arrived in North Texas on last Wednesday night and practiced with the team on Thursday. He looked sharp and ready. I originally expected him to travel with the team to Tulsa last week but apparently he had some paperwork that needed to be taken care of and now that that's all been taken care of, he's ready to practice with the team for the opening round of the playoffs.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Brahmas drop sixth straight in Allen

143 total penalty minutes in 3-2 contest

From the Brahmas' press release:

In what was a preview of next week’s opening-round playoff matchup, the Americans topped the Brahmas 3-2 in a physical contest at the Allen Event Center.

The Americans got out in front early when Mike Berube beat Brahmas netminder Mark Guggenberger for a powerplay goal at the 13:27 mark of the first period.

Texas answered with a first-period goal of its own at the 17:59 mark, as T.J. Fox put a wrister by Marco Cousineau. For Fox, the goal was his 17th of the season and his second in the last three games against Allen.

At the 14:01 mark of the second period, the Americans took a 2-1 lead on former-Brahma Jason Deitsch’s 16th goal of the season.

Allen then extended its lead to 3-1 just over a minute into the third period when Jim McKenzie added his 20th goal of the year and fourth in seven games versus the Brahmas this season.

With 10:22 to play in the third period, Greg Eskedjian buried a loose puck by Cousineau to bring the Brahmas back within one. For the rookie defenseman, it was the first goal of his professional career. But that would be the last of the Brahmas’ scoring, as Allen made it four straight wins against Texas.

Cousineau made 28 saves on 30 Brahmas’ shots to earn the victory in his first game back with the Americans after a stint with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League. Guggenberger stopped 24 of 27 shots fired on net by Allen in a losing effort.

Mark Guggenberger made 24 saves on 27 shots faced and takes the loss. His record goes to 21-11-3-3 with a 2.25 GAA (1st in the league) and a .913 Save Percentage (9th in the league).

The Brahmas were assessed 60 minutes on 16 infractions and went for 0 for 5 on the power play.

Blind Mouse: Tudor Floru
Linesman 1: James Sanders
Linesman 2: T.J. Nua

1st Star: Jim McKenzie (ALN)
2nd Star: Bruce Graham (ALN)
3rd Star: Brendon Hodge

You can view Pointstreak's Box Score here and their GameLive broadcast here.

The Brahmas will return home to the NYTEX Sports Centre to host the Evansville IceMen in the regular season finale. It will be the first time the IceMen have been to the shoebox, so give 'em a nice welcome. The opening puck drop is set for 4:00 pm CST.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith
The Insider Interview - Mike Barack

The Texas Brahmas GM talks about five seasons of hockey in NRH, the Fort Worth Face-Off and much, much more...

It's always a pleasure to sit down with Mike Barack, who always gives a great interview. I spoke with Mike recently about the Brahmas fifth season at the NYTEX Sports Centre and their fifth consecutive post-season berth. We also discussed the evolution and the experience of the Fort Worth Face-Off series and what's to come in the future. Mike also addressed the "silly season" and what keeps his energy level so high when it comes to Brahmas hockey.

Here is our conversation.



Photo Credit: Robert Keith
Brahmas shut out by Oilers, 6-0

Loss keeps Tulsa in playoff hunt

An injury-ridden Brahmas team played only 14 skaters Friday night in Tulsa and the Oilers took advantage, topping Texas 6-0 at the BOK Center.

With Texas’ three top goal-scorers out of the lineup, Tulsa netminder Ian Keserich posted his third shutout of the season, each coming against the Brahmas. Keserich stopped all 18 shots fired on net by the Brahmas to improve to 21-16-2 on the year.

The win keeps Tulsa in the fight against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees for the fourth and final playoff berth in the Berry Conference.

Tulsa got two goals from Gary Steffes and one apiece from Mike Ullrich, Dylan Clarke, Michel Beausoleil and Ryan Cramer to spoil the night for Mark Guggenberger.

Steffes scored his first goal on a penalty shot at the 15:21 mark of the first period and then added a power play goal three minutes into the third period to put the Oilers up 5-0 at that point in the contest.

Mark Guggenberger made 29 saves on 35 shots faced and takes the loss. His record goes to 21-10-3-3 with a 2.23 GAA (1st in the league) and a .913 Save Percentage (9th in the league).

The Brahmas were assessed 20 minutes on 7 infractions and went for 0 for 4 on the power play.

Blind Mouse: Zac Blazik
Linesman 1: James Sanders
Linesman 2: Chip Excell

1st Star: Gary Steffes (TUL)
2nd Star: Mike Ullrich (TUL)
3rd Star: Dylan Clarke (TUL)

You can view Pointstreak's Box Score here and their GameLive broadcast here. You can view Pro Hockey News' Les Stockton's photos from the game here.

The Brahmas will travel to the Allen Event Center on Saturday to take on the Americans with the opening puck drop set for 7:05 pm CST.

Photo Credit: Les Stockton/Pro Hockey News

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Insider Interview - Ross Rouleau

The fourth-year defenseman talks about his experience playing for the Texas Brahmas

I had an opportunity to sit down briefly yesterday with Ross Rouleau, who is about to enter his fourth consecutive post-season run as a defenseman with the Texas Brahmas.

Rouleau, 23, was signed to the team after attending the 2008 Making the Cut prospect camp. He played two games before being placed on waivers. Later in the season, he was re-called and played the remaining 15 regular season contests and an additional 15 post-season contests culminating in the Brahmas win of the 2009 Ray Miron President's Cup.

Over the past few years, Brahmas fans have enjoyed watching Ross' progress as he continues to develop as a very capable and talented player.

Here is our conversation.



Photo Credit: Robert Keith
Guggenberger named CHL's top goaltender

Brahmas goalie wins Scott Brower Award


The Central Hockey League has announced that Mark Guggenberger has been named the recipient of the 2011-12 Central Hockey League’s Most Outstanding Goaltender award (Scott Brower Award).

The award is ‘presented annually to the Central Hockey League’s most outstanding goaltender, in memory of Scott Brower, former CHL goaltender and team staff member.’ Voting was done by CHL head coaches, communications departments and selected media members in each market.

In what turned out to be the most decisive award race, Guggenberger earned 29 votes of the 50 ballots returned (58%) followed by Charlie Effinger (Missouri) who had 14 votes. Earlier this week, Guggenberger was named the CHL Rookie of the Year joining Tyler Weiman as the only player to win the top goaltending and rookie award in the same season (2005, Colorado).

Guggenberger, 22, leads the CHL with his 2.12 goals against average and sits with a 21-9-3 record. His five shootout wins are second in the league and his three shutouts are tied for first in the CHL.

The Richfield, Minnesota native earned recognition in the month of January when he was the winning goaltender in the CHL All-Star game making 35 saves on 36 shots. In February, Guggenberger was named the Sher-Wood/CHL Goaltender of the Month and the 50/50 Central CHL Rookie of the Month thanks to his 9-1-1 record and his 1.23 goals against average.

During the season, Guggenberger set a new CHL record for scoreless minutes (238:31) in the midst of recording three consecutive shutouts and in his 36 appearances on the season, the 6-3, 208-pound goalie has allowed two goals or fewer.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Brahmas/Americans playoff dates set

Teams to meet for first time in post-season

After Wichita clinched the first seed in the Berry Conference Tuesday night, the Brahmas will now officially face the Allen Americans in the first round of the 2012 postseason. The two crosstown rivals have never met in a playoff series.

The schedule for the series will be as follows:

Berry Conference Opening Round – Series “D” (Best-of-7)
Texas Brahmas vs. Allen Americans

Game 1 – Fri., Mar. 30 – Texas at Allen, 7:05pm
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 1 – Texas at Allen, 5:05pm
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 4 – Allen at Texas, 7:00pm (Home playoff game one)
Game 4 – Fri., Apr.6 – Allen at Texas, 7:30pm (Home playoff game two)
*Game 5 – Sat., Apr. 7 – Texas at Allen, 7:05pm
*Game 6 – Tue., Apr. 10 – Allen at Texas, 7:00pm (Home playoff game three)
*Game 7 – Wed., Apr. 11 – Texas at Allen, 7:05pm

*if necessary

Photo Credit: Robert Keith
Guggenberger Named CHL Rookie of the Year

Goalie is first Brahmas player to be selected for this award

The Central Hockey League has announced that Mark Guggenberger has been selected as the recipient of the 2011-12 Central Hockey League Rookie of the Year award following balloting among CHL head coaches, communication’s departments and selected media members in CHL markets.

The Rookie of the Year award is ‘presented annually to the Central Hockey League player adjudged to be the most proficient in his first year of professional competition.’

Guggenberger was selected on 23 of the 50 ballots submitted, finishing ahead of Quad City’s Jared Brown who was second with nine votes received.

The Richfield, Minnesota native leads the entire CHL with a 2.12 goals against average and is carrying a 21-9-3 record. Guggenberger’s three shutouts are tied for the most in the league and his five shootout wins are second in the league.

Earlier this week, the 6-3, 208-pound rookie was named the goaltender for the CHL All-Rookie Team and the All-CHL Team and he is one of five finalists for the CHL’s Most Outstanding Goaltender Award (winner will be announced on Friday, March 23).

In his first professional season, Guggenberger was selected as a member of the CHL All-Star team and in January earned the win in the All-Star Game making 35 saves on 36 shots in the CHL All-Stars 6-4 win over the host Arizona Sundogs.

Guggenberger is the first Brahmas’ player to win the Rookie of the Year award, dating back to the inception of the franchise in 1997. He is also the only Fort Worth-area player to win the award since WPHL and CHL hockey began in 1992.

Prior to turning professional, Guggenberger played one season at the University of Prince Edward Island and prior to that, three seasons in the Western Hockey League with Portland, Swift Current and Kelowna). His combined record in the WHL was 40-30-5 with eight shutouts.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

Wichita holds on to lead, defeats Brahmas 6-5

Thunder lock up Governor's Cup, Texas loses 4th straight game

It was a rough night for the Texas Brahmas, to say the least.

The Brahmas capitalized on their first power play of the night and grabbed the early lead at the 1:47 mark of the first period when Brendon Hodge cleaned up a rebound in front of the Thunder net for his 13th goal of the season. T.J. Fox and Adam Hogg assisted.

The rest of the first period, however, belonged to Wichita. A boarding call against Dan Nicholls led to the equalizer by R.G. Flath. Jarred Mohr sent a shot on net off the face-off and Flath beat Ken Carroll with the rebound just four seconds into the man-advantage .

27 seconds later Chris Chappell beat Carroll off a set up by Mohr and Matt Summers. Chappell made it a 3-1 game at the 17:31 mark with the assist from Matt Robinson.

After allowing three goals on five shots, Carroll was given the hook and Mark Guggenberger finished out the game.

The Brahmas had a 10-5 shot advantage in the opening period but went into the locker room down 3-1.

Texas turned the tables in the middle frame, outscoring Wichita 3-2 in the period.

Adam Hogg scored twice and Sy Nutkevitch tallied his second goal as a member of the Brahmas while R.G. Flath added two for the Thunder. Flath's hat trick goal came at the 16:17 mark when Daniel Tetrault fired a shot from the blue line and Flath put home the rebound to make it a 5-4 contest heading into the third period.

Wichita had the 13-6 shot advantage in the second 20.

6:16 into the third period, Bourret put home a rebound during a scramble in front of the Brahmas net to make it 6-4.

The Brahmas had a tremendous opportunity when Bourret (Roughing) and Kevin Seibel (Clipping) were sent to the sin bin at the 8:17 mark but Wichita managed to kill the resulting five-on-three power play. Suffice it to say, Adam Russo made some spectacular saves and kept the Brahmas from pulling closer.

With 35 seconds remaining in regulation, Guggenberger was pulled in favor of the extra attacker and the Brahmas pulled within one when Dan Nicholls scored with a little help from Nutkevitch and T.J Fox to make it 6-5.

The Thunder held on for the remainder of the contest and earned its 44th win of the season as well as the Governor's Cup. Wichita also clinched the Berry Conference title and home-ice-advantage throughout the playoffs.

Ken Carroll stopped 2 of 5 shots faced in 17:31 minutes played. Mark Guggenberger made 17 saves on 20 shots faced and takes the loss. His record goes to 21-9-3-3 with a 2.12 GAA (1st in the league) and a .917 Save Percentage (8th in the league).

The Brahmas were assessed 8 minutes on 4 infractions and went for 2 for 8 on the power play.

Blind Mouse: Zac Blazik
Linesman 1: Bill McGoldrick
Linesman 2: T,J. Nua

1st Star: R.G. Flath (WIC) (1 G, 1 A)
2nd Star: Adam Hogg (2 G, 1 A)
3rd Star: Sy Nutkevitch (1 G, 1 A)

You can view Pointstreak's Box Score here and their GameLive broadcast here. You can view my photos from the game (as they are edited and added) here.

The Brahmas will regroup and travel to Tulsa to take on the Oilers on Friday night with the opening face off set for 7:35 pm CST.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

Monday, March 19, 2012

Guggenberger named to All-CHL, All Rookie Team

League honors latest accolades for Brahmas goalie

The Central Hockey League has announced that Brahmas’ netminder Mark Guggenberger has been selected to the All-CHL team and CHL All-Rookie squad, as chosen by the league’s 14 head coaches.

The 2011-12 campaign has been one filled with accolades for Guggenberger, who recently earned Goaltender and Rookie of the Month honors for his exceptional play in February.

The Richfield, Minnesota native also earned the victory in the 2012 All-Star Game on January 11th in Arizona and set a CHL record for consecutive scoreless minutes (238:31), a streak that spanned over five different games and included three straight shutouts.

Guggenberger (21-8-3) currently leads the league in Goals Against Average (2.07) and is tied for fifth in Save Percentage (.918). The Brahmas’ goaltender is joined on the All-CHL team by defensemen Riley Weselowski of Rapid City and Frankie DeAngelis of Fort Wayne and forwards Todd Robinson of Evansville, Brandon Marino of Quad City and Shawn Limpright of Rapid City.

Guggenberger is only the third rookie in the last 10 years to be named a member of the All-CHL squad, joining John DeCaro (2006-07) and Tyler Weiman (2004-05).

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Brahmas lose second straight against Allen

Three unanswered goals lift Americans to 3-2 victory


We were all expecting a little more from this weekend's series against the Americans - the Brahmas I'm sure most of all; but it didn't work out in our favor and now it's time to move on.

Yes sports fans, a 2-0 lead spoiled by three unanswered goals gave the Brahmas their second loss in a row - the first time we've seen back-to-back losses since February 4th. Actually, that was four losses in a row, but who's trying to remember that.

So here's what happened.

A Hooking call on Jason Deitsch led to the first score of the game at the 13:32 mark. 70 seconds into the man-advantage, Chad Woollard fired a shot which Beauchemin initially stopped but as the Allen goalie went down, the puck bounced right to the stick of TJ Fox, who was parked to the right of the net and was able to put the rebound just inside the pipe to make it a 1-0 game. Ross Rouleau was credited with the secondary assist.

A close call came with 46 seconds remaining in the period as Mike Berube sent a shot in on Carroll, who made the initial save. Jarret Lukin poked the puck in but it was ruled "no goal" as the play was already called dead.

The Brahmas were out shot 11-7 in the first 20 minutes - nine of Allen's shots came in the last 3:42 of play.

A Tripping call on Dylan King set the stage for the second Brahmas goal 6:55 into the middle frame. This time it was Erik Spady who scored with 18 seconds left on the power play with a quick one-timer from the right point. Calin Wild and Ross Rouleau were in on the assists.

Clouthier and Ryan Hand dropped gloves on the ensuing face off - long overdue midway into this series. Both were sent to the bin with matching Fighting Majors.

Bruce Graham was leveled by Adam Hogg at the 12:31 mark and then Chad Woollard dropped onto Graham and put his stick across the big man's neck, holding him down - no doubt reminding him that his goon actions last night haven't gone unforgotten. Erik Adams came into the fracas late and earned a Cross Checking call for a chicken hit on Woollard. Woollard received a roughing call for his actions.

Erik Adams got his first score of the season after coming out of the penalty box. Adams took a pass from Tyler Ludwig and came in all alone on Ken Carroll and was able to beat the veteran to make it a 2-1 contest at the 14:37 mark. Jason Deitsch was also in on the play.

Once again, Allen had the shot advantage at 12-9 and 23-16 through 40 minutes.

Just over six minutes into the third period, Bruce Graham beat Carroll along the left side to even the score at two goals apiece. Colton Yellow Horn and Rejean Beauchemin were credited with the assists.

Three minutes later, the Americans capitalized on a Brahmas turnover in their own zone, as Jason Deitsch, assisted by Brett Clouthier and Keith Johnson, found the back of net to give Allen its first lead of the game at the 9:06 mark of the third period.

The Brahmas pulled Carroll in favor of the extra attacker with 1:08 remaining in regulation but were unable to score the equalizer.

Allen had the 11-6 shot advantage in the final period and the 34-22 advantage in the game.

Ken Carroll stopped 31 of 34 shots faced and takes the loss.

The Brahmas were assessed 21 minutes on 9 infractions and went for 2 for 3 on the power play. More importantly, the Purple and Black's penalty killers caused Allen to go 0 for 6.

Referee: Tudor Floru
Linesman 1: Bill McGoldrick
Linesman 2: Cory Piche

1st Star: Jason Deitsch (ALN) (1 G, 1 A)
2nd Star: Erik Adams (ALN) (1 G)
3rd Star: Ross Rouleau (2 A)

You can view Pointstreak's Box Score here and their GameLive broadcast here.

The Brahmas and the Americans will meet again tomorrow afternoon to close out the weekend series at the NYTEX Sports Center with the opening face off set for 4:00 pm CST.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

Friday, March 16, 2012

Brahmas fall 5-2 in Allen

Three unanswered goals in second period take the steam out of the Purple and Black


The Texas Brahmas fell further behind the Allen Americans in the standings tonight with an el-stinko performance - a 5-2 loss at the Allen Event Center. Mark Guggenberger allowed five goals before being pulled and Ken Carroll took his place in net for the first time as a Texas Brahmas goalie.

On the upside, Ross Rouleau scored twice and Sy Nutkevitch had an assist in his first game for the Brahmas.

Scott Langdon and Tyler Barr got into it near the blue line at the 1:37 mark of the opening frame to fire up the locals, who finally had a reason to make some noise at "the library" tonight. Langdon, who appeared to start the fight, got in a punch early and the rest of the was really just a wrestling match. Both received the customary Fighting Majors for their efforts.

Langdon was later called for Tripping, providing the first power play for the Brahmas. Unfortunately, Brian McMillin scored a short-handed goal, coming down the right wing side and shooting from just inside the right circle, sending his shot just under the left arm of Mark Guggenberger at the 7:42 mark. Jarrett Lukin was credited with the assist.

That was the extent of the excitement in the opening frame where shots were even at eight and the Americans took the 1-0 lead into the first intermission.

The second period was nothing short of a disaster for the Brahmas. The Americans got off to a strong start when Keith Johnson set up Jarret Lukin, who had a shot ring off the post and moments later, Johnson sent the puck back to Lukin who was able to send it in past the pad of Guggenberger to make it 2-0 at the 1:49 mark. Erik Adams was credited with the secondary assist.

A Tripping call on Dan Nicholls led to another Americans goal when Jeff Martens took a pass from Jarret Lukin and poked it into the open net, giving Allen a 3-0 lead at the 16:22 mark.

Then it was Ben Wilson, who fired a laser from the top of the circle and Guggenberger tried but didn't really have a chance to stop it. Brian McMillin and Scott Langdon were in on the assists.

Allen led in shots 8-5 in the middle frame and remained up 4-0 after 40 minutes.

Allen continued their onslaught 52 seconds into the third frame with a power play strike by Colton Yellow Horn, assisted by Tyler Ludwig and Mark Nebus. That score spelled the end of the night for Mark Guggenberger and Ken Carroll took his place in the net for the first time as a member of the Texas Brahmas.

Then began the Ross Rouleau show as the fourth-year defenseman struck twice in less than two minutes to give the Brahmas a chance at a comeback. Rouleau's first strike came at the 3:35 mark with the assists coming from T.J. Fox and Phil Fox. His second strike came at the 5:26 mark, assisted by newcomer Sy Nutkevitch and Phil Fox.

Unfortunately, it was too little too late and the Brahmas had little steam available to make up for their play in the first two periods. Allen had the 7-2 shot advantage in the final frame and 23-15 in the game as they held on for the 5-2 win.

Mark Guggenberger stopped 13 of 18 shots faced and takes the loss. His record goes to 21-7-3-3 with a 2.07 GAA (1st in the league) and a .919 Save Percentage (6th in the league). Ken Carroll stopped all five shots faced in relief.

The Brahmas were assessed 21 minutes on 9 infractions and went 0 for 3 on the power play.

Referee: Brent Coulombe
Linesman 1: Kyle DeMaggio
Linesman 2: Shawn Morgan

1st Star: Jarret Lukin (ALN) (1 G, 2 A)
2nd Star: Brian McMillin (ALN) (1 G, 1 A)
3rd Star: Ben Wilson (ALN) (1 G)

You can view Pointstreak's Box Score here and their GameLive broadcast here.

The Brahmas and the Americans will meet again tomorrow night at the Allen Event Center with the opening face off set for 7:05 pm CST.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith
Brahmas ready for big weekend against the Reds

Battle for second place heats up


The Texas Brahmas (32-19-8, 72 points) and the Allen Americans (33-17-9, 75 points) will do battle for three consecutive games this weekend - tonight and tomorrow night at the Allen Event Center and on Sunday afternoon at the NYTEX Sports Centre. With just three points separating the two teams in the race for second place and home ice advantage in the playoffs, the games are expected to be intense.

The Brahmas are 8-2 in their last 10 games and have won their last 10 games at NYTEX. The Americans have gone 4-6 in their last 10 games and are 4-6 in their last 10 games at the AEC.

Keith Johnson (RW), Jim McKenzie (RW) and Bruce Graham (C) have been the biggest thorns in the Brahmas' side this season, while T.J. Fox, Phil Fox and Adam Hogg have been the most effective scorers against the Americans.

You can expect Mark Guggenberger in net for the Brahmas for all three contests, while the Americans will likely depend on Rejean Beauchemin.

The Brahmas have won the last three in a row against the Americans, two by shootout. The Brahmas have a 4-3 record against the Americans this season. Clearly, Texas is playing better hockey at this stage, but you can never count the Americans out.

This should be good!

Photo Credit: Robert Keith
Brahmas add Nutkevitch to playoff roster

Former SUNY-Potsdam Bears captain adds scoring touch

The Texas Brahmas have signed Sy Nutkevitch to the roster according to Pointstreak. Nutkevitch, who arrived in town earlier this week, has been seen in practice and around NYTEX for the past several days.

The 6', 172 pound native of Montreal, Quebec spent his collegiate career at SUNY-Potsdam (SUNYAC), where he accumulated 103 points (26 G, 77 A) over the past four seasons. As a senior, Nutkevitch was named team captain and tallied 40 points (9 G, 31 A). He led the conference in assists and was second in the country in assists-per-game (1.20). He earned All-State University of New York Athletic Conference honors in February and was named to the second team.

Sy Nutkevitch

Prior to attending SUNY-Potsdam, Nutkevitch played Junior hockey with the Cornwall Colts (CJHL) in 2007-08, where he contributed 57 points (26 G, 31 A) and 60 penalty minutes in 60 games played. Nutkevitch tallied 17 points (7 G, 10 A) on the power play as well as three game-winning goals.

Photo Credits: SUNY-Potsdam Athletics

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Insider Interview - Adam Hogg

The Texas Brahmas' Captain talks about joining the team, playing at NYTEX, the fans and a whole lot more...

In four years of professional hockey, Adam Hogg has been to two championship series, only to see his opportunity to raise the Ray Miron President's Cup slip away - once to the Texas Brahmas and last season, on home ice in a forced Game 7 against the now defunct Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs.

Suffice it to say, the man is on a mission. This season with the Brahmas, his first as a team captain, Hogg is fourth on the team in points with 38 (20 G, 18 A, +13) in 58 games played. He is third on the team in penalty minutes (83) and is tied with Chad Woollard for the lead in power play goals with five. He leads the team in short-handed goals (3), game-winning goals (by far, with 9) and shot percentage (.161).

Hogg, 29, played four years of collegiate hockey at St. Lawrence University (ECAC), where he tallied 38 points (18 G, 20 A) and 97 PIM in 145 games played.

Hogg went pro in 2007-08, signing with the Corpus Christi Rayz, where he accumulated 18 points (10 G, 8 A, -11) and 89 PIM in 62 games played.

The following season, he signed with the Colorado Eagles and over the course of three seasons, he tallied 95 points (51 G, 44 A) and 188 PIM in 167 regular season games played. He added 17 points (7 G, 10 A) and 52 penalty minutes in 38 post-season contests.

I sat down with Hogg this morning following the Brahmas practice session; here is our conversation:



Photo Credit: Robert Keith
Guggenberger, Woollard, Brahmas fans, NYTEX honored in CHL's "Best of the Best"

Most annoying fans for second year in a row

The Texas Brahmas, darlings of the Central Hockey League (not) have once again been all but ignored in the league's 2012 Best of the Best poll. Well, not really.

Mark Guggenberger was named Most Valuable to His Team and Best Goaltender, adding to his list of accolades in what has been a remarkable rookie season. Guggenberger came in second for Best Goaltender in Shootouts to Wichita's Adam Russo and second for Best Rookie, behind Quad Cities' Jared Brown.

Chad Woollard was named Hardest Shooter and came in third as Best Power Forward behind Allen's Bruce Graham and Missouri's Andrew Courtney.

For the second year in a row, the Texas Brahmas' faithful were named Most Annoying Fans and the NYTEX Sports Centre was named Toughest Building to Win In (for an opposing team, that is). The Brahmas also came in third for Best PA Announcer.

'Nuff said.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith
The Insider Interview - Erik Spady

The first year defenseman talks about the transition to the pro ranks, his teammates and playing Texas Brahmas hockey


In his first pro season with the Texas Brahmas, hard-working defenseman Erik Spady has easily become a fan favorite. Spady, 22, has contributed 11 points (4 G, 7 A, +10) and 87 Penalty Minutes (2nd on the team) in 59 games played. Spady and fellow defenseman Andrew Lackner are the only two players on this season's roster to start every game.

He's an instigator, a fighter when he needs to be, and like the rest of the men on the roster, Spady is a team player - ready at all times to play his particular role in the Brahmas' quest for a second President's Cup.

Before joining the Purple and Black, Spady played four seasons at Northern Michigan University (CCHA) where he tallied 20 points (4 G, 16 A) and 110 PIM in 134 games played.

Prior to his time with the Wildcats, Spady played two seasons with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (BCHL), contributing 58 points (14 G, 44 A) and 178 PIM in 109 regular season games played. He added six points (2 G, 4 A) and 11 PIM in 16 post-season contests.

I had an opportunity to speak with Spady earlier today; here is our conversation:



Photo Credit: Robert Keith
Calling All Texas Brahmas Fans!

Join me in raising funds for the Vellinga Family

If you had the privilege of meeting or getting to know Andrea Vellinga while her husband Mike played for the Texas Brahmas, you met someone really special. As you all know, Andrea is continuing her battle back from devastating injuries suffered during the Indiana State Fair stage collapse on August 13th.

On May 19th, the Inaugural Big May 5k Run/Walk will be held in downtown Pendleton, Indiana at 9:00 am. The event will be comprised of a competitive run, fitness walk, kids fun-run and a birthday celebration for Andrea! All proceeds from the event will benefit the Vellinga’s for their financial obligations as well as Andrea’s medical care.

In the weeks leading up to the event, I would like to encourage/challenge you to help me raise funds for the Vellinga family. Andrea, Mike and Lydia need you!


Please visit the Texas Brahmas Insider team page here to make a donation. Thanks to Jennifer Strong for being the first on our team to donate!

I am planning a photo sale at an upcoming Brahmas game where you will have an opportunity to purchase some unique and one-of-a-kind signed, matted and framed photos to help raise money. More info on that to follow.

If you haven't seen this before, take a look at this great video from WISH-TV in Indianapolis from November 22, 2011:


Here is a photo gallery provided by WISH-TV of Andrea's road to recovery.

Here is a link to the For the Love of Andrea website.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chris Moran waived

Brahmas get set to finalize final roster for playoffs

The Texas Brahmas have placed second-year forward on waivers, according to Pointstreak. Moran, 24, signed with the Purple and Black on January 6th and played 22 games, contributing seven points (2 G, 5 A, +5) and 19 Penalty Minutes. He had the game-winning goal in the 4-3 home shootout win against the Allen Americans on February 10th.

The Buffalo, New York native played 20 games with the Brahmas last season after being cut by the Wichita Thunder. In 20 games with Texas, Moran tallied 18 points (9 G, 9 A, +6) and eight PIM.

The Brahmas are in the process of finalizing their playoff roster and a few more transactions will be announced during the course of the next week.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

Sunday, March 11, 2012

This photo from the Brahmas/Americans melee on 12/09/09 is the most viewed image on the Insider Flickr

Over a half million (and counting)...

Texas Brahmas Insider photos surpass milestone


The Texas Brahmas Flickr has surpassed 500, 000 image views (509,748 as of this post) since the first of 31,064 photos were uploaded in April, 2008.

The most popular image (above) has been viewed 227 times. The photo shows Jordan Cameron coming to the aid of teammate James Hiebert during the pre-game warm ups on December 9, 2009, when several members of the Allen Americans jumped Hiebert in retaliation for his collision with then Americans goalie Charlie Effinger at a previous game at the Allen Event Center.

In fact, six of the top 10 shots viewed were from that set - photos that almost didn't get taken as I arrived late to the rink just as the melee began. Many of the images were shot from the lobby of the NYTEX Sports Centre.

To view the most popular photos by number of views, click here. To view by what Flickr calls "interestingness", click here.

Thanks to all who take the time to view my photos!

Photo Credit: Robert Keith
The Insider Interview - Ken Carroll

The former Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs goalie talks about life after retirement and the decision to return to help out a friend

The Texas Brahmas made an unexpected splash on Friday when they announced the signing of Ken Carroll to the roster. Carroll, 35, is no stranger to Brahmas fans and his return to the CHL has thrilled fans of the purple and black. He's also brought some fans from the greater Shreveport area West to support one of their greatest players.

I sat down with Ken after Saturday night's 5-4 shootout win against the Laredo Bucks to discuss life after retirement and his return to the ice (he's never really left) as the newest member of the Texas Brahmas. Enjoy!


Photo Credit: Robert Keith
Adam Hogg celebrates his game-winning goal in last night's shootout

Deja Vu - Brahmas steal win in shootout

Hogg nets second consecutive game-winner

The Texas Brahmas defeated the Laredo Bucks 5-4 Saturday night at the NYTEX Sports Centre, much like they beat the Missouri Mavericks the night before - Phil Fox scored the tying goal, Mark Guggenberger stopped all opposing shooters and Adam Hogg tallied the game-winner in a shootout.

The win puts the Brahmas (32-19-8) just one win shy of not only clinching a playoff berth, but also ensuring at least a third-place finish in the Berry Conference.

Laredo got out to a 2-0 lead behind goals from Rusty Masters and A.J. Hau in the first six minutes of the second period. T.J. Fox cut the deficit in half when he buried home a rebound past Bucks' goaltender Torrie Jung at the 6:48 mark. After Trevor Hunt added a goal for Laredo and extended the lead to 3-1, Fox beat Jung again for his second goal of the night and 15th of the season.

Ryan Sparling gave Laredo a two-goal lead once again when he beat netminder Mark Guggenberger top-shelf at the 2:00 mark of the third period. But as they did Friday night, the Brahmas responded with a third period comeback. Just one minute after Sparling extended the Laredo lead to 4-2, Chad Woollard pulled Texas within a goal when he wristed a puck past Jung. For Woollard, it was his 26th goal of the season and his sixth in as many games.

At the 10:11 mark of the third period, Phil Fox weaved his way through the Laredo defense and fired a shot into the back of the net to even the score at four goals apiece and send the game into overtime.

After a scoreless overtime period, the Brahmas prevailed in the shootout, as Adam Hogg netted the game-winner on Texas' last shot for the second consecutive night. For Hogg, it was his eighth game-winner of the season. Guggenberger again did not allow a goal on five attempts, improving his save percentage in the shootout to 78.4 percent.

The Brahmas (32-19-8) are now just one win shy of not only clinching a playoff berth, but also ensuring at least a third-place finish in the Berry Conference.

Mark Guggenberger stopped 15 of 19 shots faced and earned the win. His record goes to 21-6-3-3 with a 1.96 GAA (1st in the league) and a .923 Save Percentage (3rd in the league).

The Brahmas were assessed 8 minutes on 4 infractions and went 0 for 4 on the power play.

Referee: Zak Blazic
Linesman 1: Bill McGoldrick
Linesman 2: T.J. Nua

1st Star: Adam Hogg (1 G, 1 A)
2nd Star: T.J. Fox (2 G, 1 A)
3rd Star: Chad Woollard (1 G, 3 A)

You can view Pointstreak's Box Score here and their GameLive broadcast here. You can view my photos from the game here.

Texas is back in action Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17 at the Allen Event Center to take on the Americans. The Brahmas will then return to the NYTEX Sports Centre on Sunday, March 18 at 4:00 pm against Allen for Beer League Night, when the team will wear the jerseys submitted by a local adult-league team.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Brahmas defeat Mavericks in shootout

Guggenberger stops all shooters as Hogg nets game winner

The Texas Brahmas defeated a physical Missouri Mavericks squad to earn their 31st win of the season Friday night at the NYTEX Sports Centre.

Kris Hogg kicked off the scoring 4:22 into the opening period with a soft goal in front of the net, assisted by Patrick Schafer.

Ryan Hand earned a Cross Checking minor and took on Randy McNaught at the 19:31 mark. Both were sent to the locker rooms early for their efforts.

Hogg’s goal stood up as the only goal of the first period, with the Mavericks being out shot by the Brahmas, 10-7.

A Cross Checking call on Missouri's Mike Wakita allowed Dan Nicholls to even up the score on a power play goal 7:19 into the second period on a drive from the point set up by Andrew Lackner and Phil Fox.

Chad Woollard gave the Brahmas a 2-1 lead with 2:03 remaining in the period on a re-directed shot from the point by T.J. Fox. Adam Hogg was credited with the secondary assist. Chad Woollard. Woollard's tally was his 280th career Central Hockey League goal, moving him into sole possession of eighth place on the league's all-time goal-scoring list.

Missouri had a narrow 9-8 shot advantage in the period.

John-Scott Dickson evened the game up at 10:33 into the third period on a shot from just inside the blueline. Mike Wakita was credited with the assist. Then, 30 seconds later, McGrane re-directed a Tristin Llewellyn slap shot from the point to give the Mavs a 3-2 lead.

Phil Fox evened things up for the Brahmas at the 12:41 mark after Missouri netminder Charlie Effinger deflected a Jim Burichin wrister. Fox buried home the rebound to make it a 3-3 contest. Regulation ended in a tie and the two teams headed to overtime.

There was no scoring in overtime and the teams headed to a shootout. All five Mavericks shooters failed to solve Guggenberger and Adam Hogg scored the game-winner, beating Effinger on the backhand side for the 4-3 victory.

Mark Guggenberger stopped 29 of 32 shots faced and earned the win. His record goes to 20-6-3-3 with a 1.96 GAA and a .923 Save Percentage.

The Brahmas were assessed 17 minutes on 7 infractions and went 1 for 3 on the power play.

Referee: Tudor Floru
Linesman 1: Cory Piche
Linesman 2: Chuck Schamel

1st Star: Adam Hogg (1 G, 2 A)
2nd Star: Phil Fox (1 G, 1 A)
3rd Star: Mark Guggenberger

You can view Pointstreak's Box Score here and their GameLive broadcast here. You can view my photos from the game here.

The Brahmas will host the Laredo Bucks tonight with the opening face-off set for 7:30 pm CST.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

Friday, March 9, 2012

Brahmas announce Carroll signing

Former Mudbugs great joins Guggenberger in goal

The Texas Brahmas have announced the addition of veteran goaltender Ken Carroll to the roster, ending weeks of speculation as to who would be the replacement for Steve Silverthorn.

Carroll, 35, retired after the 2009-10 season but has remained active in the local hockey scene as a coach for the Dallas Oilers youth hockey organization and has also skated with the Dallas Stars, taking a spot in net as a practice goalie when needed.

The addition of Carroll makes for a formidible goaltending duo, surely onr of the best in the league.

Carroll ended (he thought) his hockey career as the CHL's all-time shutout king, racking up a league record 31 shutouts in his time with the ‘Bugs. He is also tied for second in league history in victories with 187 and is the only CHL goaltender to be selected to six All-Star Games. When the league released its All-Decade teams for 2000-2009, Carroll was announced as the First Team goaltender.

Right from the onset of his career during the 2000-2001 season, #34 was an impact player for Bossier-Shreveport. The rookie netminder recorded an 11-2 playoff record to help the ‘Bugs earn their third consecutive President's Cup Championship on his way to WPHL Rookie of the Year honors. He also captured his first Goaltender of the Year award that season.

After spending one year away in the ECHL, the Oil City, Ontario native returned to Bossier-Shreveport to become a Mudbugs fixture both on and off the ice. He helped lead the Mudbugs back to the President's Cup Finals in 2004, where they lost the now-infamous Game 7 to Laredo in overtime.

"Of course winning a championship in 2001 will always be a great memory, but I think what I'll remember most is the Laredo series in ‘04," Carroll said after his first retirement. "The guys we had on that team, the ups and downs and the adversity we faced together is something I'll remember forever. I know we didn't win, but at the same time, we felt like we won. We just don't have the rings to prove it."

Carroll and the Mudbugs went back to the Finals again in 2006 after he took home his second Most Outstanding Goaltender honor and earned a spot on the All-CHL team. Carroll and John DeCaro then teamed up to break nearly all of the league's single-season defensive records in 2007-08, setting new marks in team goals-against average, shutout wins and shutout streak, among others. On December 14, 2007, Carroll became the league's career shutout leader with 34 saves in a 3-0 win over Colorado.

The 5-10, 175-pound netminder appeared in 303 games as a Mudbug, posting a 187-81-25 career record and finishing with a 2.15 GAA and a .928 Save Percentage. He also won 31 career playoff games in 54 appearances and had six more shutouts in the postseason.

Bringing Carroll back also provides a thrill for Mudbugs fans, who will surely make the trek to NRH to cheer on one of their own.

Suffice it to say, Brahmas fans should be nothing short of thrilled as well. But don't call KC a back up. Here's a man who has earned an even spot and will be played as needed as the Brahmas make the quest to bring the Cup back to NRH!

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Brahmas drop Avramenko

New goalie expected to be announced tomorrow

The Texas Brahmas have placed back-up goaltender Adam Avramenko on waivers, according to Pointstreak. At long last, the team is expected to announce his replacement tomorrow.

Avramenko signed with the Brahmas on January 30th, following the abrupt departure of Steve Silverthorn. He played 61:43 in two road games at Laredo on February 1st and 3rd and allowed a total of seven goals past him before he was benched permanently with a 6.89 GAA and a .774 Save Percentage.

With just nine games remaining in the regular season, Brahmas fans have been waiting to see who will back up Mark Guggenberger as the team heads into the playoffs. It appears the wait is over and we should see the newest member of the purple and black tomorrow.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Central Hockey League award finalists announced

Guggenberger up for Most Outstanding Goaltender, Rookie of the Year


The Central Hockey League has announced the finalists for its annual player awards and the Texas Brahmas' Mark Guggenberger has been nominated in the Most Outstanding Goaltender (Scott Brower Award) and Rookie of the Year categories.

Guggenberger (19-6-3-3) is currently ranked first in the league with a 1.87 GAA and a .927 Save Percentage. In January, Guggenberger was selected to the 2012 CHL All-Star Game in Arizona, at which he made 35 saves on 36 shots en route to the victory.

Guggenberger has broken a Brahmas’ franchise record by recording three straight shutouts and also set a league record by stringing together 238:31 consecutive scoreless minutes.

Last week, the rookie netminder was named the Sher-Wood Goaltender of the Month and the 50/50 Central Rookie of the Month for February.

The other finalists for the Most Outstanding Goaltender Award include Fort Wayne’s Nick Boucher, Missouri’s Charlie Effinger, Evansville’s Bryan Gillis and Wichita’s Adam Russo.

The other finalists for the Rookie of the Year honors include Quad City forward Jared Brown, Missouri forward Andrew Courtney, Evansville goalie Bryan Gillis and Tulsa forward Mike Ullrich.

After a nomination period by CHL teams, the league front office determined the finalists for each award. Balloting will take place among CHL Head Coaches, team Communications Departments and select media members in CHL markets to determine the winners.


Photo Credit: Robert Keith

Monday, March 5, 2012

Bid on Mark Guggenberger's game-worn CHL All-Star Sweater

eBay auctions features Brahmas goalie and other All-Stars

See it here. The game-worn sweaters from the 2012 Central Hockey League All-Stars are now available for bid on eBay. Each sweater is signed by the player. Here's an opportunity to win a one-of-a-kind piece of memorabilia from what is sure to be a stellar career for the Texas Brahmas rookie netminder.

Photo Credit: Arizona Sundogs

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Join the Brahmas at Hooters Monday night

Meet the players party!


Be sure to come out to Hooters in North Richland Hills on Monday, March 5 from 7:00-9:00pm for the Texas Brahmas' Meet the Players Party. This will be a great chance to mingle with the boys and let them know how much you appreciate their hard work and perseverance through thick and thin this season.

Bring an appetite, tip well and don't forget to take a moment to thank the Hooters' management for their continuing support of Texas Brahmas hockey.

Click here for a map and directions.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Mark Guggenberger had another exceptional night in goal, stopping 26 of 27 shots faced

Brahmas swat Killer Bees, 4-1

Woollard scores twice, Guggenberger is stellar in Fort Worth Face-off finale

The Texas Brahmas made up for their dismal performance last night (or was it the old rope-a-dope) at the Fort Worth Convention Center with a commanding 4-1 win tonight in the second game of the inaugural Fort Worth Face-off.

Unfortunately, the Allen Americans defeated the Laredo Bucks 5-4 in a shootout, so the Brahmas remain a point behind them and in third place. No worries there.

Mark Guggenberger was stellar in net for the Brahmas, stopping 26 of 27 shots faced for his 19th win of the season. Chad Woollard took point on offense, scoring two goals and Brendon Hodge tallied the game-winner. Woollard's two goals move him into a tie for eighth on the Central Hockey League's all-time goal-scoring list with former Tulsa Oilers winger Sylvain Naud at 279.

For me, the game started out with just the right touch - following "tough guy"Aaron Boogaard's shot on goal, the first of the game according to Pointstreak, Tyler Barr dropped gloves with the "booger", as he's affectionately called by my wife. Both earned Five Minute Majors for their efforts.

Here's a few shots of that action from TAPELEG over at Jerseys and Hockey Love:


The icing on the first period cake followed at the 13:40 mark when Chad Woollard beat Wylie Rogers to make it 1-0, assisted by Brendon Hodge and T.J. Fox. The Brahmas by the way, entered the game 21-4-3 when scoring first this season.

Woollard's tally was his first at the FWCC since 03/20/05 (the final game of the 2005-06 campaign) against the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs - yes, the final time Woollard and Wildfong played against each other (as players).

Not sure what happened, but Referee Boone Bruggman made a couple of trips to have his left side/torso looked out during the period. Brady Leavold was not in the area, so...hey, just kidding tweetheart!

The Brahmas doubled the Killer Bees' shots in the opening frame 12-6 and carried the lead into the first break.

The Brahmas nearly had a score off a shot by Brendon Hodge (I believe) at the 4:24 mark, but the puck hit off the post and Wylie Rogers managed a tremendous save by pouncing on it. The announcer called goal, which sent a host of the Brahmas bulls onto the ice, leading to a short time-out while the ice was cleared.

Hodge scored just 66 seconds later on a rebound in front of the net, assisted by Tyler Barr and Brock Meadows. Make that 2-0 Brahmas.

Following an interference call on Killer Bees defenseman Georgi Petrov, Chad Woollard scored 66 seconds into the resulting power play. T.J. Fox and Phil Fox were credited with the assists. Make that 3-0 Brahmas.

Tyler Barr opens a can of Texas Brahmas Whoop-A%! on Georgi Petrov

The Killer Bees' frustration led to a melee when Brady Leavold went after a Brahmas player (not sure who) and Chris Moran jumped in to assist, meanwhile Georgi Petrov and Tyler Barr mixed it up as well. Here's the results:

Rio Grande Valley - Georgi Petrov - (Fighting Major), 5 min, 9:28
Texas - Tyler Barr - (Fighting Major), 5 min, 9:28
Rio Grande Valley - Brady Leavold - (Instigator), 2 min, 9:28
Texas - Chris Moran - (Fighting (Intervenor) Game Misconduct), 10 min, 9:28
Rio Grande Valley - Brady Leavold - (Fighting Major), 5 min, 9:28
Rio Grande Valley - Brady Leavold - (Fighting (Instigator) Misconduct), 10 min, 9:28
Rio Grande Valley - Georgi Petrov - (Fighting (Aggressor) Game Misconduct), 10 min, 9:28
Texas - Tyler Barr - (Fighting (Aggressor) Game Misconduct), 10 min, 9:28

All four players were ejected as a result of their efforts. The 2-minute Instigator assessed on Leavold gave the Brahmas a power play but the purple and black failed to convert for a score.

The Killer Bees managed a power play score to cut the Brahmas lead to 3-1, following a Cross-checking minor was assessed on Brock Meadows. Nicolas Rioux managed to beat Guggenberger off a set up by Aaron Lee and Dan Gendur.

Shots on goal favored the Brahmas 10-8 in the middle frame.

It was mostly the Brahmas defenders in the final period who stymied chance after chance for the Killer Bees who led in shots 13-3.

Ruskowski took a chance, pulling Wylie Rogers during a late power play opportunity but the 6-on-4 advantage was fruitless as Dan Nicholls scored on the empty net to seal the final score at 4-1.

Mark Guggenberger stopped 26 of 27 shots faced and earned the win. His record goes to 19-6-3-3 with a 1.87 GAA (1st in the league) and a .927 Save Percentage (also 1st in the league).

The Brahmas were assessed 43 minutes on 9 infractions and went for 1 for 3 on the power play.

Referee: Boone Bruggman
Linesman 1: T.J. Nua
Linesman 2: Cory Piche

1st Star: Chad Woollard (2 G)
2nd Star: Brendon Hodge (1 G, 1 A)
3rd Star: Mark Guggenberger

You can view Pointstreak's Box Score here and their GameLive broadcast here.

Here's a great blog post by the aforementioned TAPELEG over at Jerseys and Hockey Love. Enjoy!

The Brahmas will return to North Richland Hills for some much-needed rest and will begin preparing for next weekend when they will host the Missouri Mavericks on Friday and the Laredo Bucks on Saturday.

Photo Credits: Top - Bob Haynes, Special to the Star-Telegram. All others - TAPELEG/Jerseys and Hockey Love