Saturday, April 14, 2012

Mike Hellyer battles Matt Robinson for the puck. Photo Credit: Fernando Salazar / The Wichita Eagle
Brahmas drop Game One in Wichita

Thunder comeback with three unanswered goals dooms purple and black

The Texas Brahmas took a 3-1 loss in Game One of the Berry Conference Finals at the Intrust Bank Center in Wichita on Friday night.

Texas jumped out to a 1-0 lead six minutes into the game and held the lead going into the first intermission. Sy Nutkevitch scored top shelf, to the glove side of Russo to draw first blood. Chad Woolard gained control of the puck and skated down the left side before finding Nutkevitch open in the slot for the score.

R.G. Flath tied it up 4:20 into the middle frame on his league-leading seventh post-season goal. Flath took a pass from Thomas Beauregard at mid-ice and skated down the center of the ice, releasing a wrist shot that beat Texas goalie Brad Fogal and gave Wichita new life.

Chappell’s first goal came at 12:46 of the second period on an assist from Chris Greene. With a draw to Fogal’s left side, Chappell unleashed a wrister that made its way through traffic and into the back of the net, giving Wichita a 2-1 advantage.

Despite several scoring chances, neither team managed to find the net for the remainder of the second and majority of the third period. Texas and Wichita both came up short on one power play opportunity each in the middle period. Texas killed off a minor penalty early in the third frame. The Brahmas went 0-3 and Wichita went 0-4 respectively on the power play.

Chappell added his second tally with seven-seconds remaining. With Fogal pulled for an extra attacker, Chappell banked a shot off the boards from just inside the Wichita blue line that sailed across the open ice and into the net to make it 3-1.

Thunder netminder Adam Russo turned away 31 of 32 Brahmas shots as Texas out-shot Wichita 32-29. This marks the first time this post-season that Wichita was out shot in a game.

Brad Fogal stopped 26 of 28 shots faced and took his first loss with the Brahmas.

The Brahmas were assessed 8 minutes on 4 infractions and went 0 for 3 on the power play.

Referee: Peter Tarnaris
Linesman 1: Shawn Morgan
Linesman 2: Kyle DeMaggio

1st Star: Adam Russo
2nd Star: Chris Chappell
3rd Star: R.G. Flath

You can view Pointstreak's Box Score here and their GameLive broadcast here. You can view Francisco Salazar's game photos here.

Game Two of the best-of-seven series is set for a 5:05 pm CST face-off on Sunday at Intrust Bank Arena.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

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