Game 1 of the 3-in-3 series between the Ice Wolves and the Brahmas did not disappoint. Neither did $1 Dog Night as there was 600 hot dogs consumed this evening at the Outpost Ice Arenas. These two teams have met three previous times with Lone Star coming up victorious each time. This time however the Ice Wolves roster looked completely different from when they last saw the Brahmas on Oct. 13th and it showed. It was a battle of best and worst in the South Division and it was a nail-bitter towards the end.
In the opening period the Ice Wolves came out of the gate hot by scoring just 3:17 into the period. Zach Frisk was the one to get on the score sheet first; it also marked his first NAHL goal. When asked about what it was like to score his first NAHL goal he had this to say, “It definitely feels good and I’m hoping for more to come.” Before the halfway point in the period, the Ice Wolves managed to tack on another goal. This time though it was Connor Kemp scoring his first NAHL. “I’ve been waiting for awhile and I’m hoping this is the flood gates opening and for the rest of the season they start flowing in”, said Connor when asked about his first goal. After Connor scored, the Brahmas pulled Bailey after he let in two goals on eight shots. Replacing his was Ludvig Persson. In the final minute of the period Rudrud made a remarkable cross-crease pass to Drew Lorinchack (3), who was able to score an easy power-play goal. Giving New Mexico a 3-0 lead after the first 20 minutes of play. Although Brahmas lead 16-11 in shots after the horn sounded to end the period.
In the middle period the momentum switched hands as the Brahmas were able to put three pucks past Josh Graziano in just over 11 minutes. Head Coach of the Ice Wolves, Phil Fox, called a timeout after the third goal went in to settle his team down and allow them to recollect themselves. As the middle period was coming to a close the Ice Wolves did manage to get some offensive pressure going but unfortunately it did not amount to a goal. Lone Star finished the middle period with another 16-recorded shots, the Ice Wolves put up 10.
The Brahmas received some puck luck :37 seconds into the final period after Matthew Rickard had his shot deflect off the skate of Keegan Langefels and into the back of Graziano’s net. Giving the Brahmas their first lead of the game, 4-3. Lone Star would go one to score another one shortly after the halfway point in the period putting them up by a pair. With little time remaining in regulation and down by two, Graziano was pulled to put out the extra attacker. Lone Star looked as if they were going to score an empty-net goal but Mitchell Becker got called for tripping with under a minute left in the period. A lapse in defense for the Brahmas lead Griffen Sanom to spring Alex Gomez on a breakaway while shorthanded. The Parker, CO native notched his second NAHL goal; both were in the form of a breakaway. It would not be enough though as the horn sounded giving the Brahmas a 5-4 victory.
Lone Star finished with 41 shots and New Mexico finished with 28. Game 2 will be tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. (MT). For tickets to tomorrow’s game click here.