NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – For the second time in as many seasons the Brahmas are set to begin post-season play, welcoming the Atlanta Capitals to NYTEX Sports Centre for a first-round matchup.
THE CAPITALS: The #3 seed in the South finished the regular season record of 35-10-2, giving them 72 total points. While that may be just one point behind the Brahmas, the Caps won the season-series, winning three out of four and earning a point even in the shootout loss.
Led by forward Arturas Laukaitis, the Caps ranked second in goals for in the NA3HL, netting 269 in 47 games. Make no mistake; the team is far from a one-trick pony though. Kyle Rimbach and Alex Johanson finished just behind Laukaitis with 74 and 72 points respectively. The three are expected to wreak havoc this weekend and will be a pivotal part of the plan if they want to be successful.
On the defensive side of things, Aleksandr Zendejas has been the #1 in net for Atlanta. Playing in 70% of the team’s games, the California native enters the weekend with a record of 22-8-1. However, the offense producing in front of him is pivotal as he does carry a goals against average of close to three. Beyond that, a flat .900 save percentage means he will likely face a lot of shots from this Brahmas team.
THE BRAHMAS: It was another successful regular season for the squad, setting a franchise record with 35 wins. With that being said, it ended on a low note courtesy of being handed a shootout loss last Sunday from the Louisiana Drillers.
The team should be hungry to get back on a winning track, specifically against a team that held their number this season. Despite dropping three of four to Atlanta this season, the boys earned points in two of the losses, taking the Caps to the extra period.
In order for the Brahmas to be successful this series, the last line of defense will have to be on their A-game. Brandon Perrone and Tyler Myers have been high points for the team this season, a vast improvement in the crease from last year. The two have split time this season and it will be interesting to see how the situation is used in crunch time. Will the rotation remain in tact or will the hot-hand take over? Regardless, with records of 19-4-2 and 16-5-1, it’s a good problem to have for Coach Rooney.
In front of them, Ryan Dunner has paved the way offensively, finishing fifth in league scoring with 77 points. Prior to the shootout loss, #22 went on a tear, including 17 points in nine games. However, similarly to Laukaitis, Dunner is not the only member relied upon for scoring. Following close behind, Kyle Galloway, Bryan Whelan, and Victor Ekk are all expected to be dangerous this weekend.
PUCK DROP: The series is a best of three and all games are scheduled for a 2:15 start on Saturday, Sunday, and if necessary, Monday. Admission is free at NYTEX Sports Centre!