MOLINE, Ill. – After the embarrassment for the Fort Worth Brahmas of Friday night’s 5-2 loss, they came out determined to redeem themselves and end the series on Saturday in the i wireless Center. They did just that winning a nail biter of a game 1-0 to eliminate the Quad City Mallards and move on to the Central Hockey League semifinals.
The Brahmas came out strong and they were incredibly tenacious. One of the best chances came when Quad City’s John Murray mishandled the puck and the Brahmas’ John Snowden took control. Snowden fired the puck towards the net as Murray was still trying to regain composure and Murray somehow made the save sprawling on the ice.
Both teams had a couple chances and both teams went 0-for-1 on their power play opportunities in the first frame. However, the Brahmas did have another power play chance very late in the period and the majority of the time elapsed in the second.
After 20 minutes of play, Fort Worth outshot the Mallards 11-7.
In the second period, both teams continued to skate and play with great intensity. Again, both teams had power play chances that they were unable to convert as Murray and Fort Worth’s Kristofer Westblom continued to be at the peaks of the respective games. The best chance of the period came late on a Fort Worth power play when a rebound rolled the left of Murray in front of a wide open net and sat there for a second or two before the Mallards cleared it out.
The Brahmas continued to control the lead in the shot count as they doubled up Quad City 10-5 in the second.
Quad City goaltender John Murray continued his phenomenal play in the third period. He stood on his head all night. With the Brahmas threatening early in the period, Murray made a couple of huge saves John Snowden and then Cole Ruwe immediately thereafter. Later the Brahmas were on a power play when Murray slammed the door shut on Shawn Szydlowski twice in a matter of seconds.
Despite Murray’s outstanding play, one instance of bad luck ruined his shutout bid as a Szydlowski shot deflected into the goal off of the skate of Mallards’ defenseman Bob Preece. Adam Hogg picked up the assist on what proved to be the game winning goal. When all was said and done Murray had 38 saves on the 39 shots the Brahmas threw his way.
With the win, the Brahmas move into the Central Hockey League semi-finals to face off against the Wichita Thunder in another best-of-seven series. For the second consecutive season, the Brahmas and Thunder will play to determine which team will move on to the CHL finals.
The schedule for the upcoming series will be released in the coming days.
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