Saturday afternoon saw something that hadn’t happened since February 22nd, 2009, as a meeting between the Oklahoma City Blazers and Texas Brahmas occurred for the first time in over eleven years. The renewed rivalry came as the Brahmas remained the defending Fraser Cup champions due to the cancelled 2019-20 season, and the Blazers joining the NA3HL to become one of the new teams on the block to face the Brahmas.
Jacob Ahl took the net for the Blazers, coming off of two shutouts last weekend against the Texas RoadRunners, against Jaxon Taylor for the Brahmas, also with a shutout in his last game against Louisiana.
Texas earned the first goal of the game, 4:30 into the first period, with Micah Maldonado earning his first of the season. The remainder of the 1st period would serve to be a feeling-out period as both teams worked back and forth, but would ultimately end the 1st with a 1-0 Texas lead.
Oklahoma City answered back midway through the 2nd period, with Thomas Srsha winning an offensive zone faceoff, getting the puck back to newcomer Noah Roitman, and his shot from the point hit the back of the net to tie things at a 1-1 score. The tie lasted 27 seconds however, as the Brahmas answered right back to make it a 2-1 lead. OKC earned the tie once again late in the 2nd, as Noah Henslee found Tristan Warr in front, and a quick shot past Taylor made it a 2-2 score after two periods of play.
The Brahmas answered back to kick off the 3rd period with Danny Barry putting Texas back out front by a 3-2 score. The lead lasted only another five minutes as Srsha and Michael Onda combined to put a bouncing puck from another newcomer in Tyler Larsen into the net, and tying things back at the 3-3 score.
Entering the final half of the 3rd period, the Blazers were given a power play opportunity and a chance to take the lead with the man-advantage. Cycling the puck through, Artem Korolev found Sam Miller at the point for a shot, and tip by Henslee in front gave the Blazers their first lead of the game at 4-3. As regulation time ticked off, the Brahmas attempted to tie things up with the extra attacker, but the Blazers held on and completed the 4-3 win over Texas.
With the win, Jacob Ahl improved to 3-0-0 on the season with 34 saves, while Jaxon Taylor fell to 1-1-0, stopping 15 Blazers shots.
The Blazers were outshot for the first time this season, as they earned the win. The win also marks the first loss by the Brahmas at the NYTEX Sports Centre since November 2019, and snaps a 22-game winning streak dating back to the 2019-20 season.
Both teams return to the NYTEX Sports Centre on Sunday for a 4:15p Central Time start to close out the weekend series.