The first road trip of the 2020-21 NA3HL season was a successful one for the Oklahoma City Blazers, as they earned a weekend sweep of the defending Fraser Cup champion Texas Brahmas. Breaking the Brahmas’ 22-game winning streak the previous night, the two teams returned to the ice on Sunday to close out their two-game weekend set in North Richland Hills, Texas.
OKC returned to Jacob Ahl in net, as he rides a three-game winning streak, while the Brahmas turned to Dolan Gilbert in net, who had just competed the night before for the NAHL’s Lone Star Brahmas.
The game progressed slowly in the 1st period, as both teams worked to gain momentum in the contest. After an unsuccessful power play for the Blazers midway through the period, the Brahmas opened up the scoring at 16:02 on a steep angle shot that appeared to bounce in off of the back of Ahl’s legs and in to make it a 1-0 score.
Oklahoma City bounced back at 19:02 of the first as Tristan Warr one-timed a pass from Noah Roitman at the point, tying things up at the 1-1 score after the 1st.
An early power play chance for the Blazers paid off in the 2nd period, as Noah Henslee found the puck in the slot off a blocked shot in front, and rifled it past Gilbert to put OKC up by a 2-1 score on the man-advantage. The teams traded penalties through the remainder of the frame, but neither was able to convert, sending the teams to the locker rooms with the Blazers leading by the 2-1 score.
It was much the same story in the 3rd, as the teams each had a power play opportunity, but no luck on the scoresheet. With just under three minutes remaining in regulation time, the Brahmas took a chance by pulling Gilbert for the extra attacker. A blocked shot in the slot however, led to a pickup by Roitman and a long shot from the defensive end that remained on-target and hit the net to put OKC up 3-1 with two minutes remaining on the clock.
With lots of time still left, the Brahmas opted to pull Gilbert once again, but this time Artem Korolev received a breakaway pass and deposited the puck into the net for the goal, with the 4-1 score holding strong to give the Blazers the weekend sweep over the Brahmas.
Jacob Ahl stopped 34-of-35 Brahmas shots in the contest, while Gilbert turned aside 12 shots in the loss.
The weekend sweep marks the first time the Brahmas have been swept by their opponents in a weekend since January 8th, 2017, as they dropped a three-game set to Atlanta.
Another big test lies ahead for the Oklahoma City Blazers next weekend as they take on the El Paso Rhinos for a two-game set back at home at Arctic Edge Ice Arena. Friday, the puck drops at 7:05p, and Saturday at 4:35p. It’s Halloween weekend at Arctic Edge, as the Blazers will be wearing special jerseys, and will have a pre-game tailgate party before Saturday’s game! For more information and links to tickets, visit our Dia De Los Muertos Weekend page!