Brahmas overcome Blazers, 5-4, in a shootout
The Fort Worth Brahmas picked up two critical points in the Northern Conference playoff race on Friday night, defeating the Oklahoma City Blazers 5-4 in a shootout in front of 5,042 enthusiastic fans at the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.
Brahmas center Joey Bastien proved to be the hero of the game for Fort Worth. As the Brahmas fifth and final shooter in the shootout, Bastien fired the puck through the legs of Blazers goaltender Boyd Ballard for the game winning goal. The goal for Bastien capped off a three point night for the Edmonton, Alberta native. Bastien also assisted on Fort Worth's first two goals of the game.
The Blazers forced the game to a shootout by rallying from a two-goal deficit late in the third period. Fort Worth led 4-2 and appeared to be cruising to a comfortable win with less five minutes remaining in regulation. Then, Oklahoma City d-man Tyler Fleck netted a powerplay goal at the 15:17 mark of the period. Just 1:27 later, Blazers forward Garrett Cameron tipped a puck into the Brahmas net to tie the score at four. After a scoreless overtime, the game was then decided in the shootout.
Bastien wasn't the only Brahmas player to have a big night offensively. Center Benoit Genesse had two goals, left wing Chad Woollard picked up a goal and an assist, and forward Derrell Upton tallied a goal and an assist. Winger Bryan Forslund and Michel Beausoliel also scored in the game for Oklahoma City.
Fort Worth rookie goaltender Larry Sterling was spectacular in the shootout win for the Brahmas. Sterling turned away 35 of the 39 Oklahoma City shots he faced in regulation, then three of the five Blazers shooters sent his way in the shootout. With the win, Sterling improves his record to 7-6-2 on the season.
The home ice victory gives the Brahmas a 25-20-6 record for the season. With 56 points, Fort Worth is now just three points behind the Tulsa Oilers for the fourth and final playoff spot in the CHL's Northern Conference. The Brahmas will continue their push for the postseason with another game tomorrow night, Saturday, March 5, as they host the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs at 7:30 p.m. at the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum. It will be retro t-shirt night, as the first 4,000 fans through the gates at the Will for Saturday's game will receive a free retro t-shirt courtesy of The Penalty Box Sports Bar and Grill. For additional information, please contact the Brahmas team office at (817) 336-4423.
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