Saturday, February 24th – LONE STAR 5, Colorado 2

Feb 24, 2024

For the second straight game, the Grit grabbed the early lead but were unable to overcome four unanswered Lone Star goals in the second and third period, falling 5-2 at the NYTEX Sports Center in North Richland Hills on Saturday night.

Colorado’s early goal scoring habits continued thanks to rookie Tomas Vlcek; the winger grabbed his sixth goal of the season on a redirection in the high slot and the Grit had the 1-0 advantage within 90 seconds. The Brahmas tied the game thanks to a power play goal from rookie Owen Kerr, managing a redirection of his own below the left wing hash mark, knotting the score 1-1 with 7:57 to play in the period. Right before the horn sounded for the first intermission, Grit winger Brayden Fryfogle converted on the power play and buried a wrist shot past Deivs Rolovs, giving Colorado a 2-1 lead with five seconds to go in the first period.

The Brahmas jumped into high gear right away in the second period; Jacob MacDonald took advantage of a short handed breakaway and pumped a wrist shot past Colorado netminder Jack Erickson to tie the score, 2-2, just 1:37 into the middle frame.

A fortuitous bounce off the linesmen sent the puck caroming into the high slot; defenseman Zach Rizzo took advantage and fired a wrist shot off Erickson’s glove that trickled into the net to give the Brahmas their first lead of the game, 3-2, with 11:28 to play in the second period.

Colorado had two power play opportunities within five minutes; one at the tail end of the second period and one on fresh ice to begin the third period. Despite four shots, the Grit were unable to crack Rolovs, who finished 25 saves on 27 shots, and continued chasing a one-goal deficit.

The missed man advantage opportunities came back to hurt the Grit as with exactly 10:00 remaining in the third period, Owen Kerr notched his second goal in as many nights. Kerr forced a turnover at the Grit blue line and beat the sliding Jack Erickson with a backhander to make the score 4-2 in favor of Lone Star.

The Grit pulled the goaltender with roughly a minute to go to try and jumpstart the offense, but Lone Star forward Brock James dumped the puck into the empty net, making it 5-2, with 59 seconds to play. The fireworks were just starting though.

Moments later, Colorado defenseman Hunter Cooke tangled with a Brahma forward in front of the Grit bench. The two grappled and exchanged shoves while the linesman separated the pair; meanwhile, Tomas Vlcek was involved in his own fisticuffs at center ice. Vlcek gave and received a few shots with Brahma defenseman Charlie Emmons and all four players were given game misconducts before the final buzzer sounded 50 seconds later.