The IceRays are re-introducing the play of the year competition to recap the golden moments from the most recent season in a single elimination style tournament. The field has been narrowed down to the 16-best goals, moves, and saves from the 2015-16 season and seeded based on organizational rank. Now, YOU must decide which will be crowned the 2016 IceRays Best of the Bend!
(5) – LeLievre & Lichtenvoort Connect For OT Winner
The IceRays had a knack for creating exciting overtime games as well as winners, and the first game back from the holiday break was no exception. The IceRays were tasked with four games in five days crossing into the New Year starting with two home games against the Odessa Jackalopes, and a new acquisition helped two co-captains get out of the first game with an additional point. Brad LeLievre carried the puck along the right wall into the Odessa zone, drawing two defenders with him and allowing defenseman Cody Lichtenvoort to become wide open on the left side. Showing patience, Lichtenvoort, who was playing his first game with the IceRays since being traded, baited two defensemen with fake passes to allow LeLievre to come to the back door uncontested. With Nathan Bryer providing a distraction, LeLievre one-timed the shot into the open goal, sealing the first of four-straight wins in that week.
(12) Cavanagh Creates An Alley To Score
Sometimes all it takes is some speed, space, and a bit of skill to create a scoring chance for the team, and IceRays Rookie of the Year Regen Cavanagh caught all three during Heart Night Weekend. On February 26 against the Odessa Jackalopes, the IceRays trailed 2-1 heading into the third period and found the equalizer that sent the game into overtime just 35 seconds in. Coming from his own end, Cavanagh raced up the right wing and came into the Odessa blue line uncontested. Once he hit the line, he slipped through the middle of two flat-footed defensemen (as well as stick checks) and snaped a shot by the waiting netminder from the right side of the goal across his body to the left. That was his sixth power play goal of the year and the fifth-straight game with a point despite the 3-2 overtime loss. He would finish his point streak at eight games, which is one shy of the junior franchise record set just last season.
Can Cavanagh's do-it-yourself goal make the second-straight upset, or will the veterans of LeLievre & Lichtenvoort combine to gain entry into the Quarterfinals? YOUR votes decide the outcome. Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. CDT tonight.