GAME PREVIEW #13 – VS TOPEKA ROADRUNNERS

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

vs.

TOPEKA ROADRUNNERS

Saturday, October 18 at 7:05 P.M.

NAHL Game #139 • Home Game #7 • Season Series 1-1-1
American Bank Center • Corpus Christi, Texas
Radio: SportsJuice.com • Mobile: TuneIn Radio • In-Arena: 87.7 FM

Video: FASTHockey.com • Twitter: @goicerays

Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. with Countdown to Faceoff

Today’s Game: The IceRays close out their season series tonight against the Topeka RoadRunners at the American Bank Center in their second of two games at home.

Head-To-Head: With the win last night, the IceRays move the season series to 1-1-1. All time, the IceRays own a 2-17-2 record against Topeka. This is their first win against the RoadRunners since Feb. 1, 2013 in a 3-2 shootout win, in which Charles Baldwin’s first round goal decided the competition (2-0), and it’s also their first win at home against Topeka in their five-year junior history.

Last Game: The IceRays came away with their first overtime win this season, besting the Topeka RoadRunners 4-3. Defenseman Trevor Heuser scored the game’s first goal at 18:24 of the first period to give the IceRays the early 1-0 lead. Topeka would answer with two goals in the second period, but the IceRays had one more in store on a power play tally at 17:34 of the same period by defenseman Anthony Cortese.  One more power play goal for the IceRays would follow through at 6:54 of the third period on a Tanner Lomsnes redirection. Topeka tied the game with 31.6 seconds remaining, but the IceRays would come away with the win thanks to forward Wes Michaud at 2:26 of overtime. Andrew Lindgren saved a season-high 43 of 46 shots, while Drew Vogler garnered the loss, stopping 25 of 29 shots. It was the team’s first overtime game at home this season.

Who Wants a Penalty?: With 18 penalty minutes last night, the IceRays jump to 2nd in the South Division in penalty minutes, only behind the Amarillo Bulls (272) and rank 6th in the NAHL. This season, the IceRays have racked up seven misconducts, including five in their last four games. Defensemen Anthony Cortese and Travis Howe and both lead the team in misconducts with two.

Gone Missing: The IceRays will be without four players tonight, three of whom are injured. Forward Connor Kelly left the game on Friday and will not play tonight. Forward Brad LeLievre is out 2-4 weeks with a leg injury and defenseman Travis Howe is not expected to play with a broken hand. Both injuries were suffered in Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the Brahmas. Forward Nic LaBurn will serve a two-game suspension for an obscene gesture toward the end of last Saturday’s loss.

Filling The Gap: Two new faces join the IceRays lineup this weekend. The IceRays added defenseman Pierre Crinon after clearing waivers yesterday from the Sioux City Musketeers (USHL) and affiliate forward Regan Cavanagh from the Hampton Road Whalers (USPHL Elite). In corresponding moves, the IceRays released defenseman Markus Kojo. The IceRays now have 20 healthy players available tonight.

Power Surge: Over their last seven games, the IceRays have scored eight goals with the man advantage, also holding a five-game streak during that span. The team has now scored two goals on power plays three times this season (9/14 @ TOP; Sep. 20 @ KEY; 10/17 vs. TOP). Only one of those games resulted in a win (10/17 vs. TOP, 4-3 OTW).

A-OK on the PK: The IceRays remain in the top-five in penalty kill numbers this season. In their last five games, the IceRays are 28-for-29 (96.55%) and are 42-for-44 (95.45%) over their last ten games.

Streak Me: IceRays forward Wes Michaud owns a five-game assist and point streak, earning one goal and five assists over his last five games. This is the longest assist or point streak by an IceRays player this season, beating out Tanner Lomsnes and Anthony Cortese for the longest point streak.

RoadRunners Last Weekend: The Topeka RoadRunners continued their winning ways, sweeping the Odessa Jackalopes at home last weekend, 5-2 and 5-0. Forward Tyler Irvine led the charge for the RoadRunners, scoring three goals and two assists for five points on the weekend, while leading point scorer forward Mike Gornall racked up one goal and three assists for four points. Forward Carlos Fornaris also picked up four points.

Tops For Topeka: Forwards Mike Gornall and Willie Brown sit in the top-20 in points among all NAHL skaters. After being shut out last night, Gornall (4+8=12) is tied for 17th in the league in points with IceRays defenseman Anthony Cortese and forward Wes Michaud. On the back end, goaltender Matej Tomek continues to live up to the hype, ranking 2nd in the NAHL in GAA (1.10) and save percentage (.957), and he is one of two netminders to post two shutouts (Ryan Anderson, MNW).

South Division Standings: