GAME PREVIEW #15 – AT AMARILLO BULLS

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

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AMARILLO BULLS

Saturday, October 25 at 7:05 P.M.

NAHL Game #158 • Road Game #8 • Season Series 0-0-1
Amarillo Civic Center • Amarillo, Texas
Radio: SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX) • Mobile: TuneIn Radio

Video: FASTHockey.com • Twitter: @goicerays

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

 

Today’s Game: The IceRays close out their first weekend series against the Amarillo Bulls from the Amarillo Civic Center. This is the second of eight meetings this season.

Head-To-Head: After last night’s shootout loss, the IceRays own a 10-29-2 record in regular season games with a 1-3-0 record in postseason play (2012-13 season). The IceRays have lost their last ten-straight games dating back to the 2012-13 season. The last win the IceRays have on Amarillo ice was on Feb. 23, 2013 in a 5-1 victory. The last win overall against the Bulls came the following Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 in a 4-1 win at the American Bank Center.

Last Game: The IceRays got off to an early start but couldn’t hold off the Amarillo Bulls, falling 5-4 in a shootout (1-0). Forward Wes Michaud scored the team’s earliest goal of the season just 17 seconds into the first period, followed by a redirection by forward Tanner Lomsnes at 3:56 of the first period to jump out early, 2-0. The Bulls tied the game, 2-2, in the first half of the second period, but once again Michaud edged the IceRays ahead, 3-2, on a power play goal for his second of the night at 11:38 of the second period followed by Logan Gestro’s third of the year at 16:40. The Bulls would tie the game again in the third to force overtime, and Bulls forward Brady Crabtree scored the lone shootout goal to seal the win.

Living in Sin: Both teams combined for 122 penalty minutes, with the IceRays being given 70 minutes (both season-high totals). Included in the total were four major penalties, four misconducts, one ejection, and one match penalty. In three games with referee Steven Rouillard (tonight’s referee), the IceRays have been given 148 penalty minutes on 42 infractions for an average of 49.33 penalty minutes and 14 infractions per game. In the team’s 11 other games, the IceRays have been given 154 penalty minutes on 61 infractions (14.00 penalty minutes and 5.55 infractions per game).

Hot Hands: With an assist last night, forward Ryan Cusin now has racked up a four-game point streak, earning one goal and four assists in that span. He has the longest active point streak of any IceRays player and one game behind the individual high for an IceRays player (Wes Michaud – 5 games). Defenseman Logan Gestro has also picked up his play of recent, recording four points in his current three-game point streak (two goals, three assists). Though he trails his line-mate Anthony Cortese by two times his point total, Gestro is now the second-highest scoring defenseman on the squad.

Wes Coast Offense: Forward Wes Michaud recorded two goals and two assists in last night’ game, the first of its kind this season. The last time an IceRays player scored four points in a road game was Dec. 7, 2013 when Martin Hojbjerg scored two goals and two assists in a 4-1 win in Odessa. The last time a player scored four points in any game was also last season: Feb. 7, 2014 in a 7-6 overtime loss to Topeka in which Jake Durflinger (3+2=5) & Connor Kelly (0+4=4) both recorded 4+ point games. Michaud now has ten points over his last seven games.

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-31 (90.32%) and are 50-for-53 (94.34%) over their last ten games.

Bulls Exchange Day: The Amarillo Bulls announced three transactions just hours before last night’s game. The Bulls sent defenseman Wayland Williams and forward Connor Wood to the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees in exchange for a 2015 Tender and future considerations. They also acquired forward A.J. Duggan from the Janesville Jets for forward Roberts Smits and a 2015 Tender. In addition, the Bulls signed former Cedar Rapids Roughriders (USHL) forward Will Harrison.

Fall From Grace: For the first time in their junior history, the Amarillo Bulls are under .500 in their first 12 games of the season. In each of the last four seasons, the Bulls have put up eight wins in that span and in two of the last four won the 12th game of the season. Their worst full season was their inaugural year in 2010-11 when they went 36-16-6 and finished second in the South Division. Since then, they’ve won the South Division every season and appeared in the Robertson Cup Finals in 2011-12 & 2012-13, winning the title in 2012-13.

Three-For-Three: Five Bulls players are heating up and on the cusp of a scoring streak. Rusian Rakhmatov (1+4=5) now owns a three-game point streak after one goal and two assists last night, and defensemen Kasper Emanuelsson (1+2=3) also shares that recognition. Forward Cody Gylling (2+1=3) ended his two-game power play goal streak, but now has points in three-straight after a power play assist last night.

South Division Standings:
1 – Topeka RoadRunners (12-2-1, 25 Pts)
2 – Wichita Falls Wildcats (8-3-0, 16 Pts)
2 – Corpus Christi IceRays (6-4-4, 16 Pts)
4 – Lone Star Brahmas (7-4-1, 15 Pts)
5 – Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (5-4-2, 12 Pts)
6 – Amarillo Bulls (4-6-2, 10 Pts)
7 – Odessa Jackalopes (4-9-0, 8 Pts)
8 – Wenatchee Wild (3-6-2, 8 Pts)

Next Game: The IceRays return to the American Bank Center on Thursday, October 30 at 7:05 p.m. against the Wichita Falls Wildcats. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on SportsJuice.com, FASTHockey.com, and on 87.7 FM in-arena. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com or by calling the IceRays Front Office for more information: (361) 814-7825.