GAME PREVIEW #18 – VS. ODESSA JACKALOPES

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

vs.

ODESSA JACKALOPES

Friday, November 7 at 7:05 P.M.

NAHL Game #193 • Home Game #10 • Season Series 0-0-0
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 open their 12-game season series against the Odessa Jackalopes from the American Bank Center. The IceRays will play the Jackalopes in four of their next five games to close out the seven-game home stand.

Head-To-Head: Over their last three seasons of competition, the IceRays have the lead in the franchise series 17-13-2, going 4-5-1 in the 2013-14 season. The last time these two teams played (Jan. 18, 2014), the IceRays claimed a 4-0 victory on home ice. The best season the IceRays had against Odessa was in 2012-13, when the team pulled away with a 9-3-0 record in the season series.

Last Game: The IceRays fell to 1-5-0 in the second game in consecutive days, losing 3-1 to the Wichita Falls Wildcats. Forward Nathan Bryer had the lone tally for the IceRays at 17:50 of the second period. At that point, the IceRays trailed 2-1 but couldn’t come back in the final period. Andrew Lindgren picked up the loss, saving 42 of 45 shots, while Wildcats netminder Austin Shaw earned the win, stopping 24 of 25 shots.

Onerous October: The IceRays closed out the month of October on the final day of the month, finishing their 10-game monthly schedule with a 4-4-2 record and ten points. They’ve stayed consistent in the South Division, jumping up one position to a share of second place while battling through four injuries that resulted in missed ice time, one of which resulted in a player being transferred to the Injured Reserve. In the month, the team was outscored 38-32.

Wes Coast Offense: October was a sparkling month for forward Wes Michaud, claiming three goals and 12 assists in the 10-game set. Over that span, Michaud has recorded points in eight of his last ten, earned NAHL South Division 2nd Star of the Week for October 28, and NAHL Player of the Month Runner-Up among forwards. Michaud currently sits tied for fifth in the NAHL in points (20) and owns fifth in assists (14).

Struggle City: The recent stretch hasn’t been kind to the IceRays, dropping four of their last five games, only grabbing three points and being outscored 17-23. Two of the three teams faced are in the top-two of the division, and with the extension into their last eight games, the IceRays have gone 2-4-2 and played all three other teams in the top half of the division.

End of the Road: After Friday’s loss to Wichita Falls, four IceRays skaters saw their point scoring streaks come to a close. Forward Joe Chitwood earned one goal and three assists during his three-game streak, Ryan Cusin ended his team-high six-game streak with two goals and six assists, defenseman Logan Gestro had a season-high five-game point streak close with two goals and five assists, and forward Wes Michaud put together an eight-point effort (two goals, six assists) over his three-game point streak.

Burn, Baby Burn: Forward Nic LaBurn was awarded NAHL South Division 2nd Star of the Week for his two-goal and two-assist effort last weekend against the Wichita Falls Wildcats. LaBurn leads the team in power play goals (4) and becomes the fifth player this season to each double-digit points (Michaud, Lomsnes, Cortese, Gestro).

Shootout on the Border: The Odessa Jackalopes had a shootout-filled weekend against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees, winning on Thursday 6-5 (SO) and dropping Saturday’s game 3-2 (SO). Forward Derek Brown was the hero of Thursday’s game, scoring two regulation goals and netting the game-winner in the shootout in the 2nd round. Brown also tallied one more goal and a shootout tally on Saturday but couldn’t pull the team ahead. Forward Kenny Hausinger earned two goals and two assists on the weekend.

The Journeyman: Jackalopes goaltender Forbes Ploszaj will be making his third appearance against his former team this season in his second different jersey. Ploszaj made six starts with the Wenatchee Wild before being traded to Odessa for future considerations. In two games with the Jackalopes, Ploszaj is 0-1-1 with a 3.37 GAA and .887 save percentage. In two games against the IceRays, Ploszaj is 0-1-0 with a 3.37 GAA and .879 save percentage, including being pulled after six shots in his last appearance as part of a 3-2 loss.

Top Guns: Despite their record, two Jackalopes forwards rank in the top-three in points across the NAHL. Kenny Hausinger ranks second in points with 23 (10 goals, 13 assists), and Derek Brown sits right behind him in third with 22 points (seven goals, 15 assists).

South Division Standings:
1 – Topeka RoadRunners (15-2-1, 31 Pts)
2 – Wichita Falls Wildcats (9-4-0, 18 Pts)
2 – Corpus Christi IceRays (7-6-4, 18 Pts)
4 – Lone Star Brahmas (8-4-1, 17 Pts)
5 – Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (6-5-3, 15 Pts)
6 – Amarillo Bulls (5-8-2, 12 Pts)
6 – Wenatchee Wild (4-7-4, 12 Pts)
8 – Odessa Jackalopes (5-10-1, 11 Pts)

Next Game: The IceRays host their annual Pink In The Rink game on Saturday, November 8 at 7:05 p.m. against the Odessa Jackalopes. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game as well as participate in our in-game silent auction, post-game silent auction, and donate to the cause. Proceeds directly benefit the American Cancer Society. For tickets, visit www.Ticketmaster.com or visit the American Bank Center Box Office. For more information, call the IceRays Front Office at 361-814-PUCK.