GAME PREVIEW #21 – VS. ODESSA JACKALOPES

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

vs.

ODESSA JACKALOPES

Friday, November 21 at 7:05 P.M.

NAHL Game #247 • Home Game #13 • Season Series 2-0-0
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

Tonight’s Game: The IceRays begin their final two-game home set for the month of November as they host the Odessa Jackalopes from the American Bank Center. Tonight is The Great American Smokeout Night presented by the Tobacco Prevention & Control Coalition (TPCC).

Head-To-Head: This is the third time the IceRays will play the Jackalopes in four games. On Nov. 7 & 8, the IceRays claimed their second sweep of the season, defeating the Jacks 5-1 and 4-2. The IceRays lead the season series 2-0-0 and have now won three-straight games against Odessa dating back to last season. Over their histories, the IceRays are 20-13-2 against the Jackalopes.

Last Game: The IceRays claimed Game One of the South Texas Vo Tech Cup 3-1 against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees on Nov. 12 from the American Bank Center. Forward Ryan Cusin opened the scoring at 9:31 of the first period with an open rebound off a two-on-one rush. Forward Griff Jeszka scored his first goal of the season on an open feed in the slot at 5:32 of the second period to spread the lead, 2-0. After a Killer Bees answer in the same period, the IceRays iced the victory on a Tanner Lomsnes empty net goal at 19:56 of the third period. Forward Anthony Croston scored the lone tally for the Killer Bees on the power play at 11:03 of the second period. Andrew Lindgren earned the win, stopping 26 of 27 shots on the night, while Nick Schmidt earned his second-straight loss, saving 30 of 32 shots.

En Fuego: The IceRays have matched their season-high win streak, which now stands at three games following their win on Nov. 12. The last three-game streak came in the opening home stand Sep. 27 – Oct. 3, when the IceRays beat the Lone Star Brahmas, 2-1, and followed that up with a sweep of the Wenatchee Wild, 3-2 and 2-1, before losing five of their next six games.

Rocky Mountain High: On Tuesday night, forward Wes Michaud signed his commitment to play NCAA Division I hockey for Colorado College in the 2015-16 season. He becomes the second player to commit to collegiate hockey (Nathan Bryer –Mercyhurst University, Div. I). Michaud currently leads the IceRays in goals (9), assists (17), and points (26). He also sits second in the NAHL in assists and fourth in points.

Gellin’ Like Magellan: Since moving forward Ryan Cusin to the first line with Wes Michaud and Tanner Lomsnes on Oct. 30, the line has earned 22 of the 55 points (40.00%) in their last five games. Between these three skaters, the trio has eight goals and 14 assists with Michaud leading at nine points (three goals, six assists).

Reed Deer Rising: With two points on Wednesday, forward Tanner Lomsnes now owns eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points, ranking him second on the team in all three categories and placing him in the top-20 in points among all NAHL skaters. He’s also the second IceRays player this season to record 20+ points.

You’re The Top: Despite going 0-for-6 on the power play in Wednesday’s game, the IceRays sit first on the power play for the first time in franchise history, going 20-for-85 (23.53%). The closest the IceRays have come previously was just last week, sitting second heading into Wednesday’s game.

Getting Jacked: The Odessa Jackalopes have now lost six-straight games, dropping their most recent game on Tuesday, 5-4 (3-2 shootout), to the Wichita Falls Wildcats. Since their last meeting, the Jackalopes have gone 0-1-2, also suffering a sweep at the hands of the Amarillo Bulls, 2-1 (OT) and 6-1. Defenseman Christian Hausinger is the only skater to record a multi-point game, recording two assists on Tuesday. Defenseman Lane Valimont tallied one goal in Friday’s 2-1 overtime loss and one assist in Saturday’s 6-1 loss.

Open Crease: Goaltending has been a sticking point for the Jackalopes this season. Since Forbes Ploszaj joined the squad from the Wenatchee Wild, he owns a 0-4-1 record over his five games with a 4.44 goals against average and .860 save percentage, which is a stark contrast from his time with the Wild: 3-2-0 record, 2.87 GAA, .884 SV% (six games). Parker Butler, who was tansferred to the Twin City Steel (NA3HL), played five games with the Jacks (2-2-0, 3.67 GAA, .864).

Niagara Bound: Forward Derek Brown added his name to a long list of collegiate commits this week, signing on to play at Niagara University for the 2016-17 season. He is the seventh Jackalopes player to make a Division I hockey commitment from this season’s roster (Alger, C. Hausinger, K. Hausinger, Hoffman, Junttila, Mansfield).

South Division Standings:
1 – Topeka RoadRunners (15-5-2, 32 Pts)
2 – Wichita Falls Wildcats (13-4-0, 26 Pts)
3 – Lone Star Brahmas (12-4-1, 25 Pts)
4 – Corpus Christi IceRays (10-6-4, 24 Pts)
5 – Wenatchee Wild (7-9-4, 18 Pts)
6 – Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (7-8-4, 18 Pts)
7 – Amarillo Bulls (7-11-2, 16 Pts)
8 – Odessa Jackalopes (5-13-3, 13 Pts)

Next Game: The IceRays will close out their seven-game home stand on Saturday, November 22 at 7:05 p.m. against the Odessa Jackalopes. Saturday is Caller-Times Family 4-Pack Night, in which fans can purchase four tickets, four hot dogs, and four sodas for just $46. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on SportsJuice.com, FASTHockey.com, and 87.7 FM in-arena.