GAME PREVIEW #22 – VS. ODESSA JACKALOPES

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

vs.

ODESSA JACKALOPES

Saturday, November 22 at 7:05 P.M.

NAHL Game #259 • Home Game #14 • Season Series 3-0-0
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 close out their seven-game home stand as they host the Odessa Jackalopes from the American Bank Center. Tonight’s game is the fourth in five games against the Jackalopes and the final home game for the month of November.

Head-To-Head: After last night’s win, the IceRays now lead the season series 3-0-0 and have now won four-straight games against Odessa dating back to last season. Over their histories, the IceRays are 21-13-2 against the Jackalopes.

Last Night: The IceRays scored five goals in the first period in a throttling of the Odessa Jackalopes, 6-2, from the American Bank Center. The IceRays scored four unanswered goals in the first 12 minutes of the game: defenseman Pierre Crinon (2:37), forward Connor Bucsis (3:46), forward Tanner Lomsnes (8:36), forward Nic LaBurn (11:04). During that span, the Jacks switched goaltenders twice, each time after two goals allowed. Odessa answered at 12:56 thanks to Razmuz Waxin-Engback to get on the board, 4-1. Forward Frankie Melton earned his first NAHL goal in his first game with the IceRays at 17:41, and Alex Alger answered again at 18:28. Lomsnes added one more in the third period at 6:18 to complete the win. Luke Pickar saved 24 of 26 shots in the win. Starting Odessa goalie Robin Johansson stopped 22 of 26 shots, and Forbes Ploszaj took the loss with two saves on four shots.

En Fuego: The IceRays have broken their season-high win streak, which now stands at four games. Their previous longest streak of three games 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.

Home Cookin’: The IceRays own one of the best records at home in the NAHL, going 11-2-0 in 13 home games played. They have the most home wins of any NAHL team, and their point percentage (84.62%) and ranks second only behind the Topeka RoadRunners (9-0-0 home record). The IceRays have won five of six games in their current home stand, outscoring opponents 26-13. They’re also one of three South Division teams with at least ten home wins (Wichita Falls & Lone Star: 10).

Going Deep: During their win streak, three IceRays players own a four-game point streaks. Tanner Lomsnes (3+6=9) leads all skaters in the recent stretch with Wes Michaud (3+4=7) following right behind. Anthony Cortese (five assists) has quietly added to his season point total. In addition, five players have scored in five of their last six games: Lomsnes (3+7=10), Michaud (3+7=10), Nathan Bryer (4+3=7), Nic LaBurn (4+3=7), and Anthony Cortese (1+6=7).

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 25 of the 68 points (36.76%) in their last six games. Between these three skaters, the trio has ten goals and 15 assists with Lomsnes and Michaud leading at ten points (three goals, seven assists).

Reed Deer Rising: With two goals last night, forward Tanner Lomsnes now owns the team lead in goals at 10 goals. He ranks 12th in the NAHL in points and second on the team. Currently, Lomsnes owns a four-game point streak, earning multi-point games in every match (3+6=9).

Defending the Bend: Goaltenders Andrew Lindgren and Luke Pickar have turned up the heat for the IceRays and solidified themselves as mainstays for this squad. In their team’s winning streak, each goaltender has two wins, allowed six goals, and saved a combined .945 percent of shots. Individually, Pickar has allowed three goals with a .947 SV%, and Lindgren has allowed three goals with a .943 SV%.

Getting Jacked: The Odessa Jackalopes have now lost seven-straight games following last night’s loss. In that span, the Jackalopes have gone 0-5-2 and have been outscored 31-13 in that span. Their last win came on Oct. 30 in a 6-5 shootout win over the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. Their last regulation win came on Oct. 2, defeating the Killer Bees 7-3. Since that win, the Jackalopes are 1-11-2.

Open Crease: Since Forbes Ploszaj joined the squad from the Wenatchee Wild, he owns a 0-5-1 record over his six games with a 4.65 GAA and .850 SV%, 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 transferred to the Twin City Steel (NA3HL), played five games with the Jacks (2-2-0, 3.67 GAA, .864). Odessa has not had a winning goaltender since 2011-12, when current St. John’s IceCaps goaltender Connor Hellebuyck went 26-21-8 with a 2.49 GAA and .930 SV%. Since then, the team has tested eleven goaltenders in three years.

South Division Standings:
1 – Topeka RoadRunners (16-5-2, 34 Pts)
2 – Wichita Falls Wildcats (14-4-0, 28 Pts)
3 – Lone Star Brahmas (13-4-1, 27 Pts)
4 – Corpus Christi IceRays (11-6-4, 26 Pts)
5 – Wenatchee Wild (8-9-4, 20 Pts)
6 – Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (7-9-4, 18 Pts)
7 – Amarillo Bulls (7-12-2, 16 Pts)
8 – Odessa Jackalopes (5-14-3, 13 Pts)

Next Game: The IceRays travel to the Valley for the first time this season on Friday, November 28 as they play the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees at 7:30 p.m. Coverage begins at 7:15 p.m. with Countdown to Faceoff on the IceRays flagship station, SportsRadio Corpus Christi 1230 AM, 96.1 FM, and 103.3 FM, and FASTHockey.com. Follow updates on Twitter (@goicerays) and the IceRays mobile app for Android and iPhone.