GAME PREVIEW #29 – VS. AMARILLO BULLS

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

vs.

AMARILLO BULLS

Friday, December 12 at 7:05 P.M.

NAHL Game #328 • Home Game #17 • 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
 

Tonight’s Game: The IceRays head into their holiday break with one final game against the Amarillo Bulls tonight from the American Bank Center. After tonight’s game, the IceRays will play again 15 days from now toward the end of December.

Head-To-Head: The IceRays claimed their first win against the Bulls this season last night and move their record to 1-1-1 in the season series while also trailing 11-30-2 over the past five seasons. Before last night, the last IceRays win against the Bulls came on Feb. 26, 2013 in a 4-1 win at the American Bank Center.

Last Night: The IceRays powered with a thinned lineup to take down the Amarillo Bulls 8-4 from the American Bank Center. The IceRays outscored the Bulls 3-1 in each of the first two periods with Mason Krueger (2:14 1st; 3:20 2nd) leading the charge with two goals. The Bulls climbed back into the game in the third period to cut the lead to 6-4, but an empty net shorthanded goal from Tanner Lomsnes (16:51 3rd) and one final goal by Brad LeLievre (17:03 2nd; 18:39 3rd) finished off the Bulls. Luke Pickar claimed the win, saving 30 of 34 shots while the Bulls backup Jacob Weatherly earned the loss with a 22-save effort on 26 shots. Anton Martinsson started the game for Amarillo and turned aside five of eight shots in 7:39.

Lucky Sleven: Seven different IceRays recorded multi-point games for the largest combination of that category this season. Wes Michaud led the way with three points (one goal, two assists) with both Mason Krueger and Brad LeLievre registering two-goal nights. Anthony Cortese and Connor Kelly each tallied one goal and one assist, while Tyler Johnson and Nate Colwell recorded a pair on assists on both Krueger goals. Before tonight, the highest total of multi-point performers was on Oct. 30 with six players led the way in the team’s 7-4 win over the Wichita Falls Wildcats from the American Bank Center.

Shifting Gears: For the first time in six games, the IceRays recorded more shots than their season average, dropping 35 on Amarillo for the highest shot total against Amarillo this season. Since taking 28 shots on Nov. 22 in their 4-3 overtime win against the Odessa Jackalopes, the IceRays averaged 21.00 shots per game with only 2.00 goals per contest while going 1-4-0. In games where the IceRays outshoot their current season average, the team is 9-3-2 during the 2014-15 season.

Numero Uno: The IceRays broke a four-game power play streak after being shut out on their lone chance in the second period. Despite their result, the team is still ranked first in the NAHL for the fourth-straight game and fifth overall. Over their last five games, the IceRays are 7-for-23 (30.43%) with an extra skater on the ice.

All Good Things: Forward Ryan Cusin saw his team-leading nine-game point streak come to an end after going pointless in last night’s win. Over his nine game stretch, the Michigan native recorded 13 points (7+6=13) with two power play goals and five power play assists. He owns both the longest and second-longest point streaks this season.

Empty Feeling: The IceRays have played 16-straight games without a full lineup available to take the ice. The last time no player was missing due to suspension or injury was back on Oct. 11 against the Lone Star Brahmas in a 5-2 loss from the NYTEX Sports Center. In that span, three players have been suspended four times, six players have sustained injuries, one player missed due to an illness, and one is currently on international duty. Joe Chitwood returns to the lineup after his four-game suspension, but will be without at least Pierre Crinon to stretch the total to 17 games.

No Bull About It: With three points last night, Wes Michaud leads the IceRays with eight points (three goals, five assists) in three games against Amarillo, including one goal on the power play and four points on Oct. 24 in their 5-4 shootout loss. Two other players currently own point streaks against the Bulls: Logan Gestro (one goal, two assists) and Joe Chitwood (one power play goal, one assist).

Bull-ied: The Amarillo Bulls have been both hot and cold over the course of the season, especially in their recent stretch. Over their last five games, Will Harrison leads all skaters with five points (two goals, three assists) over his last five games despite being held off the scoreline last night. However, over his last ten games, he leads the team in points with eight (four goals, four assists). In addition, in 13 road contests this year, Charlie Combs and Brady Crabtree lead all skaters with six points (four goals, two assists). The Bulls carry a 2-4-0 record into their final game of this currently road trip.

South Division Standings:
1 – Topeka RoadRunners (19-6-3, 41 PTS)
2 – Wichita Falls Wildcats (18-5-0, 36 PTS)
3 – Lone Star Brahmas (17-6-1, 35 PTS)
4 – Corpus Christi IceRays (14-10-4, 32 PTS)
5 – Wenatchee Wild (12-10-5, 29 PTS)
6 – Rio Grande VAlley Killer Bees (9-13-4, 22 PTS)
7 – Amarillo Bulls (9-15-2, 20 PTS)
8 – Odessa Jackalopes (6-17-4, 16 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays take a two-week holiday vacation and return to the American Bank Center on Saturday, December 27 against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees for Game 5 of the South Texas Vo Tech Cup. Coverage beings at 6:50 p.m. with Countdown to Faceoff on SportsJuice.com, FASTHockey.com, and 87.7 FM in-arena. For tickets, go to www.Ticketmaster.com or any Ticketmaster location, or purchase your tickets at the American Bank Center Box Office.