GAME PREVIEW #7 – VS. LONE STAR BRAHMAS

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

vs.

LONE STAR BRAHMAS

Saturday, September 27 at 7:05 P.M.

NAHL Game #72 • Home Game #3 • Season Series 0-0-0
American Bank Center • Corpus Christi, Texas
Audio: SportsJuice.com • Mobile: TuneIn Radio • 
Video: FASTHockey.com
In-Arena: 91.9-FM 
• Twitter: @goicerays

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

Today’s Game: The IceRays open up their 2014-15 home schedule tonight at the American Bank Center against the Lone Star Brahmas. This is the first of eight meetings between these two teams, and both teams play one another in their respective home openers. Tonight is also Childhood Cancer Awareness Night benefitting Brooke’s Blossoming Hope for Childhood Cancer Foundation.

Head-To-Head: The IceRays won five of their eight meetings with the Brahmas last season, making their record 14-26-4 against tonight’s opponent in the past four years. Last season was the most successful season against the Brahmas in their history, outscoring Lone Star 26-16.

Last Game: The IceRays came up short in their final game of the North American Hockey League Showcase in Blaine, Minn., falling 4-3 (1-0 shootout) to the Keystone Ice Miners. After finding themselves down 2-0 early in the second period (including a shorthanded goal allowed), the IceRays scored two unanswered in the period. Forward Connor Bucsis earned his first goal of the season after redirecting a Brad LeLievre shot at 5:01 on the power play to shrink the deficit, 2-1. At 11:34, forward Tanner Lomsnes scored on a breakaway for his third of the year and to tie the game, 2-2. After Keystone broke the tie in the third, forward Wes Michaud would help to once again send the game into overtime, scoring at 10:20 on the power play to even the tally, 3-3. After the overtime period, Brendan Jaquay’s lone goal in the second round of the shootout was the difference maker. Andrew Lindgren (2-0-2) earned the loss, and Alex Blankenburg (2-1-1) earned the victory.

Showcase Recap: The IceRays finished out their 2014 NAHL Showcase with a 2-1-1 record, earning five of a possible eight points and outscoring their opponents 10-7. It’s their best record since 2012 when the IceRays also went 2-1-1. The team now has a winning record in showcase games in three of their five seasons in the league. Overall, the IceRays are 10-7-3 at the Showcase and 3-3-2 under Head Coach John Becanic.

Tale of Two Sides: The IceRays have produced great results on special teams in Blaine, Minn. The team has stopped their last ten man-down situations against opponents and 11-of-12 at the NAHL Showcase. However, after being shutout in their last two games on the power play, the IceRays converted two of their five attempts last game. They’ve now scored on the power play in three of their first six games.

Hot Hands: Forward Tanner Lomsnes has been the most consistent point producer for the IceRays, scoring points in five of the team’s first six games. In addition, Anthony Cortese has also scored points in four of his first six games, leading the team in goals (4) and tied in points with Lomsnes and Wes Michaud (6).

2013-14 Brahmas: Last season was the first year the team was rebranded as the Lone Star Brahmas after changing from the Texas Tornado, who were just one year removed from their 2012 Robertson Cup Championship. In their first season as the Brahmas, Lone Star finished with a 23-33-4 record, missing the playoffs for the first time in franchise history and having the worst record in the team’s five years in the league. Their last season under .500 came in their 2009-10 inaugural season when they went 25-28-5.

Their Last Meeting: In their final meeting of the 2013-14 season, the IceRays fell to the Lone Star Brahmas 4-2 at NYTX Arena. Current Kenai River Brown Bear Maurin Bouvet scored first for the IceRays at 1:21 of the first period, but the Brahmas answered at 4:54 thanks to Kellen Wasell’s power play goal to tie the score, 1-1. Just 32 seconds later, Joe Chitwood gave the IceRays a 2-1 lead heading into the intermission. Roman Uchyn scored the lone tally in the second period at 9:01 on the power play to even the score again, 2-2. Lone Star would close the game out in the third period with goals by Matt Lison (power play) and Uchyn. Despite the loss, the IceRays outshot the Brahmas 27-20 but allowed three power play goals on eight attempts. Ben Myers garnered the loss, saving 16 of 20 shots, while TJ Black earned the win, stopping 25 of his 27 shots.

Brahma Boiling: The Brahmas fell in their final game at the NAHL Showcase, 4-1, against the Janesville Jets. Janesville got out to a 1-0 lead at 13:09 of the first period on a Drew Callin goal. In the second, the Jets added another at 19:41 thanks to Mitch Fossier to make the score 2-0. Finally, in the third period, Lone Star put one in at 7:51 on a Sebastian Vidmar power play goal helped by Alexey Solovyev and Code Wickline to cut the deficit, 2-1. Janesville would add two more at 14:38 and 15:51 to keep the game out of reach, 4-1. Brahmas goalie TJ Black picked up the loss, saving 29 of 33 shots, and Janesville’s Matt Jurusik earned the win, stopping 12 of only 13 shots faced.

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

Next Game: The IceRays continue their current home stand on Friday, October 9 at 7:05 p.m. when they host the Wenatchee Wild at the American Bank Center. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. with Countdown To Faceoff on SportsJuice.com and FASTHockey.com.