GAME PREVIEW #9 – VS. WENATCHEE WILD

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

vs.

WENATCHEE WILD

Saturday, October 4 at 7:05 P.M.

NAHL Game #90 • Home Game #5 • Season Series 2-0-0
American Bank Center • Corpus Christi, Texas
Audio: SportsJuice.com • Mobile: TuneIn Radio

Video: FASTHockey.com • Twitter: @goicerays

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

Today’s Game: The IceRays close out their two-game set against the Wenatchee Wild tonight at the American Bank Center. This is the second and final game Wenatchee will play in Corpus Christi this season.

Head-To-Head: With last night’s win, the IceRays take a 2-0 season series lead and have a chance to win the season set tonight. Overall, the IceRays take the edge in head-to-head contests, 2-1-0, with IceRays Head Coach John Becanic winning all three meetings (two for Corpus Christi, one for Wenatchee).

Last Game: The IceRays gained an early lead and held off a late push from the Wild to win, 3-2. Two IceRays defensemen scored in the first period: defenseman Anthony Cortese knocked one home from the top of the slot at 7:43, and Logan Gestro finished a chance from the left circle at 11:12, giving the IceRays a 2-0 lead. The Wild then pulled goaltender Forbes Ploszaj, replacing him with Michael Bullion, but the IceRays added one more at 15:45 of the second period by forward Nate Colwell to increase the lead, 3-0. The Wild answered with two goals in the third period by defenseman Ryan Chiasson at 3:58 and forward Stevie Bryant at 15:08, but the IceRays held on for the 3-2 victory. IceRays goaltender Andrew Lindgren saved 30 of 32 shots to earn the win. Ploszaj saved six of his nine chances, but Bullion earned the loss after stopping 19 of 20 shots.

Killing Them Softly: The IceRays penalty kill unit has been dominant over their last five games, going a perfect 18-for-18 after last night’s 6-for-6 effort. Since going 7-for-11 against Topeka, the IceRays are 20-for-21 down a player.

Heating Up: Forward Nathan Bryer has recorded points in two-straight games (one goal, one assist), the longest active streak for an IceRays player. Forward Wes Michaud has put up points in two of his last three games (one goal, two assist).

Same Face, New Place: Last Saturday, the IceRays acquired forward Nathan Colwell from the Kenai River Brown Bears in exchange for forward Isaac Ceh and defenseman Jason Lem. Colwell, 18, played four games with the Brown Bears this season, recording one goal and one assist. His lone goal came against the IceRays in the Corpus Christi 5-2 win over Kenai River (9:23, 2nd) at the NAHL Showcase. Last season, Colwell played 49 games with the Brown Bears, recording nine goals and 12 assists with 40 penalty minutes.

At the Showcase: The IceRays shut out the Wild, 2-0, in their only meeting on Sep. 19 at the NAHL Showcase. Defenseman Anthony Cortese earned his team-leading fourth goal of the season at 18:58 of the first period with the help of defenseman Logan Gestro and forward Connor Kelly. Just 47 seconds later, forward Tanner Lomsnes earned his second of the year with defenseman Trevor Heuser and forward Nic LaBurn grabbing the assists.

Wenatchee’s Weekend: Last weekend, the Wenatchee Wild split their two-game set against the Odessa Jackalopes from the Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee, Wash. The Wild fell on Friday, 3-2, despite forward Jake Ahlgren earning the first goal just 30 seconds into the second period. Defenseman Ryan Gotelaere also scored in the third period, but the Wild couldn’t complete the comeback. Forbes Ploszaj earned the loss, stopping 16 of 19 shots. On Saturday, the Wild rebounded to earn a 4-3 victory. Down 2-0 in the second period, forward Jacob Liljeroos brought the deficit within one, and two-consecutive goals in the third by defenseman Mitch Demario and forward Jake Ahlgren gave them their first lead, 3-2. After Odessa tied the game, forward Ryan Chiasson scored the game-winner with 48 seconds remaining. Ploszaj earned the win, saving 21 of 24 shots.

Ahlgren, All Day: Forward Jake Ahlgren has been a consistent offensive presence for the Wenatchee Wild, scoring points in four of his first seven games, including points in three-straight games going into last night. He’s scored goals in two of his last three games and has registered multi-point games three times: Sep. 18 vs. ODA (2+0=2); Sep. 20 vs. MIN (0+2=2); Sep. 27 vs. ODA (1+1=2).

Powlowski Power: Forward David Powlowski is the hottest Wild player, scoring points in four-straight games (one goal, three assists) thanks to his assist last night. He also has scored six points over his last five games (two goals, four assists) despite the fact that he still trails team points leader Jake Ahlgren.

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

Next Game: The IceRays hit the road and travel north on Friday, October 10 to start a two-game set against the Lone Star Brahmas starting at 7:30 p.m. Coverage begins at 7:15 p.m. with Countdown to Faceoff on the IceRays flagship station, Sports Radio Corpus Christi 103.3 FM, 96.1 FM, and 1230 AM.