GAME PREVIEW – ICERAYS @ BRAHMAS (GAME #51)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

@

LONE STAR BRAHMAS

Friday, March 6 at 7:30 P.M.

NAHL Game #622 • Road Game #26 • Season Series 2-2-1
NYTEX Sports Center • North Richland Hills, Texas
Radio: SportsRadio Coprus Christi (KSIX 1230AM) • Mobile: TuneIn Radio

Video: FASTHockey.com • Twitter: @goicerays

Coverage begins at 7:15 p.m. with Countdown To Faceoff
 

Tonight’s Game: The IceRays embark on their last trip to the NYTEX Sports Center during their first game of a weekend set against the Lone Star Brahmas.

Head-To-Head: Following a weekend split at the outset of February, the IceRays now hold a 2-2-1 record against the Brahmas thus far with three games remaining. The IceRays are now 7-4-2 in just under two seasons of NAHL play entering their last road stint against the Brahmas.

Last Meeting: The IceRays fell behind early and couldn’t recover in a 5-3 loss to the Brahmas on Feb. 7 from the American Bank Center. After Brahmas forward Roman Uchyn scored early, IceRays forward Frankie Melton tied the game briefly before Oskar Andren gave Lone Star a 2-1 lead after one period. The Brahmas scored three more times in the second period thanks to Uchyn, Ludvig Larsson, and Andren with one goal knocked in by IceRays forward Nic LaBurn to make it 5-2 after two periods. IceRays forward Matt Colford threw in a goal in the third period in the eventual final score, 5-3. Jake Kupsky earned the win, saving 23 of 26 shots, while Luke Pickar stopped 29 of 34 shots in the loss.

Last Game: The IceRays were taken down with a depleted lineup against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees on Tuesday from the American Bank Center. The Killer Bees scored three goals in the first period from Stathis Soumelidis, Connor Wood, and Dallas Gerads before the IceRays got on the board in the second with a Wes Michaud power play goal. Cam Bleck pushed the score to 4-1 before the second period horn, and Gavin Cummings scored two on the power play in the first 1:43 to move ahead 6-1. After Michaud was knocked out and resulted in a five-minute power play, Travis Howe notched a goal with Mason Krueger following even strength. Elliot Lorraine added the final goal for the Killer Bees. Ben Johansson stopped 29-of-32 in the win, while Andrew Lindgren saved 20-of-26 in his 41:43 minutes played and Luke Pickar stopped 10-of-11 shots.

Battered & Bruised: The IceRays suffered multiple injuries over their last two games that have hampered their hopes of dressing a full lineup this weekend. Defenseman Trevor Heuser (lower) did not make the trip, forwards Nathan Bryer (lower) and Brad LeLievre (upper) are questionable for tonight’s game, and Logan Gestro (lower), Nic LaBurn (lower), and Wes Michaud (upper) are probable to play. The IceRays have had a full lineup to choose from for only 16 out of 50 games (32.00%) this season and could finish the regular season at that number.

Top Line Buzz: Forwards Wes Michaud and Tanner Lomsnes have been a dangerous duo over the last three-game point stretch. The two have combined for eight of the team’s last 12 goals (66.67%) as well as assisted one another in seven of those (58.33%). Lomsnes leads all skaters in that span with eight points (3+5=8) and Michaud sits second with seven points (5+2=7). They are only two of three players to score points in each of the team’s last three games (Cusin: 0+3=3).

Better Than The Falls: Forward Tanner Lomsnes announced earlier this week his commitment to play for Niagara University beginning in the 2015-16 season. Lomsnes joins Nathan Bryer (Mercyhurst) and Wes Michaud (Colorado College) as the lone three players to officially extend their hockey future at the NCAA Division I level. Lomsnes has excelled in his final junior season, reaching over 50 points and ranking in the top-10 all-time in IceRays junior history for career (9th) & single-season goals (4th), single-season points (4th), and single-season assists (7th).

Bulling Forward: The Lone Star Brahmas swept their road swing against the Odessa Jackalopes from the Ector County Coliseum, winning 3-2 (2-1 shootout) on Friday and 4-0 on Saturday. Forward Pat Egan was one of three players to earn multi-point weekends, scoring the game’s first goal on Friday and grabbing two assists on Saturday. Forwards Storm Wahlrab (goal, assist) and Peter Kessel (two goals) were the other multi-point earners. In all, 11 different players earned points with forward Sebastian Vidmar not only picking up an assist but also scoring the game-winning goal in the third round of Friday’s shootout.

Brahmaland: Since online records were kept in the 2004-05 NAHL season, the Brahmas own the fourth-best home record in league history and third best since the league moved to 60 games in 2011-12. They trail only the 2012-13 Austin Bruins (24-2-4, .867) and the 2013-14 Amarillo Bulls (26-4-0, .867) in the last four seasons in terms of point percentage. The all-time NAHL leader remains the 2007-08 St. Louis Bandits, who finished the season 27-2-1 (.948) at home in 30 games.

South Division Standings:
1 – Topeka RoadRunners (35-11-5, 75 PTS)
2 – Lone Star Brahmas (33-11-7, 73 PTS)
3 – Wichita Falls Wildcats (34-13-2, 70 PTS)
4 – Corpus Christi IceRays (27-18-5, 59 PTS)
5 – Wenatchee Wild (23-21-7, 53 PTS)
 6 – Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (22-21-8, 52 PTS)
 7 – Amarillo Bulls (20-26-4, 44 PTS)
8 – Odessa Jackalopes (9-35-7, 25 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays finish off their weekend trip to North Richland Hills on Saturday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m. against the Lone Star Brahmas from the NYTEX Sports Center. Coverage begins at 7:15 p.m. on SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX 1230AM) and FASTHockey.com.