GAME PREVIEW – ICERAYS @ BRAHMAS (GAME #52)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

@

LONE STAR BRAHMAS

Friday, March 6 at 7:30 P.M.

NAHL Game #634 • Road Game #27 • Season Series 2-3-1
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 close out their road end of the season series against the Lone Star Brahmas from the NYTEX Sports Center. The Brahmas can claim the season series outright with a win.

Head-To-Head: The IceRays now hold a 2-3-1 record against the Brahmas thus far with two games remaining in the season series. They have yet to win at the NYTEX Sports Center this season with tonight’s game only remaining. The IceRays are now 7-5-2 in just under two seasons of NAHL play entering their last road stint against the Brahmas.

Last Night: The IceRays found themselves on the bad end of a couple calls during their 4-1 loss to the Brahmas at the NYTEX Sports Center. The Brahmas punched ahead in the first on the power play thanks to Ludvig Larsson to give the home side a 1-0 lead. The IceRays had one goal waived off by referee Cory Denbeck due to a dislodged net in the second period, keeping the scoreline the same. At 5:09, AJ Vanderbeck was taken down by Anthony Cortese and was awarded a penalty shot, which he capitalized on to double the lead, 2-0. Alexey Solovyev tripled the lead before Logan Gestro finally answered late in the third period. An empty net shorthanded goal put the game away, 4-1. TJ Black stopped 23-of-24 shots in the win, and Andrew Lindgren saved 21-of-24 in the loss.

Freebie: The Brahmas attempted the first penalty shot of the season against the IceRays with AJ Vanderbeck converting. An opponent hasn’t converted on a penalty shot since Dan Dupell of the Topeka RoadRunners did so against Dillon Kelley on Sep. 29, 2012 in a 3-1 loss from the American Bank Center. The last time an opponent scored a penalty shot goal on the road came in the first junior season: Jan. 28, 2011 when Odessa’s Tyler Poulsen beat by Sean Keating in a 6-1 loss. The IceRays are one-for-one on penalty shots this season (Wes Michaud: Nov. 22, 2014; 4-3 OTW vs. ODA).

Slow Out Of The Gates: The IceRays have tallied the first goal against the Brahmas in only one of their six meetings this season, coming on Sep. 27, 2014 when Tyler Johnson opened the scoring at 12:24 of the first period during their 2-1 win over Lone Star from the American Bank Center. Since then, the Brahmas have taken advantage in all five games first. They’ve outscored the IceRays 9-3 in the first period through all six games. Overall, the IceRays have allowed the first goal in 29 of 51 games (56.86%).

Holding Court: Goaltender Andrew Lindgren has now appeared in eight-straight games, the longest stretch for an IceRays netminder this season. During that span, Lindgren has earned a 3-4-0 record in seven starts with a 3.26 goals-against average and a .877 save percentage. His GAA has risen to just under 3.00 and save percentage dipped to under .900 with the team’s struggles. He has also lost three of his last four games.

Power Outage: The IceRays were shut down on seven power play attempts or more for just the second time this season, joining their 0-for-8 performance against the Odessa Jackalopes on Jan. 10, 2015 in their 4-3 OTW. Over their last six games, the IceRays have been held at-bay on the man-advantage in four of their last six games and have gone 3-for-31 (9.68%) through that stretch.

Battered & Bruised: 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 51 games (31.37%) this season and could finish the regular season at that number.

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 (35-11-6, 76 PTS)
2 – Lone Star Brahmas (34-11-7, 75 PTS)
3 – Wichita Falls Wildcats (35-13-2, 72 PTS)
4 – Corpus Christi IceRays (27-19-5, 59 PTS)
5 – Wenatchee Wild (23-22-7, 53 PTS)
6 – Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (22-22-8, 52 PTS)
7 – Amarillo Bulls (21-26-4, 46 PTS)
8 – Odessa Jackalopes (10-35-7, 27 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays conclude their 2014-15 season series against the Lone Star Brahmas on Wednesday, March 11 at 7:05 p.m. from the American Bank Center. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on SportsJuice.com, FASTHockey.com, and 87.7FM in-arena.