GAME PREVIEW – ICERAYS @ BULLS (GAME #45)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

at

AMARILLO BULLS

Saturday, February 14 at 7:05 P.M.

NAHL Game #549 • Road Game #22 • Season Series 3-1-1
Amarillo Civic Center • Amarillo, Texas
Radio: KSIX 1230AM/96.1FM/103.3FM • Mobile: TuneIn Radio

Video: FASTHockey.com • Twitter: @goicerays

Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. with Countdown To Faceoff
 

Tonight’s Game: The IceRays close out their final trip to the Amarillo Civic Center as well as a two-game set against the Amarillo Bulls on Superhero Night.

Head-To-Head: The IceRays have now won three-straight games against the Bulls, something they have never done in franchise history. The IceRays are now 3-1-1 against Amarillo this season and trail 14-33-2 over the last five seasons including playoffs. The last time the IceRays won in Amarillo was on Feb. 23, 2013 in a 2-1 edging in their final of six games from the Amarillo Civic Center that season.

Last Night: Offense was on display as the IceRays took down the Amarillo Bulls from the Amarillo Civic Center. After goals by Cody Gylling (PP) and Joe Leonidas in the first period for Amarillo, the IceRays came back with three goals of their own in the second period with two from Nic LaBurn (one on PP) and the first junior goal for Keenan Spillum to take a 3-2 lead into the third period. Wes Michaud (SH) pushed the IceRays ahead early in the third period, and after Gylling (SH) drew the Bulls within one, Michaud (EN) cemented the win for the IceRays, 5-3. Andrew Lindgren saved 18 of 21 shots in the win, and Jacob Weatherly stopped 40 of 44 shots in the loss.

No More Kryponite: Last night’s win was the first at the Amarillo Civic Center in almost two years. Their last win came on Feb. 23, 2013 in a 2-1 edging of the Bulls during the final game of six from the Panhandle. Last season, the IceRays were shut out in four trips to Amarillo last season and in two full seasons over the last five years. Overall, the IceRays are 7-15-1 on the road against the Bulls including playoffs.

The Red Lantern: The IceRays offense was the most threatening this season, registering 45 shots to Amarillo’s 21 shots. That marks the most shots in a single game this season for the IceRays, overcoming their previous high of 40 shots set on Oct. 24 @ AMA (5-4 SOL) and Jan. 9 vs. ODA (4-2 W). The shot differential is also the highest of the year since Jan. 31 @ ODA (6-4 W) when the IceRays outshot the Jackalopes 37-28 (+9).

Human Torches: The IceRays have been red hot on the road over the past month as well as in their recent stretch. With last night’s win, the IceRays has won five-straight on the road dating back to Jan. 23 as well as six of their last seven games. Since their home series on Jan. 9 & 10, the IceRays are 9-3-0 through those 12 games and have only lost four times in their last 14 games.

Fantastic Four: Four players scored multi-point games in last night’s win and kept the IceRays churning. Wes Michaud scored two goals, including the first road shorthanded goal since Jan. 18, 2014 when he did the same in Odessa (4-0 W) as well as his second empty net goal of the year. Nic LaBurn added two goals to his hot streak including his team-leading seventh power play goal. Tanner Lomsnes and Logan Gestro tallied on the back end with two assists each.

Robin No More: Defenseman Keenan Spillum scored his first junior goal last night in his 24th game in the NAHL, making him the 23rd different IceRays player to score this season. Out of the 30 skaters to wear the IceRays uniform, only seven were left without a goal including only two active players: Taylor Karel (38 games, 3 assists) and Matt Olson (9 games in MNW, yet to make IceRays debut.

The Invisible Kids: In a difficult stretch against a must-win opponent, the Bulls have gone 2-5-1 combined over their last eight games against the Lone Star Brahmas (2nd), Odessa Jackalopes (8th), Killer Bees (6th), and IceRays. A large part has to do with their five-on-five play, which accounts for 26 of the 31 goals scored (83.87%) against Amarillo. In addition, the power play has gone quiet, scoring only three times in 37 chances (8.11%).

Why So Serious?: Two game misconducts were awarded to Bulls skaters during their 5-3 loss to the IceRays last night. Elijah Barriga was given a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for boarding in the second period, and Cody Gylling was sent off with a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for tripping (slew foot called in-arena). If upheld by the NAHL, the Bulls will be without two skaters on suspensions alone. Gylling scored two goals last night and leads the Bulls with 23 goals and 40 points through 43 games, and Barriga has earned six goals and six assists for 12 points over his 39 games thus far.

South Division Standings:
1 – Topeka RoadRunners (33-10-3, 69 PTS)
2 – Lone Star Brahmas (28-10-7, 63 PTS)
3 – Wichita Falls Wildcats (30-12-0, 60 PTS)
4 – Corpus Christi IceRays (25-14-5, 55 PTS)
5 – Wenatchee Wild (19-20-7, 45 PTS)
6 – Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (19-20-6, 44 PTS)
7 – Amarillo Bulls (17-24-4, 38 PTS)
8 – Odessa Jackalopes (9-30-6, 24 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays head back to the American Bank Center on Friday, February 20 at 7:05 p.m. to begin a five-game stretch against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on SportsJuice.com, FASTHockey.com, and 87.7 FM in-arena.