GAME PREVIEW – ICERAYS @ JACKALOPES (GAME #39)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

at

ODESSA JACKALOPES

Thursday, January 29 at 7:05 P.M.

NAHL Game #487 • Road Game #19 • Season Series 6-0-0
Ector County Coliseum • Odessa, Texas
Radio: SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX) • Mobile: TuneIn Radio

Video: FASTHockey.com • Twitter: @goicerays

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

Tonight’s Game: The Corpus Christi IceRays begin their first three-game, three day set against the Odessa Jackalopes from Ector County Coliseum. With a win this weekend, the IceRays will claim the season series with one weekend series remaining.

Head-To-Head: The IceRays have yet to lose against the Jackalopes this season, recording a 6-0-0 record while outscoring Odessa 27-13 and winning two of four games in overtime. The last time the IceRays fell to the Jackalopes was on Jan. 17 (5-2 L) at the American Bank Center. Since then, the IceRays are 7-0-0 against Odessa. Over their histories, the IceRays are 24-13-2 against the Jackalopes.

Last Meeting: The IceRays and Jackalopes ended the first half of their season series with an IceRays 4-3 overtime win from the American Bank Center. After Jacks forward Derek Brown (1:15 1st) gave the road side an early lead, the IceRays charged back with goals by forwards Wes Michaud (13:57 1st) and Maksim Dzhioshvili (2:41 2nd) to take a 2-1 lead. Brown (11:02 2nd) added a second and forward Hampus Sjodahl (19:42 2nd) helped give Odessa back the lead, 3-2. Forward Matt Colford (11:30 3rd) tied the game and forced overtime, and forward Nathan Bryer (2:46 OT) put in the game-winner for the IceRays. Luke Pickar saved 21 of 24 shots in the win, while Tanner Creel stopped 28 of 32 chances in the loss.

Last Game: Both teams exploded for seven goals in the second period, but the IceRays were able to hold on to a 5-4 win over the Wichita Falls Wildcats on Friday night from Kay Yeager Coliseum. Anthony Cortese (PP, 7:40 1st) got the scoring started for the IceRays followed by Tanner Lomsnes (PP, 1:25 2nd) before the Wildcats tied the game 2-2 in the second period. Cortese (7:20 2nd) and Nathan Bryer (9:18 2nd) added two more in that frame with Matt Colford (19:23 2nd) rounding off the period with the eventual game-winner. Luke Pickar earned the win, stopping 18 of 22 shots.

Pure Perfection: For the first time this season, the IceRays power play unit was perfect, going 2-for-2 on Saturday night against the Wildcats. This is the third time the IceRays have been perfect in junior franchise history and the first time when awarded multiple chances. The other two perfect power play performances were Oct. 13, 2012 vs. Wichita Falls (1-for-1) in a 4-2 loss and on Jan. 28, 2011 vs. Amarillo (1-for-1) in a 3-2 win. The IceRays have been close to perfection three times previously this season.

Running Red: Forward Tanner Lomsnes has been on fire over his last three games, recording six points including four goals and two assists. The Red Deer, Alberta, native is one goal away from tying the team’s season record for goals in consecutive games (four) set by Nathan Bryer between Oct. 30 and Nov. 8. In seven games played this month, Lomsnes has five goals and six assists for 11 points, which leads the IceRays in goals and points.

Fresh Perspectives: Since the IceRays added forwards Matt Colford and Maksim Dzhioshvili to their roster, the IceRays have earned a 4-2-0 record including a 2-2-0 road record. In those six games, Colford has continued to stay hot on the points trail with three goals and two assists while earning points in his last five-straight games. Dzhioshvili added three points last weekend to bring his totals to two goals and three assists, earning points in his opening two games as well. The IceRays have also scored four of more goals in five of their last six games.

Odessa Division: The Jackalopes rebounded from a road sweep with a home split against the Amarillo Bulls, claiming game one on Friday 6-4 while dropping Saturday’s closer 4-2. Four players earned three-point weekends, including three of those four stretched over both games. Defenseman Christian Hausinger, forward Kenny Hausinger, and forward Razmuz Waxin-Engback all earning one goal and two assists over both games, while forward Hampus Sjodahl tabbed one goal and two assist in Friday’s win. In all, 12 players earned points with seven of those earning multi-point weekends. Goaltenders Robin Johansson and Tanner Creel each saved 22 shots on 26 chances over the weekend, with Johansson gaining Friday’s win and Creel garnering Saturday’s loss.

Changes Abrewing: Over the past week, the Jackalopes have brought about changes to their lineup. After forward Ian Mansfield was traded to the Minnesota Wilderness for future considerations, the Jackalopes acquired forward Taylor Gatto from the Phoenix Jr. Coyotes (T1EHL) to fill that roster spot. On Tuesday, Odessa acquired defenseman David Holcombe and forward Nick Keck from the Soo Eagles (NAHL) in exchange for defenseman Jake Hamilton and forward Leo Lumm. Keck played 25 games with the Eagles, recording two goals and four assists for six points with 10 penalty minutes and a -3 rating. Holcombe played 31 games with the Eagles, recording three goals and one assist for four points with 18 penalty minutes and a +2 rating.

South Division Standings:
1 – Topeka RoadRunners (30-9-3, 63 PTS)
2 – Lone Star Brahmas (26-9-3, 55 PTS)
3 – Wichita Falls Wildcats (27-11-0, 54 PTS)
4 – Corpus Christi IceRays (20-13-5, 45 PTS)
5 – Wenatchee Wild (16-18-7, 39 PTS)
6 – Amarillo Bulls (16-21-3, 35 PTS)
7 – Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (14-19-6, 34 PTS)
8 – Odessa Jackalopes (9-27-5, 23 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays will continue their weekend series against the Odessa Jackalopes on Friday, January 29 at 7:05 p.m. from the Ector County Coliseum. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX 1230AM/96.1FM/103.3FM) and FASTHockey.com.