GAME PREVIEW – ICERAYS @ JACKALOPES (GAME #41)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

at

ODESSA JACKALOPES

Saturday, January 31 at 7:05 P.M.

NAHL Game #505 • Road Game #21 • Season Series 8-0-0
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 attempt the three-game sweep against the Odessa Jackalopes from Ector County Coliseum. Tonight’s game is the finale for Odessa’s Pink in the Rink weekend.

Head-To-Head: The IceRays continue to own the Jackalopes in the 2014-15 season series, winning all eight games thus far and nine games dating back to last season. The last time the IceRays fell to the Jackalopes was on Jan. 17, 2014 (5-2 L) at the American Bank Center. Over their histories, the IceRays are 26-13-2 against the Jackalopes.

Last Night: The IceRays finished with five-unanswered goals to take down the Odessa Jackalopes 7-3 on Friday night from Ector County Coliseum. After falling behind 1-0 in the first period, the IceRays answered quickly with goals by Tanner Lomsnes (0:54 2nd) and Maksim Dzhioshvili (1:54 2nd) to take a 2-1 lead. The Jackalopes came back with two goals stretching into the third period to regain the lead, 3-2. Dzhioshvili (5:42 3rd; 7:39 3rd) completed the hat trick and gave the IceRays back the lead, 4-3. After a five-minute major against Odessa, Joe Chitwood (PP, 12:34 3rd), Connor Kelly (PP, 14:33 3rd), and Ryan Cusin (PP, 15:54 3rd) capitalized to solidify the win. Luke Pickar earned the win, turning aside 33 of 36 shots, while Tanner Creel picked up the loss, turning away 29 of 36 shots.

Throw Your Hats: Maksim Dzhioshvili’s hat trick in last night’s game was the first by the IceRays on the road in junior franchise history. This season, the IceRays have recorded two hat tricks with the first coming by defenseman Anthony Cortese on Sep. 17, 2014 in a 5-2 win over the Kenai River Brown Bears. In his first eight NAHL games, Dzhioshvili has five goals and three assists for eight points.

Yellow Brick Road: With last night’s win, the IceRays will finish their seven-game road trip with a positive record, earning a 4-2-0 record with one game remaining. The team has won four of their last five games (all on the road), and since the IceRays began their series against the Amarillo Bulls on Dec. 11, the IceRays are 9-3-1 in their last 13 games including a 4-3-1 road record.

Corting Points: Defenseman Anthony Cortese has caught fire since the team’s only home games this month. In his last eight games, the Canadian has earned two goals and nine assists for 11 points, including assists in all seven games and two multi-point games. He owns the team lead in consecutive games with assists and points thanks to this streak.

Community Relations: In addition to Cortese, four other players are on point streaks. Forward Matt Colford has recorded points in each of his last seven games, earning three goals and four assists for seven points in that span. Forwards Tanner Lomsnes and Wes Michaud have the same amount of points in their streaks, with Lomsnes gaining five goals and two assists in four games and Michaud earning seven assists in five games. Forward Ryan Cusin is also getting heated, claiming three goals and two assists in his last four games.

Power Generators: After being shut out in five-straight games on the power play, the extra skating units have converted in each of their last five games, scoring nine power play goals in 15 attempts since their first conversion on Jan. 17 against Wenatchee. Over the month, the IceRays are 9-for-35 (25.71%) on the power play. On the other side, though the power play hit a rough stretch in January, the penalty kill has shut out their opponents in consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 7 & 8 against Odessa. In their last five games, the IceRays are 19-for-24 (79.17%) on the penalty kill.

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.

Creeling: Odessa goaltender Tanner Creel joined the Jackalopes roster just before the holiday break, and since then he has started in 13 of the team’s last 14 games. After starting 2-2-0 in net, Creel hasn’t earned a win since Dec. 27 going 0-7-2 in that span. The Jackalopes have been outscored 68-18, and the former NCAA Division I Army goaltender has allowed two or more goals in every game he played and allowed two goals just once: Dec. 27 vs. LSB (4-2 W).

South Division Standings:
1 – Topeka RoadRunners (30-9-3, 63 PTS)
2 – Lone Star Brahmas (27-9-3, 57 PTS)
3 – Wichita Falls Wildcats (27-12-0, 54 PTS)
4 – Corpus Christi IceRays (22-13-5, 49 PTS)
5 – Wenatchee Wild (18-18-7, 43 PTS)
6 – Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (15-19-6, 36 PTS)
7 – Amarillo Bulls (16-22-3, 35 PTS)
8 – Odessa Jackalopes (9-28-6, 24 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays return home to open the month on Friday, February 6 at 7:05 p.m. when they begin a two-game set against the Lone Star Brahmas. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on SportsJuice.com, FASTHockey.com, and 87.7 FM in-arena.