GAME PREVIEW – ICERAYS @ KILLER BEES (GAME #49)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

at

RIO GRANDE VALLEY KILLER BEES

Saturday, February 28 at 7:30 P.M.

NAHL Game #607 • Road Game #25 • Season Series 4-5-1
State Farm Arena • Hidalgo, Texas
Radio: KSIX 1230AM/96.1FM/103.3FM • Mobile: TuneIn Radio

Video: FASTHockey.com • Twitter: @goicerays

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

Tonight’s Game: The IceRays play their final road game in State Farm Arena for the 2014-15 season tonight against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. It is Game #11 of the South Texas Vo-Tech Cup.

Head-To-Head: The IceRays have dropped six of their last ten meetings against the Killer Bees and trail 4-5-1 in the South Texas Vo-Tech Cup. The Killer Bees have already claimed the STVT Cup on points and can claim it outright with one win in their next two games. Overall, the IceRays are 9-11-2 in two seasons against the Killer Bees.

Last Night: The IceRays fell apart in the third period en route to a 4-3 loss to the Killer Bees from State Farm Arena. Wes Michaud opened the game with a shorthanded goal in the first period and claimed his second after Elliot Lorraine tied the game in the second. With the lead heading into the third period, the IceRays allowed three-straight goals to Evan Bell on the power play, Stathis Soumelidis, and Dallas Gerads to give the Killer Bees a 4-2 lead. Matt Olson earned his first NAHL goal late in the third period to craw within one, 4-3, but the IceRays couldn’t overcome the deficit. Ben Johansson stopped 18 of 21 shots in the win, and Andrew Lindgren saved 23 of 27 shots in the loss.

Cloquet, Cloquet: With two goals last night, Wes Michaud claimed his fourth multi-goal game and his first that included a shorthanded goal. Michaud is now starting to turn back up the heat, recording six points over his last six games with five of those points coming as goals. The Colorado College commit now ranks third all-time in IceRays career points (78), career goals (33), and single-season goals (20) as well as leads the team in all major scoring categories.

Howe Historic: With two penalty minutes last night, defenseman Travis Howe is one minor penalty away from breaking the single-season penalty minutes record (208) set by Brandon Marshall in the 2010-11 season as well as ten minutes away from setting the career penalty minutes mark (216) set by Luke McDiarmid in two seasons from 2012-14. Howe has played 38 games thus far in his final season of junior eligibility and has 207 penalty minutes, which leads the NAHL.

Feeling The Sting: The IceRays remain winless in five trips during the 2014-15 season, recording a 0-4-1 record. For that matter, the IceRays have always had trouble garnering wins from Hidalgo over the last two seasons, only winning twice in now 11 games at a 2-7-2 clip. Their last win from State Farm Arena came on Mar. 22, 2014 in a 2-1 win.

February Blues: Since scoring three-straight power play goals across January, the IceRays have gone cold with the man advantage, converting in only two of their last seven games during February. In that stretch, the team has gone 3-for-39 (7.69%) on the power play while only scoring against the Amarillo Bulls on Feb. 13 & 14 (3-for-19, 15.79%). That makes the IceRays 0-for-25 in games not played against Amarillo this month.

Black & White: The IceRays haven’t had much success this season in their road uniforms including last night’s game. In 17 games played on the road, the IceRays have gone 1-11-5 in their road black uniforms with their sole win coming on Jan. 23 against Wichita Falls (5-4 W). In comparison, when the IceRays wear their home white uniforms on the road, their record jumps to 5-2-0 in seven games. When the IceRays wear white uniforms at any venue, they are 20-5-0 as well as 5-1-0 when wearing specialty jerseys.

Rough & Tumble: With Trevor Heuser’s misconduct last night, the IceRays remain atop the NAHL in 10-minute misconducts this season with 36 through 48 games. In addition, they’re the only team in the NAHL top-10 with over 40 infractions resulting in either a 10-minute misconduct, game misconduct, or match penalty (44) and one of two teams with over 30 infractions in that category (Lone Star). South Division teams rank first in just about every penalty category including majors (Odessa: 26), game misconducts (Amarillo: 16), match penalties (ODA & MIC: 2), combined misconducts (Amarillo: 52), and total infractions (Amarillo: 369). The IceRays are third in penalty minutes (1111) overall this season, and five South Division teams own the top-five spots in that category (AMA, ODA, COR, RGV, LSB).

Sweet Nectar: The Killer Bees return to State Farm Arena, where they’ve been stellar since the start of the 2015 calendar year. Beginning with their series against the IceRays on Jan. 1 & 2, the Killer Bees have gone 8-1-1 in nine games on home ice and have earned points in six-straight games. All ten of their games have been close, finishing with a goal margin of three or less and outscoring opponents 28-17. In contrast, the Killer Bees are 3-3-2 on the road in their last eight games.

South Division Standings:
1 – Topeka RoadRunners (35-11-4, 74 PTS)
2 – Lone Star Brahmas (32-11-7, 71 PTS)
3 – Wichita Falls Wildcats (32-13-2, 66 PTS)
4 – Corpus Christi IceRays (26-16-5, 57 PTS)
5 – Wenatchee Wild (22-20-7, 51 PTS)
6 – Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (21-20-8, 50 PTS)
7 – Amarillo Bulls (19-25-4, 42 PTS)
8 – Odessa Jackalopes (9-33-7, 25 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays end their season series against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees on Tuesday, March 3 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.