GAME PREVIEW – ICERAYS @ WILDCATS (GAME #38)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

at

WICHITA FALLS WILDCATS

Friday, January 23 at 7:05 P.M.

NAHL Game #468 • Road Game #18 • Season Series 1-4-0
Kay Yeager Coliseum • Wichita Falls, Texas
Radio: SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX) • Mobile: TuneIn Radio

Video: FASTHockey.com • Twitter: @goicerays

Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. with Countdown To Faceoff
 

Tonight’s Game: The Corpus Christi IceRays cross over the midway mark of their season-long road trip with the weekend finale against the Wichita Falls Wildcats from Kay Yeager Coliseum. Noisemaker night has returned to the KYC with the first 500 fans receiving a free noisemaker.

Head-To-Head: The Wildcats have a chance to claim the season series outright with a win tonight, leading the IceRays in the season series 4-1-0. In their last series on Dec. 5 & 6, the Wildcats swept the IceRays 7-1 and 8-2 from Wichita Falls. The IceRays lone win in the series came on Oct. 30 (7-4 W), and they have been outscored 22-11. The IceRays are 15-21-6 against the Wildcats in their franchise series with their last road win on Nov. 30, 2013 (4-2 W).

Last Game: Both teams combined for five power play goals, but the IceRays were edged by the Wildcats 5-4 on Thursday night from Kay Yeager Coliseum. The Wildcats opened the game with quick goals by Austin Beaulieu (PP, 2:21 1st) and Jake Townsend (PP, 3:45 1st) before IceRays forward Ryan Cusin (PP, 14:08 1st) answered. Both teams exchanged goals throughout the rest of the game with Tanner Lomsnes (PP, 12:38 2nd; 4:22 3rd) and Maksim Dzhioshvili (10:37 3rd) scoring for the IceRays and Colin Staub (PP, 7:37 2nd), Townsend (1:26 3rd) and Paul Soubry (9:53 3rd) adding tallies for the Wildcats. Austin Shaw saved 26 of 30 in the win, while Andrew Lindgren turned away 37 of 42 in the loss.

Speedy Gonzales: In five games between the IceRays and Wildcats, the two teams are averaging just over 2 hours, 16 minutes per game, which is the shortest game average against an IceRays opponent this season playing at least two games. The Wildcats are also the only South Division opponent that has not encountered at least overtime against the IceRays and joins only the Lone Star Brahmas as the only other team not to play the IceRays in a shootout.

I’ve Got The Power: After falling away, the IceRays power play converted multiple times last night. The last time the IceRays scored at least two power play goals was on Dec. 6 against the Wildcats (8-2 L), and it’s also the last time the IceRays have scored power play goals in back-to-back games since the last series with the Wildcats on Dec. 5 & 6. The IceRays have scored power play goals in three or more consecutive games just three times this season with the last time coming between Nov. 29 and Dec. 6 (four games).

View To A Kill: Last night’s game was only the second time this season that the IceRays have allowed three or more power play goals to an opponent. The only other game came on Sept. 14 against the Topeka RoadRunners (5-2 L) when they allowed four power play goals on 11 chances. In 37 games this season, the IceRays have shutout opposing power play units 17 times (45.95%), given up one power play goal 13 times (35.14%), and allowed two power play goals only five times (13.51%). The other 5.41% comes in games coughing up three or more power play goals.

The Final Countdown: The IceRays have trailed heading into the third period 16 times including last night, going 2-12-2 (18.75%) in those games. Of those games garnering points, the IceRays have won their last two instances making a comeback in the third period: Jan. 10 vs. ODA (4-3 OTW) & Dec. 12 (3-2 OTW). Those losses came in the opening game on Sep. 12 @ TOP (4-3 SOL) and on Oct. 10 @ LSB (3-2 OTL).

Streak Me: With an assist last night, defenseman Anthony Cortese equals his longest point streak for the third time this season, earning six assists over his last five games not including the deciding shootout goal last Saturday. He remains second on the team in assists (24) and third in points (34) but sits second in points in the NAHL among defensemen. Forward Matt Colford ended his three-game point streak on Thursday night, earning two goals and one assist over his previous three games.

On The Prowl: The Wichita Falls Wildcats split their weekend series against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees from Kay Yeager Coliseum, falling 1-0 on Friday and winning 2-0 on Saturday. Parker Wood (13:49 2nd) combined with Mason Van Tuyl to score the lone goal for the Killer Bees on Friday, however Nick Farmer (PP, 11:41 1st) and Erich Jaeger (PP, 19:08 2nd) added tallies on Saturday to help claim the win. Austin Shaw started in net during both games, combining for 47 saves on 48 shots during the weekend.

Evening Up: With an even strength goal by Jake Townsend at 1:26 of the third period last night, the Wildcats broke a drought without a five-on-five goal spanning three weekends. That goal was the first in 207:08 minutes since their last even strength goal coming on Jan. 10 against the Topeka RoadRunners (3-2 L). Kevin Charyszyn scored that goal at 14:18 of the first period in the eventual loss. In that span, the Wildcats scored six power play goals and outscored their opponents 6-5.

South Division Standings:
1 – Topeka RoadRunners (28-9-3, 59 PTS)
2 – Lone Star Brahmas (26-9-3, 55 PTS)
3 – Wichita Falls Wildcats (27-10-0, 54 PTS)
4 – Corpus Christi IceRays (19-13-5, 43 PTS)

5 – Wenatchee Wild (15-17-7, 37 PTS)
6 – Amarillo Bulls (15-20-3, 33 PTS)
6 – Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (14-18-5, 33 PTS)
8 – Odessa Jackalopes (8-26-5, 21 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays head back on the road to begin their first of two three-game sets this season next Thursday, January 29 against the Odessa Jackalopes at 7:05 p.m. from Ector County Coliseum. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. CST on KSIX 1230AM/96.1FM/103.3FM and FASTHockey.com.