The IceRays Weekly is a weekly recap and preview of IceRays news, games, and more. The IceRays Weekly will be released every Monday during the 2015-16 season.
Friday, January 8: IceRays 2, Wichita Falls Wildcats 6
Shots: IceRays 19, Wildcats 44
PP: IceRays 0-for-3, Wildcats 2-for-5
The Corpus Christi IceRays (14-15-3) ended their win streak at five games with a 6-2 loss to the Wichita Falls Wildcats (26-5-3) on Friday night at the Kay Yeager Coliseum.
Wildcats forward Adam Goodsir (PP, 15:48 1st) found an opening in front of the net for a quick shot and a 1-0 lead for the home side. The IceRays came back in the second period with two early goals from forwards Drake Lindsay (1:05 2nd) and Brendan Miller (5:22 2nd) to take their only lead of the night, 2-1. The Wildcats answered with four-unanswered in the second period from forward Jonathan Lazarus (6:57 2nd) with a wraparound in front of the net, defenseman Domantas Cypas (8:53 2nd) with a point blast through traffic, Goodsir (12:26 2nd) for his second of the night, and defenseman Matt Hines (13:39 2nd) with a fortunate bounce off his body to make it 5-2 Wichita Falls after two periods. The home side added one more with forward Austin Albrecht (PP, 5:38 3rd) on the back door to finish off the IceRays, 6-2.
Wildcats goaltender Justin Kapelmaster (19-3-1) saved 18 of 19 shots in the win. IceRays starter Graham Hunt (9-9-2) stopped 19 of 24 shots in 13:39 minutes while getting the loss, and Dryden McKay turned away 19 of 20 shots in 26:14 minutes of relief.
Saturday, January 9: IceRays 2, Wichita Falls Wildcats 6
Shots: IceRays 31, Wildcats 38
PP: IceRays 0-for-5, Wildcats 1-for-3
The Corpus Christi IceRays (14-16-3) lost hold in the second period, falling 6-2 to the Wichita Falls Wildcats (27-5-3) on Saturday night at the Kay Yeager Coliseum.
IceRays defenseman Colton Meekhof (4:18 1st) scored the game's first goal with a play in front of the net to take a 1-0 lead. While shorthanded, Wildcats forward Adam Goodsir (SH, 6:09 1st) capitalized from the right circle to tie the game, 1-1. Late in the opening period, IceRays defenseman Michael Bevilacqua (19:25 1st) fought a shot through the netminder at an odd angle to take a 2-1 lead. After a fighting major penalty against solely the IceRays, Wildcats forward Jonathan Lazarus (PP, 12:16 2nd) capitalized on the man-advantage to tie the game again, 2-2. The Wildcats then scored three goals in 1:50 from forwards Garrett VanWyhe (15:17 2nd), Goodsir (15:49 2nd) and Erich Jaeger (17:07 2nd) to take a 5-2 lead. Lazarus (19:56 3rd) added one more in the final seconds to end the game, 6-2.
Wildcats netminder Justin Kapelmaster (20-3-1) turned aside 29 of 31 shots in the win, and IceRays goaltender Dryden McKay (5-7-1) halted 32 of 38 shots in the loss.
Friday, January 15 @ Lone Star Brahmas – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 15 @ Lone Star Brahmas – 7:30 p.m.
The Corpus Christi IceRays finish up their six-game January road trip with a two-game set in their first appearance at the NYTEX Sportscentre this season against the Lone Star Brahmas. The IceRays dropped two of their first three meetings at the American Bank Center in November, owning a 1-2-0 record with their sole win coming in overtime in a day game. The IceRays still hold the slight edge in win percentage during the season series with a 9-8-2 franchise record, however the IceRays have struggled on the road, going 1-5-2 over the last two seasons in North Richland Hills.
The Lone Star Brahmas found a way to sweep the Odessa Jackalopes and take three of four wins in their home-and-home weekend sets thanks to a 5-3 win on Friday and 4-1 win on Saturday. The Brahmas came from behind 3-0 in the second period of Friday's game to take the win, and the effort was led by newly acquired forward Johan Lundgren, who totaled three points on the night and shared the team lead on the weekend with four points (1+3=4) along with forward Martin Mellberg (1+3=4) including two assists in that win. Three other players earned three-point weekends: forwards Alex Berardinelli (1+2=3) and Peter Kessel (1+2=3) as well as defenseman Dalton Skelly (2+1=3). Goaltender Corbin Kaczperski took the reigns for most of the weekend, earning both wins and stopping 20 of 22 shots in two games. Conor O'Brien started Friday's game but only saved two of four shots in 19:25 minutes.
South Division Recap:
The Wichita Falls Wildcats keep hold of their grapple over the South Division and the entire NAHL thanks to their sweep of the Corpus Christi IceRays over the weekend, separated still by two points over the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in the league standings and eight over the Lone Star Brahmas in the division. The Brahmas also kept pace with the Wildcats thanks to two big wins over the Odessa Jackalopes at home to take three of four against the Jacks in two weekends. The Topeka RoadRunners and Amarillo Bulls both sat out last weekend, making the gap between second and third place now six points while the bottom four teams maintained their separation.
South Division Standings:
Wichita Falls Wildcats 27-5-2, 57 points
Lone Star Brahmas 22-7-5, 49 points
Topeka RoadRunners 21-14-1, 43 points
Corpus Christi IceRays 14-16-3, 31 points
Odessa Jackalopes 11-15-4, 26 points
Amarillo Bulls 8-23-3, 17 points
IN THE NEWS…
IceRays netminder Graham Hunt had a week to remember to start January. The 20-year-old earned NAHL South Division Star of the Week thanks to his four-win week to cross into the new year. Hunt had played in the team’s last seven games and all four that week, going 5-0-0 with a 1.58 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage during the five-game win streak while also improving to over a .500 record for the first time this season and earning his first NAHL shutout.
IceRays forward Regen Cavanagh was named NAHL Forward of the Month for December on Tuesday afternoon. He is one of two IceRays players to average at least a point-per-game, recording four goals and seven assists for 11 points in the month while leading the team in assists & points and also sharing first on the team in goals just in December. He earned a four-point night on December 4 against Odessa, a three-point night on December 19 against Amarillo, and just finished a four-game point streak of two goals and five assists for seven points. Since his return to the lineup on October 22, Cavanagh has earned six goals and eight assists for 14 points over his 18-game season with six penalty minutes and a -4 rating including his assist to start January on last Friday. He’s one of two players to earn monthly honors, joining defenseman Anthony Cortese (‘14-’15) as the only two honored.
The IceRays have evened out their record during their six-game January road trip to begin 2016, moving down to 2-2-0 after Saturday night's loss to Wichita Falls. The team has also seen a considerable cooling against top-three teams, recording two goals in each of their last three games and capping out at three during their year-opening shutout of Topeka. Saturday's game was also the first since December 29 that the IceRays placed 30 or more shots in a game after four-straight with a sub-30 tally, averaging now 23.25 shots in January. This is the final weekend of the road trip, however the IceRays averaged only 24.33 shots against the Brahmas in their three games at home with one game over 20 shots while scoring seven goals.
IceRays defenseman Colton Meekhof has had a hot hand despite coming in and out of the team's lineup since the third weekend of December. The 19-year-old is currently on a four-game point streak dating back to December 18 while also jumping in and out of the lineup in that span, recording two goals and four assists for six points with two multi-point games and playing both defenseman and forward. He is now one of six players to hit the four-game mark. Meekhof has four goals and six assists for 10 points through 22 games this season, sharing the team lead in points among defensemen with Michael Bevilacqua (5+5=10).
– Defend The Bend –