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.
Tuesday, December 29 vs. Odessa Jackalopes – 7:11 p.m.
Wednesday, December 30 vs. Odessa Jackalopes – 7:11 p.m.
Friday, January 1 @ Topeka RoadRunners – 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, January 2 @ Topeka RoadRunners – 7:05 p.m.
The Corpus Christi IceRays have one of the busiest weeks in franchise history, playing four games in five days while traveling over 900 miles in less than one day between sets. The IceRays play their first two games at home against the Odessa Jackalopes this season while rounding out their December schedule. Following the last game, the IceRays will drive right to Kansas for their second and final trip to play the Topeka RoadRunners at the Kansas ExpoCentre. This is the first time in junior franchise history the IceRays have not only four-in-five but also a 900-mile bridge between sets in the same week.
The Odessa Jackalopes enter the week following two-straight weekends away from play, competing last on Dec. 11 & 12 and dropping both games to the Topeka RoadRunners 7-2 and 6-2. Forward Hampus Sjodahl continues his run as the Jacks' biggest producer, grabbing three points (two goals, assist) to lead Odessa in the weekend while defenseman Cooper Zech (goal, assist) and forward Jon Russell (two assists) also completed multi-point weekends. Both netminders Gunnar Rivers and Dean Shatzer split time in net in back-to-back games. Rivers saved 26 of 31 in two games, and Shatzer stopped 28 of 36 in two contests.
The Topeka RoadRunners and Lone Star Brahmas were the only two teams in the NAHL to play last weekend in a Saturday-Sunday set, and the two teams split the weekend with bonus hockey played in consecutive games. The RoadRunners took the first game 3-2 in overtime, and the Brahmas snagged game two in a 2-1 shootout win. Forward Dominic Lutz led the way with three points (two goals, assist) including the game-winner in overtime on Saturday night, and in total only six players earned tallies with Cam Strong (goal, assist) joining Lutz as the only two multi-point grabbers. In low-shooting contests, goaltender Tyler Johnson stopped 11 of 13 shots in Saturday's win, while Juho Niku saved 17 of 18 shots while getting saddled with a shootout loss.
South Division Standings:
Wichita Falls Wildcats 23-5-3 49 points
Topeka RoadRunners 21-12-1 43 points
Lone Star Brahmas 19-6-5 43 points
Odessa Jackalopes 10-11-3 23 points
Corpus Christi IceRays 10-14-3 23 points
Amarillo Bulls 8-21-3 19 points
The IceRays and Jackalopes have split their season series thus far, each getting two wins while holding officially a 2-1-1 record thanks to a sweep of Odessa at the outset of the month. This is the first meeting between the two teams at the American Bank Center, but dating back to last season in the IceRays have won 12 of the last 16 meetings. They also hold the lead in the franchise series at 31-14-3. The last home loss to the Jackalopes came on Jan. 17, 2014 in a 5-2 defeat. Since then, the IceRays have won seven-straight at home.
The IceRays have also split their first four games with the Topeka RoadRunners, going 2-2-0 so far while taking their second trip to the Kansas ExpoCentre for the first time in junior franchise history. The IceRays are 4-19-3 against Topeka since joining the NAHL but have a chance to expand on a franchise-best multi-win season against the RoadRunners. Earlier in the season, the IceRays earned their first two-win year with a win in Topeka and another at the American Bank Center.
– Defend The Bend –