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.
Thursday, October 8: Wichita Falls Wildcats 4, IceRays 1
Shots: Wildcats 30, IceRays 22
PP: Wildcats 2-for-8, IceRays 1-for-6
The Corpus Christi IceRays (4-5-0) allowed three in the third period and slipped 4-1 to the Wichita Falls Wildcats (6-1-1) in their season series opener on Thursday night at the American Bank Center.
Wildcats forward Erich Jaeger (PP, 16:38 1st) tucked in an open chance back-door to give the road side a 1-0 lead. IceRays forward Jimmy O’Brien (PP, 14:57 2nd) knotted the game up, 1-1, with a second-chance stuffer down low. However, the game opened up for the Wildcats in the third period: forward Ben Lown (PP, 4:50 3rd) found a fortunate redirection off IceRays defenseman Tucker Bender, forward Garrett VanWhye (10:06 3rd) received a long pass for a breakaway goal, and Jaeger (16:22 3rd) earned his second of the night to seal the 4-1 win.
Wildcats goaltender Justin Kapelmaster (5-0-0) stopped 21 of 22 shots in the win, and IceRays netminder Graham Hunt (2-3-0) saved 26 of 30 shots in the loss.
Friday, October 9: Wichita Falls Wildcats 7, IceRays 1
Shots: Wildcats 25, IceRays 35
PP: Wildcats 2-for-5, IceRays 0-for-7
The Corpus Christi IceRays (4-6-0) were swept for the first time this season in a 7-1 loss to the Wichita Falls Wildcats (7-1-1) on Friday night at the American Bank Center.
Wildcats forwards Andre Pison (PP, 8:11 1st) and Aleksi Poikola (12:08 1st) helped the road side break the early stalemate and gain a 2-0 lead after the first period. The lead strengthened in the second period with goals from Poikola (SH, 5:15 2nd) and Austin Albrecht (16:25 2nd), and the Wildcats took a 4-0 lead heading into the third period. IceRays forward Ryan Cusin (1:52 3rd) answered early in the third period to mark the score 4-1, however the Wildcats finished with three more goals: forward Ben Lown (4:31 3rd), defenseman Jake Dalton (PP, 17:09 3rd), and forward Nikita Litviak (18:22 3rd). The scoreline finished at 7-1.
Wildcats netminder Justin Kapelmaster (6-0-0) saved 34 of 35 shots in the win, and IceRays goaltender Dryden McKay (2-3-0) saved 18 of 25 shots in the loss.
Friday, October 16, 2015 @ Amarillo Bulls – 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, October 17, 2015 @ Amarillo Bulls – 7:05 p.m.
The Corpus Christi IceRays make their first trip of the season to the Texas Panhandle to play two games against the Amarillo Bulls from the Amarillo Civic Center. The IceRays opened their home schedule with a sweep of the Bulls, taking an early 2-0-0 season series lead with one regulation and one shootout win. The IceRays are now 6-3-1 over their last two seasons against the Bulls and 17-35-2 all-time over the last six seasons.
The Amarillo Bulls continued their early season struggles with a road weekend sweep at the hands of the Lone Star Brahmas: a 7-2 loss on Friday and a 6-1 loss on Saturday. The Bulls found goals solely from defenseman Keenan Sabatini (Friday), forward Johan Lundgren (Friday), and defenseman Jake Houston (Saturday) with seven Bulls in total gaining points. Goaltenders Anton Martinsson and Jacob Weatherly could not stop the onslaught, with Martinsson saving 38 of 45 shots on Friday and Weatherly stopping 31 of 37 shots on Saturday. The Bulls were outscored 13-3 and outshot 82-39.
South Division Recap:
The Wichita Falls Wildcats held on to their grip on the South Division lead with their weekend sweep on the road and keep at bay the surging Lone Star Brahmas, who also swept their weekend series to stay just one point back of the Wildcats for the division lead. The Topeka RoadRunners were swept by the Odessa Jackalopes and fell back to .500 on the season in idential 4-2 scorelines in Odessa, and the Jackalopes have new life with a two-point gap from the third place RoadRunners with four games in hand. The Corpus Christi IceRays slipped back to fifth following their troubling weekend at home, and the Amarillo Bulls remain in the cellar of the division with their ninth-straight loss following a season-opening win at home.
South Division Standings:
Wichita Falls Wildcats 7-1-1, 15 points
Lone Star Brahmas 6-1-2, 14 points
Topeka RoadRunners 6-6-0, 12 points
Odessa Jackalopes 5-3-0, 10 points
Corpus Christi IceRays 4-6-0, 8 points
Amarillo Bulls 1-7-2, 4 points
The IceRays acquired forward Tobias Kircher and a conditional draft pick from the Aston Rebels in exchange for forward Ryan Cusin on Saturday. Kircher earned three points (one goal, two assists) in seven games with the Rebels this season following four-straight seasons with junior championships with Jungadler Mannheim in the Deutsche Nachwuchs Liga (DNL) and an appearance at the 2013-14 U18 World Junior Championships with Team Germany. Cusin finishes his IceRays career ranked ninth on the career list in assists (34) and 10th in points (52) as well as the team's all-time leader in shootout-deciding goals (3).
The IceRays finished their season-opening home stand even with a 2-2-0 record between their series against the Bulls and Wildcats. Last weekend was the first time since the 2013-14 season that the IceRays faced a sweep at the American Bank Center (Mar. 7-8 vs. KNR: 4-0 L & 3-1 L) and the first time being swept by the Wildcats at home since Dec. 13-14, 2012 (6-1 L & 3-1 L). In 2014-15, the IceRays swept opponents four times and split a weekend series seven times in their 11 total weekend series in the Coastal Bend, helping to earn a 21-7-0 record.
Scoring continues to be a focal point early in the season, with the IceRays struggling to place points on the board. Heading into this weekend, the IceRays are tied for last in the league in goals scored (17) with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights and Minnesota Magicians as well as goals scored per game (1.70) with the Knights. Including total points scored by players, the IceRays are tied for 17th in the NAHL with the Magicians at 46 points, only leading Aberdeen (42), Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (40), and Coulee Region (39). Defensively, the IceRays are 16th in goals-against per game (2.90), just three hundreths above the league average in goals per game (2.87).
IN THE COMMUNITY…
Stinger Ray has a busy Wednesday, starting at 11:30 a.m. at the Ortiz Center for the State of Energy Luncheon. He'll be attending to entertain guests and help support the event. The event is not open to the public. Later that evening from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., he and one of the IceRays players will attend the Pepsi Ribbon Cutting for their new LED videoboard.
The IceRays are reaching out to fans and local businesses to donate items for the team's silent auction on Saturday, October 24 for their annual Pink In The Rink game. Those who would like to donate an item can contact the IceRays Front Office at 361-814-7825 or come to the team office at the American Bank Center to donate items. Donations can be exchanged for ticket vouchers to the game. Contact the IceRays for further information.
– Defend The Bend –