ICERAYS WEEKLY

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 2014-15 season.

LAST WEEK…

Thursday, March 19: IceRays 1, Odessa Jackalopes 3
Shots: IceRays 39, Jackalopes 43
PP: IceRays 0-for-0, Jackalopes 0-for-1

The Corpus Christi IceRays (29-22-5) fell behind in the third period and could not recover, dropping 3-1 to the Odessa Jackalopes (13-36-7) on Thursday night from the Ector County Coliseum.

Scoring held off until late in the second period when Jackalopes forward Corey Hoffman (17:28 2nd) nudged the home side ahead 1-0. IceRays forward Wes Michaud (0:29 3rd) tied the game early in the final period before Hoffman (0:57 3rd) answered less than a minute later. Jackalopes forward Razmuz Waxin-Engback (10:33 3rd) put the game out of reach with a score midway through the period.

Jackalopes goaltender Tanner Creel (6-15-3) earned the win, stopping 38 of 39 shots, while IceRays netminder Andrew Lindgren (22-15-3) fell with the loss, saving 40 of 43 shots.

Friday, March 20: IceRays 5, Odessa Jackalopes 3
Shots: IceRays 29, Jackalopes 38
PP: IceRays 0-for-0, Jackalopes 0-for-1

The Corpus Christi IceRays (30-22-5) bounced back in the first and third periods to overtake the Odessa Jackalopes (13-36-7) 5-3 on Friday night from the Ector County Coliseum.

Jackalopes defenseman Andrew McLean (3:42 1st) put the home side ahead 1-0 in the first period, but with the IceRays down one skater, forward Brad LeLievre (SH, 5:11 1st) answered the bell with his first shorthanded goal of the year. Defenseman Pierre Crinon (13:36 1st) gave the IceRays their first lead of the weekend, 2-1, on a slap shot from the blue line, and forward Ryan Cusin (19:33 1st) doubled the lead, 3-1, right before the end of the first period. After the Jackalopes came back to tie the game in the second off shots from forwards Eric Carreras (10:12 2nd) and Razmuz Waxin-Engback (14:05 2nd), IceRays forward Joe Chitwood (3:56 3rd) nudged the IceRays back ahead, 4-3, with a re-direction in front of the Odessa net. Forward Wes Michaud (EN, 19:43 3rd) sealed the 5-3 victory with an empty-net goal.

IceRays goaltender Luke Pickar (8-7-2) earned the win, stopping 35 of 38 shots, while Jackalopes netmidner Tanner Creel (6-16-3) picked up the loss, turning aside 24 of 28 shots.

 

Saturday, March 21: IceRays 1, Odessa Jackalopes 4
Shots: IceRays 35, Jackalopes 28
PP: IceRays 0-for-5, Jackalopes 0-for-0

The Corpus Christi IceRays (30-23-5) dropped their second weekend set of March during their 4-1 loss to the Odessa Jackalopes (14-37-7) on Saturday night from the Ector County Coliseum.

The Jackalopes found the early stroke with goals from forwards Kenny Hausinger (7:17 1st) and Razmuz Waxin-Engback (11:53 1st) on breakout plays to give Odessa an early 2-0 lead. IceRays forward Wes Michaud (19:24 1st) brought the road side within one, 2-1, just before the end of the opening period. Hausinger (4:13 2nd) gave the Jackalopes back their two-goal advantage, 3-1, early in the third period, and forward Hampus Sjodahl (8:19 3rd) put the game out of reach with a breakaway goal in the final period.

Jackalopes netminder Tanner Creel (7-16-3) earned the win, stopping 34 of 25 shots, while IceRays goaltender Andrew Lindgren (22-16-3) picked up the loss, turning away 24 of 28 shots.

THIS WEEK…

Friday, March 27, 2015 vs. Amarillo Bulls – 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, March 28, 2015 vs. Amarillo Bulls – 8:05 p.m.

The Corpus Christi IceRays complete the 2014-15 regular season with one final home weekend from the American Bank Center as they face the Amarillo Bulls this Friday and Saturday. Following a split of their last weekend set in February, the IceRays and Bulls both own a 3-2-1 record against each other heading into their final two meetings of the season. The IceRays are 14-34-2 against Amarillo in their franchise history but are a perfect 2-0-0 from the American Bank Center this season.
PROMOTIONS: The IceRays open their final home weekend on Friday night with Teen Night, presented by Whataburger. Members of the Skills USA Texas Leadership and Skills Conference are invited to take in the IceRays game as well as area schools. It is also another Frosty Friday with $1 beer and sodas available. Saturday evening is Pack The House For Charity, presented by Kiewit and the Port of Corpus Christi. The IceRays will be honoring those charities and local organizations that have worked with the IceRays throughout the course of the season with check presentations and additional funds spread amongst various local charities from the evening's proceedings. The first 500 fans in attendance will also receive rally towels courtesy of H-E-B and Thunder Sticks courtesy of Corpus Christi Solid Waste. During the weekend, the IceRays will be wearing their annual Harley Davidson jerseys that will be auctioned off following Saturday's game in the Harley Davidson Post-Game Jersey Auction, presented by Eddie Jackson, New York Life. Saturday is also a Corpus Christi Caller-Times Family 4-Pack Night, with four tickets, four hot dogs, and four sodas for just $46 available.

In their last meeting on Feb. 14, the IceRays fell in an ugly end to the weekend set 5-2 to the Bulls from the Amarillo Civic Center. All seven goals came on special teams with forward Wes Michaud (PP) opening the scoring for the IceRays early in the first period before Luke Novak (PP) and Charlie Combs (SH) gave the Bulls a 2-1 lead heading into the intermission. Amarillo pressed on in the second period with goals from Will Harrison (PP) and Combs (PP) to jump ahead 4-1. Combs (PP) finished the hat-trick mid-way through the third period before Matt Colford (PP) finally answered for the IceRays less than a minute later. Both teams combined for 23 power play chances. Anton Martinsson saved 38-of-40 shots in the win, and Andrew Lindgren stopped 25-of-30 shots in the loss.

The IceRays (30-23-5, 65 points) have claimed home-ice advantage in the opening round of the Robertson Cup Playoffs but must wait until this weekend to see who their opponent will be. The Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (24-24-10, 58 points) jumped into fifth place by one point over the Wenatchee Wild (25-25-7, 57 points) thanks to three points last weekend. However, the Wild do have one game in-hand over the Killer Bees that could slide them back into a first-round matchup with the IceRays. The Amarillo Bulls (24-29-4, 52 points) will be eliminated from playoff contention with two points won by the Wild or lost by the Bulls with three games remaining. At the top of the division, the Lone Star Brahmas (38-12-8, 84 points) remain in first place by two points over the Topeka RoadRunners (38-13-6, 82 points), and the South Division crown will be determined over the course of the weekend. The Wichita Falls Wildcats (38-14-5, 81 points) are still in contention for a first-round bye, but they will be eliminated from the regular season title with two wins by the Brahmas. The Odessa Jackalopes (14-37-7, 35 points) can continue to play spoiler having won five of their last seven games with two against the Killer Bees this weekend.

Playoff Scenarios:
Rio Grande Valley = clinch with a win OR a regulation loss OR any Amarillo loss
Rio Grande Valley = clinch 5th place with two wins AND one Wenatchee regulation loss
Wenatchee = clinch playoffs with one win OR one Amarillo regulation loss
Wenatchee = clinch 5th place with three wins OR two wins with one RGV loss OR one win with two RGV losses
Amarillo = eliminated with regulation loss OR Wenatchee win

South Division Matchups:
Wichita Falls Wildcats (3rd) @ Amarillo Bulls – Tue. – 7:05 p.m.
Wichita Falls Wildcats (3rd) @ Lone Star Brahmas (1st) – Fri. & Sat. – 7:30 p.m.
Odessa Jackalopes (8th) @ RGV Killer Bees (5th) – Fri. & Sat. – 7:30 p.m.
Topeka RoadRunners (2nd) @ Wenatchee Wild (6th) – Fri. & Sat. – 9:05 p.m.
Topeka RoadRunners (2nd) @ Wenatchee Wild (6th) – Sun. – 5:05 p.m.

ICERAYS BITS…

 

The month of March hasn't been kind to the IceRays, dropping to 3-6-0 in nine games and will be the only month this season that the IceRays did not finish with at least a .500 record. Since the last meeting with the Bulls on Feb. 14, the IceRays have also dropped to a 5-8-0 record and have gone 3-3-0 at home. The IceRays last four wins at home came in overtime or later (one in overtime; three in shootout), and the last regulation win the IceRays have won at home came on Jan. 9 against the Odessa Jackalopes (4-2 W), a nine-game stretch.

Despite the depth of the IceRays squad, scoring in the top-six behind Wes Michaud has been sparse. Since scoring a hat-trick in a five-point night on Feb. 28 against Rio Grande Valley, forward Tanner Lomsnes has been goalless in eight games and only has three points in that span despite sitting second in goals and points. Defenseman Anthony Cortese has four assists in six games but has been without a goal since Jan. 31 against Odessa (16 games) and now shares first in NAHL defensive scoring with Matt Koch (WFS). Ryan Cusin has earned points in two-straight but was without a goal in 15 games before Friday's tally. Forward Matt Colford hasn't scored a goal in his last 13 games with four assists in that span, and forward Nic LaBurn is pointless in nine-straight games. Among the top-six not named Michaud, those five skaters have scored one goal in 63 combined man games.

In addition to the records broken, Wes Michaud is leading the IceRays into the postseason with his production on the IceRays. He owns 18 points (12 goals, six assists) over his last 11 games and has recorded seven goals over his last six games. Of the 13 games played in the fourth quarter, the Colorado College commit has scored points in nine of 13 games and goals in eight of those nine games. Michaud is the first IceRays player to record more than 30 goals, 40 assists, and 70 points in a single-season and ranks third in the NAHL in points (71) behind Fairbanks forward Chandler Madry (72) and Lone Star forward Sebastian Vidmar (78).

IN THE COMMUNITY…

IceRays players will be attending the Corpus Christi Freightliner Customer Appreciation Luncheon on Wednesday, March 25 at 11:00 a.m. at the Freightliner location on Interstate 37. The event is not open to the public.

The IceRays will be at Brewster Street Ice House on Wednesday, March 25 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. to help benefit Music For Michael, a benefit fundraiser for 16-year-old Michaud Vaughn, who was diagnosed with a new form of bone cancer. The event is open to the public, and fans are encouraged to attend and help the cause. There is a $5 charge at the door that will go directly to the fundraiser.

– Go IceRays –