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…

Tuesday, March 3: RGV Killer Bees 7, IceRays 3
Shots: Killer Bees 37, IceRays 32
PP: Killer Bees 3-for-7, IceRays 2-for-4

The Corpus Christi IceRays (27-18-5) were taken down with a depleted lineup against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (22-21-8) on Tuesday night from the American Bank Center.

The Killer Bees scored three goals in the first period from forwards Stathis Soumelidis (10:33 1st), Connor Wood (11:40 1st), and Dallas Gerads (19:04 1st) before the IceRays got on the board in the second with a Wes Michaud (PP, 11:08 2nd) goal. Cam Bleck (16:12 2nd) pushed the score to 4-1 before the second period horn, and Gavin Cummings (PP, 1:00 3rd; PP, 1:43 3rd) scored two on the power play in the first 1:43 to move ahead 6-1. After Michaud was knocked out and resulted in a five-minute power play, defenseman Travis Howe (PP, 5:48 3rd) notched a goal with forward Mason Krueger (7:52 3rd) following even strength. Forward Elliot Lorraine (PP, 12:08 3rd) added the final goal for the Killer Bees.

Killer Bees goaltender Ben Johansson (13-8-4) stopped 29-of-32 in the win, while Andrew Lindgren (20-11-3) saved 20-of-26 in his 41:43 minutes played and Luke Pickar stopped 10-of-11 shots in relief.

Friday, March 6: IceRays 1, Lone Star Brahmas 4
Shots: IceRays 24, Brahmas 25
PP: IceRays 0-for-7, Brahmas 1-for-4

The Corpus Christi IceRays (27-19-5) found themselves on the bad end of a couple calls during their 4-1 loss to the Lone Star Brahmas (34-11-7) on Friday night at the NYTEX Sports Center.

The Brahmas punched ahead in the first thanks to forward Ludvig Larsson (PP, 2:50 1st) to give the home side a 1-0 lead. The IceRays had one Tanner Lomsnes goal waived off by referee Cory Denbeck due to a dislodged net in the second period, keeping the scoreline the same. Brahmas forward AJ Vanderbeck (PS, 4:09 3rd) was taken down by Anthony Cortese and was awarded a penalty shot, which he capitalized on to double the lead, 2-0. Defenseman Alexey Solovyev (10:40 3rd) tripled the lead before IceRays defenseman Logan Gestro (16:37 3rd) finally answered late in the third period. A late Solovyev (EN, SH, 19:49 3rd) put the game away, 4-1.

Brahmas goaltender TJ Black (19-7-4) stopped 23-of-24 shots in the win, and IceRays netminder Andrew Lindgren (20-12-3) saved 21-of-24 in the loss.

 

Saturday, March 7: IceRays 2, Lone Star Brahmas 3
Shots: IceRays 18, Brahmas 24
PP: IceRays 0-for-4, Brahmas 1-for-6

The Corpus Christi IceRays (27-20-5) had a late-game surge come up short, falling to the Lone Star Brahmas (35-11-7) on Saturday night at the NYTEX Sports Center.

The IceRays dropped behind early with another game-opening goal by Brahmas forward Ludvig Larsson (1:26 1st) and a doubling goal by defenseman Alexey Solovyev (6:33 1st). The Brahmas scratched across one more goal by Sebastian Vidmar (PP, 13:17 2nd) to triple their lead, 3-0, before the end of the second period. IceRays defenseman Taylor Karel (0:45 3rd) scored his first NAHL goal as well as put the road side on the board, and forward Frankie Melton (6:50 3rd) drew the IceRays within one, 3-2. The IceRays pulled the goaltender for an extra skater on a power play late in the third period but could not find an equalizer.

Brahmas goaltender Jake Kupsky (16-4-3) picked up the win, stopping 16 of 18 shots, while IceRays netminder Andrew Lindgren (20-13-3) grabbed the loss despite saving 21 of 22 shots in relief. Luke Pickar started the first 6:33, allowing two goals on two shots.

THIS WEEK…

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 vs. Lone Star Brahmas – 7:05 p.m.
Friday, March 13, 2015 vs. Wichita Falls Wildcats – 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, March 14, 2015 vs. Wichita Falls Wildcats – 7:05 p.m.

The Corpus Christi IceRays start out a busy three-game week on Wednesday, March 11 to close out their eight-game season series against the Lone Star Brahmas from the American Bank Center. The IceRays have fallen to 2-4-1 against the Brahmas this season following their sweep on the road at the hands of Lone Star. The IceRays have lost their first season series against the Brahmas with the sweep and also slide to 7-6-2 in two seasons. The IceRays have been held winless at the NYTEX Sports Center this season and are 2-1-0 at home.
PROMOTIONS: The IceRays are hosting Country Night at the American Bank Center during Wednesday's game. Dress in your best western wear and enjoy country music with a relaxed environment for this mid-week game. In addition, Wednesday's game is the final Winning Weekday of the season, which means the last chance to take advantage of buy-one, get-one free tickets for the game as well as buy-one, get-one free cheese pizza from Hunt Brothers Pizza at the game.

The IceRays also close out their season series against the Wichita Falls Wildcats on Friday and Saturday night from the American Bank Center. The IceRays trail the season series 2-4-0 and have a chance to split the season series if they can sweep both games. The IceRays split their only series against the Wildcats at home, winning 8-4 on Oct. 30 while falling 3-1 on Oct. 31. The IceRays are 16-21-6 against the Wildcats in their franchise series after claiming their first road win since Nov. 30, 2013 (4-2 W).
PROMOTIONS: The IceRays load up their promotional schedule starting on Friday with Miracle League Night, presented by Avis and Corpus Christi Disposal. The Miracle League of Corpus Christi will be joining the crowd for the game as well as playing Broomball during one of the intermissions, which was practiced with IceRays players on the American Bank Center ice. In addition, it is a Frosty Friday with one-dollar beer and soda available. Saturday is the annual Faith & Family Night, presented by TLC Complete Care. Following the game, Christian artist and Texas-born performer Chris August will be performing during the post-game skate and afterward, featuring music off his latest album, The Maker. Saturday is also a Corpus Christi Caller-Times Family 4-Pack Night, for which fans can purchase four tickets, four hot dogs, and four sodas for just $46.

In their last meeting on Jan. 23 against the Wildcats, the IceRays were able to edge out Wichita Falls 5-4 from the Kay Yeager Coliseum, earning their first win in four games against the Wildcats. Defenseman Anthony Cortese (PP, 7:40 1st) put the IceRays up early in the contest before seven-combined second period goals. Forward Tanner Lomsnes (PP, 1:25 2nd) doubled the lead, 2-0, before Wildcats forwards Kevin Charyszyn (2:23 2nd) and Max Reisinger (PP, 5:23 2nd) tied the game, 2-2. Cortese (7:20 2nd) and forward Nathan Bryer (9:18 2nd) doubled the IceRays lead again, 4-2, before going back and forth with Wildcats forward Nick Farmer (PP, 11:39 2nd), IceRays forward Matt Colford (19:23 2nd) and Wildcats forward Tommy Apap (3:49 3rd) finishing off the game's scoring. Luke Pickar saved 18-of-22 in the win. Austin Shaw stopped four-of-five while grabbing the loss in relief while David Zevnik turned away nine of 13 shots in his start.

The Wichita Falls Wildcats also piled on a three-game week, beating the Odessa Jackalopes 7-4 on Tuesday from the Ector County Coliseum and sweeping the Wenatchee Wild over the weekend from the Kay Yeager Coliseum with a 3-1 win on Friday and a 4-1 win on Saturday. 18 different Wildcats skaters earned points over the weekend with 14 alone in Tuesday's win. Forward Kevin Charyszyn earned four points (two goals, two assists) in three games with a pair in Tuesday and Saturday. Forward Austin Beaulieu tacked on two goals and one assist on Tuesday and grabbed a helper on Friday. Three other skaters (Nick Farmer, Nikita Litviak, and Jake Townsend) earned a goal and two assists over the weekend, while ten total players had multi-point weekends. Goaltender Austin Shaw earned a 2-0-0 record with 51 saves on 57 shots through three games, and David Zevnik notched the win during Saturday's game in relief, stopping all 13 shots faced.

The IceRays (27-20-5, 59 points) did not make up any ground over their three-game week nor come close to clinching a playoff spot. However, they maintain their six-point gap over the Wenatchee Wild (23-23-7, 53 points), which is now shared with the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (22-22-9, 53 points). The Amarillo Bulls (22-26-4, 48 points) not only gained ground on the three teams above them but also stopped teams from encroaching on playoff points thanks to their sweep at home. The Lone Star Brahmas (35-11-7, 77 points) are now the first team this season other than the Topeka RoadRunners (35-12-6, 76 points) to be in first place with their sweep of the IceRays and the coincidental sweep of the RoadRunners. The Wichita Falls Wildcats (26-13-2, 74 points) have also closed the gap in the top-three, now sitting two points back of second place and three behind first place. The Odessa Jackalopes (11-35-7, 29 points) became the last team to reach at least ten wins and earned their first weekend sweep of the season.

Playoff Scenarios:
Corpus Christi IceRays – clinch with three wins OR two wins with one AMA loss OR one win with two AMA losses
Topeka RoadRunners – clinched playoffs
Lone Star Brahmas – clinched playoffs
Wichita Falls Wildcats – clinched playoffs
Odessa Jackalopes – eliminated

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

ICERAYS BITS…

The IceRays were swept for the first time since Jan. 1 & 2 against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees and also lost three-straight games in regulation for the first time this season. The only other time the IceRays fell in three-consecutive games was between Oct. 18 and Oct. 25 against Topeka at home (5-2 L) and twice on the road against Amarillo (5-4 SOL & 6-3 L). In their recent slump, they have been outscored 14-7 as well as outshot 86-74. The IceRays have never lost four-straight games during the 2014-15 season.

Travis Howe earned two penalty minutes on Saturday night, making him the all-time junior franchise leader in career penalty minutes (217). His record surpasses the mark set by Luke McDiarmid (216) in two seasons from 2012 through 2014. Howe previously set the single-season penalty minutes mark last week and now is atop both categories. This season, Howe leads the NAHL in penalty minutes as well as major penalties (7) with all of those coming in fights. This is also the first season with fights penalizing players for both a five-minute major and a ten-minute misconduct.

With eight games to go, the IceRays remain six points away from clinching a spot in the 2015 Robertson Cup Playoffs. With three wins this week, the IceRays can earn it themselves or pair either two wins with an Amarillo regulation loss or a win with two Amarillo regulation losses. In order to clinch home ice advantage in the first round, the IceRays need nine points either won or lost with Wenatchee and Rio Grande Valley, who share fifth place. The IceRays have been eliminated from contention for a first-round bye and will be eliminated from third place with one loss or one Wichita Falls win.

IN THE COMMUNITY…

The IceRays are out this afternoon at Tuloso-Midway Alternative School, helping to promote Tuloso-Midway Night on March 14 during the students' lunch periods. This event is not open to the public.

The IceRays will also be serving up dinner on Sunday, March 15 for the residents of the Ronald McDonald House. This event is not open to the public.

The IceRays are hosting their annual Golf Tournament on Monday, March 16 starting at 12:00 p.m. at the Northshore Country Club. Enjoy an afternoon at the links with IceRays players and staff as well as various business owners and partners of the IceRays. Play in a farthest-shot style tournament, network with other businesses, and receive refreshments and food following the day's events. Prizes will be awarded for the top finishers as well as many door prizes and giveaways. To register or for more information, call the IceRays Front Office at 361-814-PUCK. This event is open to the public and the media.

– Go IceRays –