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…

Friday, February 13: IceRays 5, Amarillo Bulls 3
Shots: IceRays 45, Bulls 21
PP: IceRays 1-for-7, Bulls 1-for-8

The Corpus Christi IceRays (25-14-5) lit up offensively in a 5-3 victory over the Amarillo Bulls (17-24-4) on Friday night at the Amarillo Civic Center. Their 45 shots is the highest attempt total of the season, breaking the previous mark of 40 shots.

With a 2-0 deficit heading into the second period, IceRays forward Nic LaBurn (PP, 6:37 2nd) scratched across the first goal for the road side to cut the lead in half, 2-1. Less than three minutes later, defenseman Keenan Spillum (9:24 2nd) earned his first junior hockey goal to tie the game, 2-2. The IceRays claimed the lead when LaBurn (10:06 2nd) once again found the back of the net. Forward Wes Michaud (SH, 5:32 3rd) made it four-straight goals with a beautiful breakaway goal to double the lead, 4-2. Following a shorthanded answer by Amarillo, Michaud (EN, 19:52 3rd) sealed the win, 5-3. Bulls forwards Cody Gylling (PP, 2:28 1st; SH, 9:15 3rd) and Joe Leonidas (3:15 1st) earned goals for the home side.

IceRays goaltender Andrew Lindgren (18-8-3) earned the win, saving 18 of 21 shots, while Bulls netminder Jacob Weatherly (7-13-3) picked up the loss, stopping 40 of 44 shots.

 

Saturday, February 14: IceRays 2, Amarillo Bulls 5
Shots: IceRays 40, Bulls 30
PP: IceRays 2-for-12, Bulls 4-for-11

The Corpus Christi IceRays (25-15-5) couldn't fight through the penalties on Saturday night, falling 5-2 to the Amarillo Bulls (18-24-4) from the Amarillo Civic Center. There were 23 combined power plays and 130 penalty minutes over the course of the game.

IceRays forward Wes Michaud (PP, 1:16 1st) helped the road side jump ahead with an early goal. After that goal, the Bulls scored five-straight goals through the third period before IceRays forward Matt Colford (PP, 10:10 3rd) finally found an answer though the damage was done, 5-2. Amarillo forward Charlie Combs (SH, 19:34 1st; PP, 13:43 2nd; PP, 9:36 3rd) earned a hat-trick, and forwards Luke Novak (PP, 8:02 1st) and Will Harrison (PP, 3:44 2nd) added goals on the night.

IceRays netminder Andrew Lindgren (18-9-3) picked up the loss, stopping 25 of 30 shots, while Bulls goaltender Anton Martinsson (11-10-1) saved 38 of 40 shots in the win.

THIS WEEK…

Friday, February 20, 2015 vs. Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees – 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, February 21, 2015 
vs. Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees – 7:05 p.m.

The Corpus Christi IceRays begin five-straight games against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees with a two-game set at home from the American Bank Center. This stretch is the final five meetings of the season between the southern Texas rivals, and the Killer Bees lead the South Texas Vo Tech Cup 4-2-1 and can clinch their second-straight series with wins in three of their last five games. Overall, the IceRays are 8-9-2 in two seasons against the Killer Bees.
PROMOTIONS: The IceRays are giving thanks to local educators with Teacher Appreciation Weekend. Local schools and educators are invited to join the audience this weekend and be recognized for their continued commitment of teaching and enriching the lives of our area's children. Friday is also Frosty Friday with $1 beers and sodas, and Saturday is a Corpus Christi Caller-Times Family 4-Pack Night. Fans can purchase four tickets, four hot dogs, and four sodas for just $46 on Saturday night.

In their last meeting, the IceRays came from behind to force a shootout but could not come away with the win, falling 3-2 (4-3 shootout) to the Killer Bees on Jan. 2 from State Farm Arena. Killer Bees forwards Trevor Abbot and Dallas Gerads propelled the home side ahead 2-0 with a power play goal and even strength goal in the first period. IceRays forward Griff Jeszka cut the lead in half, 2-1, toward the end of the first period, and forward Mason Krueger tied the game just after the midway mark of the second period. After IceRays forward Frankie Melton forced sudden death in the shootout, Killer Bees defenseman Daniel Nilsson scored in the seventh round to win. Nick Schmit stopped 15 of 17 in the win, and Andrew Lindgren stopped 26 of 28 in the loss.

The Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees saw three-straight games ending in overtime or later against the Lone Star Brahmas, winning two of three meetings from State Farm Arena. The Killer Bees won 3-2 in a shootout last Thursday and Friday while falling 2-1 in overtime on Saturday. Forward Dallas Gerads picked up goals in the first two games of the weekend, one of four players to gain multi-point weekends including forward Anthony Croston (goal & assist), Jack Weiss (two assists), and Gavin Cummings (two assists). Forward Stathis Soumelidis scored the game-winner in Thursday's shootout, Croston netted the seventh-rounder on Friday, and Cam Bleck and Parker Wood tallied each in Friday's shootout.

With four points being earned by teams in the top-three, the IceRays (25-15-5, 55 points) fell back by two points of second and third place, now trailing the Wichita Falls Wildcats (31-12-0, 62 points) by seven points and the Lone Star Brahmas (29-10-7) by ten points. The Wenatchee Wild (20-20-7) earned one win against the division-leading Topeka RoadRunners (33-10-4), keeping pace with the IceRays at eight points back. The Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (19-20-7) have been red hot as of late, propelling themselves to just two points out of fifth place and five points ahead of the Amarillo Bulls (18-24-4) for the final playoff spot.

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

ICERAYS BITS…

 

Saturday's game closed out the third quarter of the IceRays season, finishing with a 9-5-1 record and 19 points. Their record is one point short of their quarterly-high set during the second section of the season (10-5-0, 20 points). During their difficult stretch, the IceRays turned around their road troubles by earning a 6-4-1 record and 13 points away from the American Bank Center, claiming their first road win and shootout win on Jan. 17 against Wenatchee in a 4-3 victory as well as their first road sweep during their three-game set against the Odessa Jackalopes from Jan. 29 through Jan. 31.

The IceRays and Bulls combined for 230 penalty minutes on 56 infractions during the entire weekend series, the highest weekend total for both categories this season. In two games, the two teams were given 40 minor penalties, four major penalties, and 13 misconducts including a game ejection and four game misconducts. This season, the highest penalty minutes in a single game combined still stands from Dec. 3 against the Killer Bees (4-2 W), and the most by the IceRays alone occurred on Oct. 24 against the Bulls (5-4 SOL).

The IceRays have allowed the first goal of a contest in 25 of their 45 games (55.56%) thus far and broke a five-game streak on Saturday. Of those games, 18 goals have come in their 23 road games (78.26%). When allowing the first goal, the IceRays are 9-13-4 including owning a 5-4-2 recording in 11 games since the start of the 2015 calendar year.

At the three-quarter mark, the IceRays have had a full lineup available for just 14 out of 45 games (31.11%) this season, including nine in the first 15 games and five in the last 15 games. The IceRays have lost 52 man games due to 29 games injured, 18 games suspended, three games for international duty, and two games sick with 15 of the 32 players (46.88%) missing at least one game. The IceRays will remain without a full lineup heading into this weekend with the final two games of Travis Howe's four-game suspension.

IN THE COMMUNITY…

Defenseman Travis Howe and forward Nic LaBurn will be appearing at the Tuloso-Midway Board Meeting tonight to discuss plans for Tuloso-Midway/Faith & Family Night on March 14 at the American Bank Center. The event is open to the public.

A group of players will be helping out Habitat For Humanity on Tuesday, February 17 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to help put together a home for a needing family. The boys will be aiding specifically with framing and tiling within the home.

The IceRays will be heading to Metro Elementary School on Thursday, February 18 at 10:50 a.m. to speak with students about making smart decisions throughout their lives. They will also be joining the students for a ball hockey game. This event is not open to the public.

On Saturday, February 21, Stinger Ray will be heading over to the Say What Texas Tobacco-Free Action Summits from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. to hang out with attendees and show support for the cause.

On Sunday, February 22, the IceRays are heading back to the Ronald McDonald House to serve dinner to families in need. This event is not open to the public and continues the IceRays' initiative to give back to the community and continued help for the Ronald McDonald House.

 

– Go IceRays –