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 6: Lone Star Brahmas 2, IceRays 3 (SO)
Shots: Brahmas 18, IceRays 19
PP: Brahmas 0-for-2, IceRays 0-for-5

The Corpus Christi IceRays (24-13-5) scored late to force a shootout and overcame the Lone Star Brahmas (27-10-5) in the sixth round of the shootout to win 3-2 (3-2 shootout) on Friday night from the American Bank Center.

After the IceRays fell behind in the first period on a Storm Wahlrab (11:12 1st) goal, forward Nathan Bryer (6:34 2nd) tied the game, 1-1, on a shot from just atop the left circle. The Brahmas edged ahead 2-1 thanks to Hayden Hanson (11:56 2nd) before the end of the middle frame. With the extra attacker on the ice, forward Tanner Lomsnes (EA, 19:00 3rd) netted the game-tying goal for the IceRays to send the game into a shootout. After heading into sudden death tied 2-2, forward Ryan Cusin scored the game-winner in the sixth round.

Each goaltender saved 16 of 18 shots in the game, with Andrew Lindgren (17-8-3) earning the win for the IceRays and T.J. Black (16-6-3) grabbing the loss for the Brahmas.

 

Saturday, February 7: Lone Star Brahmas 5, IceRays 3
Shots: Brahmas 34, IceRays 26
PP: Brahmas 3-for-7, IceRays 0-for-2

The Corpus Christi IceRays (24-14-5) fell 5-3 at the hands of the Lone Star Brahmas (28-10-5) on Saturday night at the American Bank Center in front of 6,965 fans, one of the largest crowds in franchise history.

The IceRays fell behind early in the first period but found a tying goal by forward Frankie Melton (10:14 1st) for the team's lone tally in the opening frame. Another Brahmas goal in the first and one in the second period came across before forward Nic LaBurn (8:44 2nd) found the back of the net to draw within one, 3-2. With some help of costly penalties, the Brahmas scored two more goals in the middle period before forward Matt Colford (4:52 3rd) found an answer in the final frame. Brahmas forwards Roman Uchyn (4:09 1st; 8:13 2nd) and Oskar Andren (PP, 14:05 1st; PP, 11:28 2nd) earned two-goal games, and Ludvig Larsson (9:54 2nd) claimed the only other tally.

Brahmas netminder Jake Kupsky (12-4-2) earned the win, turning aside 23 of 26 shots, while IceRays goaltender Luke Pickar (7-6-2) picked up the loss, stopping 29 of 34 shots.

THIS WEEK…

Friday, February 13, 2015 @ Amarillo Bulls – 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, February 14, 2015 
@ Amarillo Bulls – 7:05 p.m.

The Corpus Christi IceRays head back on the road to play a two-game set against the Amarillo Bulls this weekend from the Amarillo Civic Center. Following a two-game sweep of the Bulls on Dec. 11 & 12, the IceRays now own a 2-1-1 record against Amarillo this season and trail 12-30-2 over the last five seasons. The last time the IceRays won in Amarillo was on Feb. 23, 2013 in a 2-1 edging in their final of six games from the ACC that season.

In their last meeting on Dec. 12, the IceRays forced overtime and scored with one second remaining in the extra frame to win 3-2 against the Bulls from the American Bank Center. After Amarillo jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the second period with goals by Will Harrison (PP, 13:52 1st) and Joey DiBenedetto (0:58 2nd), the IceRays pushed their way back into the game with a goal by forward Ryan Cusin (6:50 2nd) to draw within one, 2-1. Forward Connor Bucsis (1:53 3rd) helped send the game into overtime, and Anthony Cortese (4:59 OT) scored the latest goal in franchise history to claim the win before the final horn. Andrew Lindgren stopped 26 of 28 shots in the win, and Jacob Weatherly turned away 33 of 36 shots in the overtime loss.

The Amarillo Bulls only grabbed one point while being swept by the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees, falling 2-1 (1-0 shootout) on Thursday and 4-1 on Friday from State Farm Arena. Amarillo jumped out to a 1-0 lead in each game with Brady CrabtreeJJ Huerena, and Joey DiBenedetto combining for the team's only points on Thursday and Cody Gylling going unassisted on Friday. Goaltender Anton Martinsson played in both games for the Bulls, saving 29 of 30 shots as well as three of four in Thursday's shootout loss and 20 of 24 on Friday.

The with two more points added, the IceRays (24-14-5, 53 points) crawl within five points of the idle Wichita Falls Wildcats (29-12-0, 58 points), who have two games in-hand over the IceRays, as well as push ahead of the idle Wenatchee Wild (19-18-7, 45 points) to an eight-point lead. The Lone Star Brahmas (28-10-5, 61 points) picked up points in all three games this week to climb within four points of first place behind the Topeka RoadRunners (31-10-3, 65 points). With losses in three of four games, the Amarillo Bulls (17-23-4, 38 points) have slipped into seventh place by two points behind the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (17-20-6, 40 points) with one more game played than their southern Texas counterpart.

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

ICERAYS BITS…

The IceRays hosted one of the largest crowds in franchise history on Saturday night, welcoming 6,965 fans into the American Bank Center for Stars & Stripes Night, presented by Whataburger and First Title Company. That number broke the junior franchise record set last season on Nov. 23, 2013 (6,674 fans) in a 3-1 win over the Lone Star Brahmas. It also marks the seventh time over 6,000 fans have enjoyed an IceRays game since the 2010-11 season with four of those coming last season. The all-time franchise record for most fans at one game was set on Mar. 25, 2006, when 7,584 watched the Rayz (CHL) against the Laredo Bucks (3-2 OTL).

Saturday's loss ended a 12-game home winning streak, the third longest in the NAHL this season. The streak lasted from Nov. 7, 2014 through Feb. 6, 2015, and during that time the IceRays outscored their opponents by a 2:1 ratio (50-25 total) and earned four overtime wins and one shootout win. That mark only trails the Lone Star Brahmas (18 wins) and the Janesville Jets (14 wins, active) for the longest home winning streaks this season

 

IN THE COMMUNITY…

The IceRays are participating in the first C&J Energy Services Chili Cook Off on Wednesday, February 11 beginning at 8:00 a.m. Members of the IceRays Front Office and players will be teaming up to create the best chili at the competition. Proceeds from the event benefit the American Cancer Society.

 

– Go IceRays –