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, January 29: IceRays 3, Odessa Jackalopes 2 (OT)
Shots: IceRays 38, Jackalopes 32
PP: IceRays 1-for-3, Jackalopes 0-for-3

The Corpus Christi IceRays (21-13-5) scored late in the game to force overtime and took down the Odessa Jackalopes (9-27-6) 3-2 on Thursday night at the Ector County Coliseum.

Forward Brad LeLievre (PP, 14:55 2nd) struck first to give the IceRays a 1-0 lead heading into the third period, however the Jackalopes were able to come back and take the lead, 2-1, with goals from forward Razmuz Waxin-Engback (4:27 3rd) and Chad Guderian (16:38 3rd). The IceRays tied the game late on a shot from defenseman Trevor Heuser (18:00 3rd) to send the game into overtime. For the second-straight game against the Jackalopes, forward Nathan Bryer (2:43 OT) scored the game-winner to give the IceRays the win, 3-2.

Andrew Lindgren (15-8-3) earned the win, turning aside 30 of 32 shots, while Tanner Creel (2-8-2) picked up the loss, saving 35 of 38 shots.

 

Friday, January 30: IceRays 7, Odessa Jackalopes 3
Shots: IceRays 36, Jackalopes 36
PP: IceRays 3-for-3, Jackalopes 0-for-4

The Corpus Christi IceRays (22-13-5) scored five-unanswered goals in the third period to propel to a 7-3 win over the Odessa Jackalopes (9-28-6) on Friday night from the Ector County Coliseum. The game was also noted for the second hat trick of the season, this time recorded by forward Maksim Dzhioshvili.

The IceRays trailed at the outset of the second period but soon regained the lead, 2-1, on goals from forwards Tanner Lomsnes (0:54 2nd) and Dzhioshvili (1:54 2nd). The Jackalopes tied the game late in the period and took the lead early in the third. Dzhioshvili (5:42 3rd; 7:39 3rd) completed the hat trick and gave the IceRays back the lead, 4-3, in the third period. Following a five-minute major penalty on Odessa, the IceRays tallied three times in that five-minute span from forwards Matt Colford (PP, 12:34 3rd), Connor Kelly (PP, 14:33 3rd), and Ryan Cusin (PP, 15:54 3rd) to put the game away, 7-3. The Jackalopes received contributions from forward Hampus Sjodahl (16:36 1st) and defensemen Andreas Soje (15:25 2nd) and Lane Valimont (1:57 3rd).

Luke Pickar (7-5-2) picked up the win, saving 33 of 36 shots, whereas Tanner Creel (2-9-2) was awarded the loss, stopping 29 of 36 shots.

 

Saturday, January 31: IceRays 6, Odessa Jackalopes 4
Shots: IceRays 37, Jackalopes 28
PP: IceRays 2-for-5, Jackalopes 0-for-4

The Corpus Christi IceRays (23-13-5) completed the three-game sweep of the Odessa Jackalopes (9-29-6) with a 6-4 win on Saturday night from the Ector County Coliseum.

The Jackalopes jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first period, but answers from forward Ryan Cusin (13:27 1st) and defenseman Anthony Cortese (PP, 16:56 1st) gave the IceRays a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission. Both teams traded goals in the second period with forwards Connor Kelly (2:45 2nd) and Mason Krueger (18:53 2nd) edging the IceRays ahead each time, giving the road side a 4-3 lead after two periods. Scoring in the final period wasn't until late, but Cortese (17:38 3rd) put the IceRays up by two goals, 5-3. With the goalie pulled, the Jackalopes scored late in the game but couldn't stop forward Wes Michaud (EN, 19:37 3rd) from sealing the win, 6-4.

Defenseman Christian Hausinger (3:23 1st; 1:22 2nd) picked up two goals for the Jackalopes, and forwards Razmuz Waxin-Engback (17:18 2nd) and Corey Hoffman (EA, 18:18 3rd) added goals in the loss.

Andrew Lindgren (16-8-3) earned his second-straight win, stopping 24 of 28 shots, and Robin Johansson (5-11-3) gained the loss, turning away 31 of 36 shots.

THIS WEEK…

Friday, February 6, 2015 vs. Lone Star Brahmas – 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, February 7, 2015
vs. Lone Star Brahmas – 7:05 p.m.

The Corpus Christi IceRays return home for the first time since Jan. 10 to begin a two-game set against the Lone Star Brahmas at the American Bank Center. This season, the IceRays are 1-1-1 against the Brahmas following a sweep in their last appearance against each other on Oct. 10 & 11. In their histories, the IceRays own a 15-27-5 record against the Brahmas/Texas Tornado and 6-3-2 against the Brahmas current name and ownership.
PROMOTIONS: The IceRays host ladies' night at the arena on Friday with the team's first Hockey & Heels Night, presented by Mattress Firm, Prime Real Estate, and The Results Companies. During the course of the game, the IceRays will feature a red carpet walk for fans to take pictures on, various tables and booths for shopping, wine tastings, and drink specials. In addition, it's Frosty Friday with $1 beer and sodas. A portion of the evening's proceeds will go toward Peewee's Pet Adoption & World Sanctuary. On Saturday, the IceRays welcome back Stars & Stripes Night, presented by Whataburger and First Title Company. The IceRays will be wearing special military-themed jerseys that will be worn all weekend and auctioned off following Saturday's game. In addition, Saturday is a Corpus Christi Caller-Times Family 4-Pack Night, where fans can purchase four tickets, four hot dogs, and four sodas for just $46. Plus, it's the IceRays annual Boy Scot Sleepover.

In their last meeting on Oct. 11, the Brahmas pushed ahead with a 5-2 win over the IceRays to complete the weekend sweep. After trailing 3-0 in the first period on goals by Sebastian Vidmar (1:50 1st; 17:02 1st) and Johan Steen (15:41 1st), the IceRays came back with goals by Connor Bucsis (18:46 1st) and Ryan Cusin (10:19 2nd) to draw within one, 3-2. Two more Brahmas goals in the third period by Ludvig Larsson (3:43 3rd) and Liam Stirtzinger (EN, 19:56 2nd) put the game away, 5-2. Jake Kupsky picked up the win, saving 21 of 23 shots, while Andrew Lindgren was awarded the loss, stopping 26 of 30 shots.

The Lone Star Brahmas split a tough home weekend series against the Wichita Falls Wildcats from the NYTEX Sports Center in North Richland Hills, Texas, winning 6-3 on Friday and falling 4-3 on Saturday. Forward Ludvig Larsson powered the Brahmas forward during the weekend, recording four goals including a hat trick on Friday. Team-leading point-scorer Sebastian Vidmar added to his tally with four assists stretched over both games equally. Three other players picked up three-points weekends: forward Pat Egan (goal, two assists), forward Storm Wahlrab (goal, two assists), and defenseman Anton Santesson (three assists). Goaltender TJ Black earned both decisions, saving 56 of 63 shots (.889). Jake Kupsky played 18:44 minutes in Saturday's loss, stopping all 10 shots faced.

The six points earned by the IceRays (23-13-5, 51 points) brings them back in the conversation for the top-three in the South Division. Though they still remain in fourth place, they are now only five points back of the Wichita Falls Wildcats (28-12-0, 56 points) for third place and six points behind the Lone Star Brahmas (27-10-3, 57 points) for second place, making this weekend that much more important. Thanks to a three-game sweep by the Wenatchee Wild (19-18-7, 45 points), the IceRays are still only six points above fifth place. The Topeka RoadRunners (30-9-3, 63 points) remain in first place despite their idle weekend.

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

ICERAYS BITS…

The IceRays closed the month of January on a high note, earning a 7-3-1 record in 11 games played, including a 5-3-1 road record. The 15 points earned is the most in a month this season, and the team's point percentage (.682) is the second-best this season for a single month behind November (5-2-0, .714). The month saw some historic moments: the first road win of the season as well as the team's first shootout win under Head Coach John Becanic on Jan. 17 in Wenatchee (5-4 SOW), the first hat trick on the road in junior franchise history on Jan. 30 by Maksim Dzhioshvili (7-3 W @ ODA), and the first road sweep of the year. In all, the IceRays finish on a four-game winning streak and have won five of their last six games.

Defenseman Anthony Cortese finished January on a nine-game point streak and has recorded points in nine of the team's 11 games this month. He leads all IceRays skaters with four goals and 10 assists for 14 points last month. During that span, he's set the team mark in consecutive games with assists (9) and points (9), shares the team lead in assists, power play goals (3), and power play points (7), and recorded both a game-winning goal (Jan. 31 @ ODA) and a shorthanded assist (Jan. 9 vs. ODA). He leads all NAHL defensemen in goals and points, and he ranks third in assists.

For just the second time this season, the IceRays recorded 30 shots or more in three-consecutive games. The only other time this occurred was Dec. 11 through Dec. 27 against Amarillo and Rio Grande Valley, and in all three games the IceRays beat their opponents. In addition, since claiming their first road win on Jan. 17, the IceRays have outscored their opponents 29-21 and are averaging 4.83 goals per game.

Special teams has hit an uptick in production on both sides of the puck. With two power play goals on Saturday, the power play has now converted in six-straight games, their longest scoring streak of the season ahead of their five-game streak from Sep. 20 through Oct. 10. In their recent stretch, the IceRays have converted 11 times on 20 chances (55.00%) and have moved into fourth place in the NAHL. On the other side, the IceRays went 11-for-11 on the penalty kill in three games against the Jackalopes last weekend, which is their longest shutout streak since stopping opponents in six-straight games from Sep. 18 through Oct. 4 (25-for-25).

 

IN THE COMMUNITY…

The IceRays will be visiting the Corpus Christi Army Depot on Tuesday, January 3 to tour the facilities, meet members of the army, and show gratitude for the service of the members of the military. This event is not open to the public.

 

– Go IceRays –