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 1: IceRays 1, RGV Killer Bees 3
Shots: IceRays 26, Killer Bees 23
PP: IceRays 0-for-3, Killer Bees 1-for-2

The Corpus Christi IceRays (16-11-4) fell behind early and couldn't recover, dropping 3-1 to the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (11-16-5) on Thursday night at State Farm Arena.

After two goals in the first period by the Killer Bees, the IceRays finally answered on a second chance shot from forward Frankie Melton (0:41 3rd) with the help of forward Connor Kelly to cut the lead in half, 2-1. One more Killer Bees tally sealed the game, 3-1. Forwards Anthony Croston (11:17 1st), Andrew Scofield (16:38 1st), and Dean Balsamo (17:10 3rd) scored for Rio Grande Valley.

Andrew Lindgren (12-7-2) picked up the loss, stopping 20 of 23 shots, while Nick Schmit (4-8-2) earned the win, turning aside 25 of 26 shots.

 

Friday, January 2: IceRays 2, RGV Killer Bees 3 (SO)
Shots: IceRays 29, Killer Bees 17
PP: IceRays 0-for-2, Killer Bees 1-for-3

The Corpus Christi IceRays (16-11-5) came back from a two-goal deficit to force a shootout, but the IceRays only came away with one point in a 3-2 (4-3 shootout) loss to the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (12-16-5) from State Farm Arena.

Looking up at another two-goal output, forward Griff Jeszka (19:15 1st) made up for an earlier turnover to bring the lead down to 2-1. Forward Mason Krueger (11:56 2nd) scored the lone goal in the middle frame on a hard angle shot that eventually sent the game into overtime. In the shootout, defenseman Taylor Karel and forwards Tanner Lomsnes and Frankie Melton tallied the team's goals before falling in the ninth round.

Defenseman Trevor Abbot (PP, 4:49 1st) and forward Dallas Gerads (13:14 1st) scored the regulation tallies for the Killer Bees, and defenseman Daniel Nilsson (9th round) scored the final goal of the shootout to claim the victory.

Andrew Lindgren (12-7-3) took his second-straight loss while saving 26 of 28 shots, while Nick Schmit (5-8-2) picked up another win, turning aside 15 of 17 shots.

THIS WEEK…

Friday, January 9, 2015 vs. Odessa Jackalopes – 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, January 10, 2015 vs. Odessa Jackalopes – 7:05 p.m.

The Corpus Christi IceRays will play at home for the only time in the month of January against the Odessa Jackalopes at the American Bank Center. The last time these two teams met on Nov. 22, the IceRays completed the sweep with a 4-3 win in overtime on a penalty shot by Wes Michaud. The IceRays now lead the season series 4-0-0 and have now won five-straight games against Odessa dating back to last season. Over their histories, the IceRays are 22-13-2 against the Jackalopes. This will be the final weekend at the American Bank Center before playing the other six games in the series at the Ector County Coliseum.
 

PROMOTIONS: On Friday, the IceRays will be hosting the Ultimate VIP Experience thanks to The Beach 96.5. One lucky fan will be bringing nine friends to sit in the rink side suite and enjoy Friday's game along with participation in intermission games, dropping the ceremonial puck, and skating on the ice for free post-game. The contest winner will be announced on Tuesday, January 6 by Drew Stone on The Beach 96.5 Morning Show. Friday is also Frosty Friday with $1 beers on tap. On Saturday, the IceRays are hosting their first Oil Industry Night presented by Baker Hughes, Corpus Christi Freightliner, Laguna Wealth Services, and AutoNation Ford and Oil Industry Job Fair in partnership with Workforce Solutions (more information below). The IceRays will be wearing special oil-themed jerseys that will be auctioned off post-game with proceeds benefitting CASA of the Coastal Bend. Saturday is also a Caller-Times Family 4-Pack Night, in which fans can purchase four tickets, four hot dogs, and four sodas for just $46.

The Odessa Jackalopes finished last weekend in a sweep at the hands of the Lone Star Brahmas 5-0 and 5-2 from the NYTEX Sports Center in North Richland Hills, Texas. Forwards Derek Brown and Leo Lumm claimed the Jackalopes' only goals on the weekend in Saturday's loss. Goaltender Tanner Creel played both games during the series, saving 42 of 52 shots in back-to-back losses. The Jacks were also outshot 52-38.

The IceRays (16-11-5) have seen their gap in the South Division increase over the last two games, now nine points behind the Wichita Falls Wildcats (23-8-0) for third place with 37 points overall. In addition, the lead over fifth place is shrinking with the Wenatchee Wild (13-16-6) claiming three points in their last three games though the IceRays have three games at-hand over the Wild. The Jackalopes (8-23-4) remain at the bottom of the South Division, sitting nine points out of a playoff spot with 20 points this season.

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

ICERAYS BITS…

The IceRays remain without a road win this season as well as a shootout win in the two years under Head Coach John Becanic. The IceRays are 0-9-5 this season in true road games, their longest stretch without a road win in franchise history. In addition, the team is 0-14 under Becanic in shootouts during his two-year tenure including a 0-4 record just this season. Their last road win came on Mar. 23, 2014 in a 3-0 shutout of Rio Grande Valley, and their last shootout win was on Mar. 9, 2013 in a 5-4 win over Wichita Falls at home.

The IceRays own the second-longest active home winning streak in the NAHL with nine-straight wins. They only trail Lone Star (16) for first. The IceRays moved into second place in home point percentage (.889) trailing the Brahmas (.947) in that category. Topeka (.886) and Wichita Falls (.875) rank third and fourth, respectively.

Of the road games this season, the IceRays have allowed the first goal in 12 of those 14 games. The only times the IceRays scored first in a road game were on Oct. 24 against Amarillo (5-4 SOL) and Nov. 29 against Rio Grande Valley (5-3 L). Of the five non-regulation losses, four of them were a result of an IceRays comeback after trailing in the game. Only in one game did the IceRays give up a lead to allow overtime (Oct. 24 @ AMA).

IN THE COMMUNITY…

Stinger Ray and a few IceRays players will be visiting the new Calallen Whataburger on Thursday, January 8th from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. to help celebrate their grand opening. The players will be available for autographs and photos with community members. Whataburger will also have a photobooth, prize wheel, face painting, and more for entertainment. This event is open to the public.

The IceRays in partnership with Workforce Solutions are hosting their first Oil Industry Job Fair on Saturday, January 10 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the American Bank Center Arena. Potential job seekers looking for work and/or networking opportunities within the oil industry are invited to come and meet with various companies in Corpus Christi to network and seek employment. The event will lead right up to the IceRays game at 7:05 p.m.

The IceRays will the Ronald McDonald House on Sunday evening to help feed the families living within the community. This is the second appearance by the team this month. This event is not open to the public.

– Go IceRays –