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 2015-16 season.
Friday, February 26: Odessa Jackalopes 3, IceRays 2 (OT)
Shots: Jackalopes 36, IceRays 38
PP: Jackalopes 1-for-6, IceRays 1-for-6
The Corpus Christi IceRays (19-22-6) battled the Odessa Jackalopes (20-21-4) to force overtime but fell 3-2 on Friday night at the American Bank Center.
Jackalopes forward Hampus Sjodahl (18:31 1st) netted the game’s first goal and only tally in the first period before a breakaway by IceRays forward Brendan Miller (5:54 2nd) tied the game, 1-1. After the end of a 5-on-3 power play, Jackalopes defenseman Daniel Kiraly (PP, 13:37 tucked in the advancing goal, 2-1. IceRays forward Regen Cavanagh (PP, 0:35 3rd) threaded the Odessa defense on a 5-on-3 power play to tie the game, 2-2, and ultimately force overtime. Jackalopes forward Derek Brown (0:17 OT) received the puck off the faceoff draw and took the game in his hands, sealing the 3-2 road win.
Jackalopes goaltender Jon Flakne (12-7-2) stopped 36 of 38 shots in the win, while IceRays netminder Graham Hunt (10-13-4) turned aside 33 of 36 shot in the overtime loss.
Saturday, February 27: Odessa Jackalopes 4, IceRays 3
Shots: Jackalopes 39, IceRays 48
PP: Jackalopes 1-for-2, IceRays 1-for-4
The Corpus Christi IceRays (19-23-5) charged back in the second and third periods but slipped 4-3 to the Odessa Jackalopes (21-21-4) on Saturday night at the American Bank Center.
Jackalopes forward Brennan Miller (6:29 1st) struck first with a tap-in on the game's opening goal followed by teammate Gray Marr (10:42 1st) off a turnover in the IceRays zone to double the lead, 2-0, heading into the second period. In that frame, Jackalopes defenseman Cooper Zech (PP, 11:05 2nd) fought a shot through traffic to triple the lead, 3-0. The IceRays answered back with two in the second period coming from forward Carter Johnson (PP, 13:20 2nd) at an odd angle to the right side and defenseman Cody Lichtenvoort (15:38 2nd) on a rebound to draw within one, 3-2. IceRays forward Jimmy O'Brien (2:55 3rd) tied the game, 3-3, to mark the largest comeback this season. However, Miller (17:23 3rd) jammed home the game-winner to seal the sweep and win, 4-3.
Jackalopes goaltender Dean Shatzer (9-12-3) earned the win, saving 45 of 48 shots, while IceRays netminder Graham Hunt (10-14-4) turned aside 35 of 39 shots in the loss.
Friday, March 4 @ Odessa Jackalopes – 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, March 5 @ Odessa Jackalopes – 7:05 p.m.
The Corpus Christi IceRays continue their four-game stretch with the Odessa Jackalopes and make their last trip to the Ector County Coliseum. The Jackalopes swept for the IceRays at home for the first time in junior franchise history and in the process are now even in the season series, going 4-2-2 with four games remaining. The losses were the first in nine games against the Jacaklopes at home, and as the series moves to Odessa the IceRays record turns to 14-11-3 at the Ector County Coliseum, where the IceRays have won two-straight.
South Division Recap:
All six teams were back in action last weekend, and the Wichita Falls Wildcats came back into action and swept the Amarillo Bulls at home and extend their home streak to nine-straight wins while keeping atop the South Division standings as the first team in the division to earn a playoff berth. The Lone Star Brahmas continued their eight-game homestand with a sweep of the Topeka RoadRunners to solidify themselves in the top-two of the division and also earn a postseason berth. With the road sweep, the Odessa Jackalopes move ahead of the Corpus Christi IceRays for the final playoff spot while also putting the Bulls on thin ice. Amarillo is four points away from being eliminated from playoff contention.
South Division Standings:
x-Wichita Falls Wildcats 36-9-4, 76 points
x-Lone Star Brahmas 32-11-7, 71 points
Topeka RoadRunners 28-20-1, 57 points
Odessa Jackalopes 21-21-4, 46 points
Corpus Christi IceRays 19-23-6, 44 points
Amarillo Bulls 11-33-4, 26 points
x – clinched playoff berth
IN THE NEWS…
On Saturday afternoon, the IceRays organization made history during the 2nd period of a game between the St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators. Alum Pheonix Copley ('10-'11) was entered into the game for goaltender Jake Allen, making him the first player in junior franchise history to earn ice time in the NHL. Copley played 24:26 minutes of the Blues 5-0 loss to the Predators, making five saves on six shots before being returned to the Chicago Wolves. Copley was on his second stint in the NHL this season and joins Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Garbutt ('09-'10) as the only two players in the 18-year history of the IceRays to play in the NHL.
The IceRays closed out the month of February on a sour note, falling to 2-5-2 through nine games and falling below fourth place in the South Division standings for the first time since December 19 (21 games), which was the start of a five-game win streak. The team has dropped eight of their last ten games and has earned a 5-9-3 record since that five-game win streak. The month is the second-lowest in terms of win percentage (.222) and point percentage (.333), now only above the totals for November (1-3-1, .200 win pct., .300 point pct.).
Saturday's game set a new season-high for shots in one game for the IceRays (48), overtaking the mark made on December 11 against Amarillo (2-1 W) and sitting only six shots under the junior franchise all-time mark set in the inaugural junior game on Sep. 16, 2010 against the Chicago Hitmen (5-4 W). The IceRays have recorded 40+ shots in eight of the team's 48 games this season, recording three goals or less in six of eight games and totaling 20 goals (2.50 goals per game) while taking on Amarillo in five of those contests and Odessa in two. In those situations, the team averages a 5.80% shot conversion rate, which falls well below their season percentage (8.10%), though they rank 16th in the NAHL in converting this season and fifth in the South Division.
– Defend The Bend –