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 19: IceRays 4, Amarillo Bulls 2
Shots: IceRays 32, Bulls 40
PP: IceRays 2-for-2, Bulls 0-for-4
Early goals helped the Corpus Christi IceRays (19-21-5) sink the Amarillo Bulls (10-31-4) 4-2 on Friday night at the Amarillo Civic Center.
IceRays defenseman Colton Meekhof (4:27 1st) put up the game’s first goal with an open shot in the right circle followed by another from the same area but coming from forward Regen Cavanagh (PP, 12:45 1st) to double the lead, 2-0. Meekhof set up IceRays forward Mason Krueger (PP, 1:51 2nd), who was open again on the right side to triple the lead, 3-0. Bulls forward Michael Forman (6:25 2nd) answered for the home side and cut the lead to 3-1. Bulls forward George Mika redirected a shot in front of the net to draw within one, 3-2. With the Bulls netminder pulled, IceRays forward Drake Lindsay set up Cavanagh (EN, 19:05 3rd) for his second of the night and the sealing goal, 4-2.
IceRays goaltender Dryden McKay (9-8-2) earned the win, stopping 38 of 40 shots, while Bulls goalie Brian Baker (2-16-0) picked up the loss, turning away 28 of 31 shots.
Saturday, February 20: IceRays 3, Amarillo Bulls 5
Shots: IceRays 40, Bulls 41
PP: IceRays 1-for-5, Bulls 2-for-4
The Corpus Christi IceRays (19-22-5) saw their lead slip away and fell 5-3 to the Amarillo Bulls (11-31-4) on Saturday night at the Amarillo Civic Center.
IceRays forward Mason Krueger (4:17 1st) picked up the game's first goal early on to give the road side an early 1-0 lead before Bulls forward Coale Norris (PP, 10:26 1st) tied the game, 1-1, on the man-advantage. IceRays forward Carter Johnson (PP, 11:55 1st) tapped in an open puck behind the netminder to take back the lead, 2-1, and IceRays forward Nathan Bryer (17:59 1st) doubled the lead, 3-1, with a push in front of the Bulls net. The Bulls came back in the second and third periods with four-unanswered goals from defenseman Phil Fromberger (7:50 2nd), defenseman Jeff Solow (PP, 9:16 2nd), forward Joey DiBenedetto (6:11 3rd) and forward Jacob Nitsche (EN, 18:53 3rd) to take a 5-3 win over the IceRays.
Bulls netminder Anton Martinsson (10-25-4) earned the win, saving 37 of 40 shots, while IceRays goaltender Dryden McKay (8-8-2) turned aside 30 of 33 shots in the shootout loss.
Friday, February 26 vs. Odessa Jackalopes – 7:11 p.m.
Saturday, February 27 vs. Odessa Jackalopes – 7:11 p.m.
The Corpus Christi IceRays begin a pivotal four-game stretch with two at the American Bank Center against the Odessa Jackalopes. The IceRays have held the season series firmly, going 4-1-1 with half of the season set still to play. Over the last two-plus seasons, the IceRays have been a perfect 13-0-0 at home against Odessa while holding a 19-3-0 record all-time at The Bank. The last home loss to the Jackalopes came on Jan. 17, 2014 (5-2 L). Overall, the IceRays are 33-14-3 in games against the Jackalopes.
PROMOTIONS: Friday evening's game brings about another Frosty Friday with one-dollar beer and sodas all evening long. Saturday night is the first ever Heart Night, presented by AutoNation Ford, the Coastal Cardiology Association, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Mattress Firm, and Setton Farms. The IceRays will be wearing special heart-themed jerseys both Friday and Saturday night that will be auctioned off in the Eddie Jackson Post-Game Jersey Auction on Saturday night. In addition, the IceRays will hold a silent auction in the concourse with proceeds from the auctions benefitting the American Heart Association. Saturday night is also a Corpus Christi Caller-Times Family 4-Pack Night, and fans can purchase four tickets, four hot dogs, and four sodas for just $46.
The Odessa Jackalopes earned their second-ever road win against the Lone Star Brahmas while splitting the weekend with a 3-1 loss on Friday and 5-2 win on Saturday at the NYTEX Sports Centre. Team-leading point-scorer Hampus Sjodahl was one of four players to earn multi-point games and the only player with more than one goal on the weekend, scoring three in two games. Forwards Derek Brown and Gray Marr and defenseman Daniel Kiraly each earned two-assist weekends with Kiraly's both on Saturday night. Goaltender Jon Flanke played both games for the Jackalopes, stopping 24 of 27 in Friday's loss and halting 32 of 34 shots in Saturday's win.
South Division Recap:
Two teams were idle last weekend for the final time this season, including the division-leading Wichita Falls Wildcats and third-place squad Topeka RoadRunners, meaning they could neither pick up or lose ground under their own power, relying on the rest of the division to shift the scales. The Lone Star Brahmas moved to five points from first place with their two-point weekend though the Wildcats now have one game in-hand for the rest of the season, and the Brahmas also spread their gap from third place to ten points over Topeka. The Corpus Christi IceRays and Odessa Jackalopes remain one-point away from each other in the battle for the final playoff spot with the Jackalopes holding a two-game advantage in March. The Amarillo Bulls are still in contention but are the long shot with 12 points away from elimination.
South Division Standings:
Wichita Falls Wildcats 34-9-4, 72 points
Lone Star Brahmas 30-11-7, 67 points
Topeka RoadRunners 28-18-1, 57 points
Corpus Christi IceRays 19-22-5, 43 points
Odessa Jackalopes 19-21-4, 42 points
Amarillo Bulls 11-31-4, 22 points
IN THE NEWS…
The IceRays and the American Bank Center are making a joint push to have the city of Corpus Christi to become the next Kraft Hockeyville. Kraft Hockeyville a nationwide competition hosted by Kraft and the National Hockey League (NHL) to search for the most passionate hockey communities in the United States of America. The winning community earns $150,000 in arena upgrades, a NHL pre-season game, and the title of “Kraft Hockeyville.” The IceRays encourage you to share your story at KraftHockeyville.com and nominate the American Bank Center while telling the committee your hockey story and what Corpus Christi hockey means to you. The nomination period ends on March 11.
Two IceRays broke the 100 NAHL game threshold on Saturday night in Amarillo, and both have adorned IceRays uniforms over the past two seasons. Co-captain Nathan Bryer and home alternate captain Mason Krueger each reached the milestone and both scored goals in that contest. Bryer has totaled 18 goals and 21 assists for 39 points over his first 100 games with 30 penalty minutes, two power play goals, and three game-winning goals. Krueger owns 16 goals and 21 assists for 37 points with 72 penalty minutes, three power play goals and three game-winning goals while meeting his career-high in goals with Saturday's tally. This season, Bryer owns six goals and eight assists for 14 points with 12 penalty minutes and a -17 rating, while Krueger has eight goals and 12 assists for 20 points with 41 penalty minutes and a -4 rating.
The IceRays closed out the third quarter of the 2015-16 season with a win, finishing at 6-7-2 with 14 points. The total is rather consistent to the team’s overall record, staying one win over their first quarter record (5-8-2, 12 points) and three under their second (and best) quarter (8-6-1, 17 points). While they were outscored only by five goals (42-37), the IceRays were held to three goals or less in all but two games (both wins) and earned their second shutout of the season in the process. Two players earned at least ten points and three scored at least five goals. Forward Drake Lindsay earned a point per game, earning 12 points (6 goals, 6 assists) in 12 games despite serving a three-game suspension and led all players in all scoring categories during that span. Forward Carter Johnson was right behind him with 11 points (5 goals, 6 assists) and earned the team’s first hat-trick on February 11. Forward Regen Cavanagh also earned five goals during that time.
– Defend The Bend –