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 2016-17 season.
Friday, April 28: IceRays 3, Lone Star Brahmas 4 (OT)
Shots: IceRays 18, Brahmas 21
PP: IceRays 0-for-1, Brahmas 0-for-2
The Corpus Christi IceRays (3-0-1) saw a third period lead slip away in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Lone Star Brahmas (4-0-0) on Game 1 of the South Division Finals on Friday night from the NYTEX Sports Centre.
Brahmas forward Troy York (3:44 2nd) opened the scoring in the second period on a cross-ice pass from Simon Loof to take the 1-0 lead. The IceRays answered back with three-straight goals starting with forward David Baskerville (5:01 2nd) caused by a Brendan Miller turnover to tie the game, 1-1. IceRays center Cole Filler (16:19 2nd) answered next with a snipe from the left circle on a rush, and IceRays forward Griffin Loughran (17:45 2nd) converted on a breakaway to take a 3-1 lead. After a disallowed IceRays goal, the Brahmas came back with two in the third period from forwards Austin O’Rourke (13:17 3rd) and York (19:36 3rd) to force overtime, 3-3. Brahmas forward Justin Addamo (2:26 OT) finished the job in the extra period to take the 4-3 win.
Brahmas goaltender Max Prawdzik (4-0-0) halted 15 of 18 shots in the win, while IceRays netminder Tomáš Vomáčka (3-0-1) stopped 17 of 21 shots in the overtime loss.
Saturday, April 29: IceRays 3, Lone Star Brahmas 0
Shots: IceRays 29, Brahmas 36
PP: IceRays 0-for-2, Brahmas 0-for-5
The Corpus Christi IceRays (4-0-1) awarded the Lone Star Brahmas (4-1-0) their first shutout loss of the season with a 3-0 victory on Game 2 of the South Division Finals on Saturday night from the NYTEX Sports Centre.
IceRays defenseman Cody Fleckenstein (3:02 1st) began the scoring early with a one-time shot on a rush to jump out with an early 1-0 lead. The IceRays added a second that period thanks to a spinning shot by forward Nathan Bryer (13:38 1st) to double the lead, 2-0. Despite five penalty kills including a 5-on-3 in the second period, the IceRays kept the Brahmas at bay and added another tally from forward David Baskerville (8:21 2nd) to triple the lead at 3-0. The Brahmas swapped goalies and even pulled for the extra skater midway through the third period, but the IceRays silenced the Brahmas 3-0.
IceRays netminder Tomáš Vomáčka (4-0-1) stopped all 36 shots faced. Brahmas goaltender Max Prawdzik (4-1-0) picked up the loss, stopping 16 of 19 shots in 28:21 minutes, and Alec Calvaruso turned away all 10 shots in 25:59 minutes of relief.
Tuesday, May 2 vs. Lone Star Brahmas – 7:15 p.m.
Wednesday, May 3 vs. Lone Star Brahmas – 7:15 p.m.
Saturday, May 6 @ Lone Star Brahmas – 7:30 p.m. (if necessary)
The Corpus Christi IceRays will conclude their South Division Final against the Lone Star Brahmas this week starting at the Dr. Pepper StarCenter in McKinney, Texas for two neutral ice home games and, if, necessary, Game 5 at the NYTEX Sports Centre on Saturday. The IceRays split their first weekend on the road to even the series at 1-1, scoring three goals in each contest to improve their season record against the Brahmas to 5-5-2-1. The IceRays are now 2-4-1-0 at the NYTEX Sports Centre this season and overall 5-13-3 over the last four years. The IceRays own an all-time 17-17-7 record against the Brahmas.
South Division Finals (Best-of-Five):
#1 Lone Star Brahmas vs. #3 Corpus Christi IceRays
Game 1: IceRays @ Brahmas – LSB wins 4-3 (OT)
Game 2:IceRays @ Brahmas – COR wins 3-0
Game 3: Brahmas @ IceRays – Tuesday, May 2 @ 7:15 p.m.
Game 4: Brahmas @ IceRays – Wednesday, May 3 @ 7:15 p.m.
**Game 5: IceRays @ Brahmas – Saturday, May 6 @ 7:30 p.m.
South Division Semifinals (Best-of-Five):
#1 Lone Star Brahmas vs. #4 Wichita Falls Wildcats
Brahmas Won Series 3-0
Game 1: Wildcats @ Brahmas – LSB wins 3-0
Game 2: Wildcats @ Brahmas – LSB wins 3-0
Game 3: Brahmas @ Wildcats – LSB wins 4-3 (OT)
#2 Shreveport Mudbugs vs. #3 Corpus Christi IceRays
IceRays Won Series 3-0
Game 1: IceRays @ Mudbugs – COR wins 2-0
Game 2: IceRays @ Mudbugs – COR wins 5-3
Game 3: Mudbugs @ IceRays – COR wins 2-1 (OT)
This series is one of two across the NAHL division finals to be even through two games. The #2 Minnesota Wilderness and #4 Aberdeen Wings both traded wins in similar fashions to this series for a 1-1 tie in the Central Division Finals. The top-seeded Aston Rebels own a 2-0 series lead in the East Division Finals against the #3 New Jersey Titans, and the #1 Janesville Jets hold a grapple on the Midwest Division Finals with a 2-0 series lead over the #2 Fairbanks Ice Dogs. The winners of these series will be re-seeded at the Robertson Cup Semifinals next Thursday.
The IceRays will be playing both their South Division Finals home games at the Dr. Pepper StarCenter in McKinney, Texas this Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. The facility is one of seven practice and community rinks in the greater Dallas area owned and operated by the Dallas Stars. The facility hosts two regulation-size ice sheets with room for around 420 spectators in the South Rink, the location of both home playoff games. Tickets will be sold at the Dr. Pepper StarCenter on the day of the game at $12 for reserved seating and $10 for standing room only. Tickets will be available the day of the game at the door.
The North American Hockey League handed out awards last week for the 2016-17 season, and goaltender Tomáš Vomáčka earned both South Division Goaltender of the Year and NAHL All-Rookie Team honors. The Trutnov, Czech Republic native capped an impressive first season in North America with a 19-13-6 record through 41 games with a 2.43 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage, recording the best numbers for an IceRays goaltender in franchise history and earning a spot on the NAHL Selects roster for the 2017 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament.
In addition, IceRays general manager Pat Dunn was also named NAHL Executive of the Year during the league-wide awards. Dunn helped lead the IceRays organization to a fourth-straight attendance lead with over 3,000 fans per game now in 13-straight seasons and 18 of the franchise’s 19 years. Plus, the IceRays organization surpassed two million fans during the 2016-17 season while battling one of the toughest economic years to-date.
Defensive strength continues to be the framework for the IceRays in the playoffs, and Saturday’s win is evidence of that. The IceRays are the only team in the 2017 NAHL Playoffs with two shutouts and are tied for the best goals against per game (1.60) as well as fewest goals against (8) among both remaining and eliminated teams, joining the Janesville Jets at the same number through five games. While teams have outshot the IceRays in all five games, they own the second-best save percentage (.951) behind the Jets (.956) while taking on more shots. As a comparison in the South Division, the Lone Star Brahmas average 2.40 goals per game (6th of 16), the Shreveport Mudbugs have a 3.00 goals per game (10th of 16), and the Wichita Falls Wildcats finished at 4.67 goals per game (16th of 16).
IceRays forward David Baskerville has found a new level of production in the playoffs, only adding to his value for the team on the ice. After leading the IceRays in blocked shots and making his mark with his defensive performance, the Eden, N.Y. native now has points in three of his last four games, all of which include one goal to share the team lead in goals and points. Baskerville owned a six-game point streak during the regular season but only recorded seven goals during his 27 points. He now shares the lead for most postseason goals by an IceRays player both for a single-playoff and career. His line with Nathan Bryer and Brendan Miller own a combined 10 points through five games, which is 27.03% of the team’s total production (37 points), and their six combined goals is 40.00% of the team’s goals (15).