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.
Thursday, September 15: IceRays 4, Wichita Falls Wildcats 3 (OT)
Shots: IceRays 32, Wildcats 32
PP: IceRays 3-for-6, Wildcats 1-for-4
The Corpus Christi IceRays (1-0-0-0) opened the 2016-17 regular season with a 4-3 overtime win against the Wichita Falls Wildcats on Thursday night at the Kay Yeager Coliseum.
IceRays forward Mason Krueger (1:44 1st) re-directed a shot from the blue line to take an early 1-0 lead before Wildcats forward Ryan Burnett (11:04 1st) tucked in a second-chance play to tie the game, 1-1. On the team’s first power play, IceRays defenseman Cody Fleckenstein (PP, 12:09 1st) bounced a puck off the boards and a defenseman to take a 2-1 lead. Forward David Thomson (PP, 9:34 2nd) one-timed a shot from the left circle to double the lead, 3-1, before the Wildcats pushed back. Defenseman Ryan Orgel (PP, 3:04 3rd) and forward Ricky Carballo (13:32 3rd) each capitalized to tie the game, 3-3, and force overtime. Thomson (PP, 3:40 OT) cashed in on another man-advantage to seal the 4-3 win.
Tomáš Vomáčka (1-0-0) saved 29 of 32 shots in the win, while Evan Moyse (0-0-2) stopped 28 of 32 shots in the loss.
Friday, September 16: IceRays 1, Wichita Falls Wildcats 6
Shots: IceRays 21, Wildcats 31
PP: IceRays 0-for-5, Wildcats 0-for-6
The Corpus Christi IceRays (1-1-0-0) were overpowered in a 6-1 loss to the Wichita Falls Wildcats (1-0-2-0) on Friday night at the Kay Yeager Coliseum.
The Wildcats scored four goals in the first period including two from forward Ryan Burnett (SH, 4:57 1st; 19:33 1st) and tallies from forwards Ilya Skvortsov (3:51 1st) and Ricky Carballo (12:34 1st) to take a commanding 4-0 lead after the first period. The Wildcats would tack on two more in each of the final two periods thanks to forward Aleksi Poikola (1:51 2nd) and Isaac Kobienia (7:33 3rd) to take a 6-0 lead before IceRays forward Andy McGlynn (12:08 3rd) took away the shutout and set the scoreline to its final, 6-1.
Evan Moyse (1-0-2) stopped 20 of 21 shots in the win, while Tomáš Vomáčka (1-1-0) saved 25 of 31 in the loss.
Saturday, September 17: IceRays 2, Wichita Falls Wildcats 5
Shots: IceRays 26, Wildcats 34
PP: IceRays 1-for-6, Wildcats 1-for-9
The Corpus Christi IceRays (1-2-0-0) slipped in the third period of a very physical 5-2 loss to the Wichita Falls Wildcats (2-0-2-0) on Saturday night at the Kay Yeager Coliseum.
IceRays forward Brad Power (4:36 2nd) opened the scoring on a two-on-one in the middle frame to take a 1-0 lead before Wildcats forwards Ryan Burnett (PP, 16:21 2nd) and Aleksi Poikola (18:44 2nd) turned the tide with two quick goals to gain a 2-1 lead. The IceRays answered on the man-advantage thanks to forward David Thomson (PP, 8:34 3rd) to tie the game, 2-2. Wildcats defensemen Domantas Cypas (13:27 3rd) and Jonathan Waring (16:02, 3rd; EN, 16:37 3rd) took back the game for the home side, giving the Wildcats the 5-2 win late.
Evan Moyse (2-0-2) halted 24 of 26 shots in the win, while Tomáš Vomáčka (1-2-0) turned aside 29 of 33 shots in the loss.
Wednesday, September 21 @ Aberdeen Wings – 2:15 p.m.
Thursday, September 22 vs. Minnesota Magicians – 10:15 a.m.
Friday, September 23 vs. Brookings Blizzard – 1:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 24 @ New Jersey Titans – 9:30 a.m.
The Corpus Christi IceRays embark on the 2016 NAHL Showcase this week, playing four games in four days at the league’s premier scouting event. The IceRays have appeared in 24 NAHL Showcase games over the last six seasons, recording a 11-10-3 record. Last season, the IceRays earned a 1-3-0 record including a comeback overtime victory against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. The IceRays have never played any of their four opponents prior to this week.
The Aberdeen Wings are now led by a familiar head coach: Scott Langer, who spent 12 seasons leading the Topeka RoadRunners and six of those against the IceRays. Under Langer-led teams, the IceRays are 7-19-4 over the last six seasons, however the IceRays earned a sparkling 4-1-1 record against the RoadRunners under Langer including the first weekend sweep of the team (Jan. 1-2), the first winning record against Topeka (5-2-1 total record) and a 5-3-2 record over the last two seasons. The Wings earned a 22-27-11 record, finishing sixth in the Central Division, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2012-13.
The Minnesota Magicians are also working with a new head coach this season that’s familiar with the NAHL: Scott Meyer, who returns for his second full season and third total year. Meyer took over as Interim Head Coach in November 2015 and led the Magicians to a 24-28-8 record, missing the playoffs by one win after sharing fourth place in the Central Division with the Brookings Blizzard but dropping by virtue of tie-breakers. The Magicians have yet to have a winning season in three years but made the playoffs in 2014-15. The franchise was formerly the New Mexico Mustangs, members of the South Division for two seasons from 2010-12.
The Brookings Blizzard just made the playoffs last season in fourth place, finishing with a 25-29-6 record despite falling in the Divisional Semifinals to the Bismarck Bobcats. The Blizzard have kept the same mascot name since their inception prior to the 2004-05 season but have changed city names two times, going from “Minnesota” to “Alexandria” (despite being based in Alexandria for both instances) and finally to “Brookings” starting in 2012-13. The Blizzard have made the NAHL Playoffs two times in the last four seasons, finishing as high as third in the Central Division since their first season in Brookings.
The New Jersey Titans enter their second season in the NAHL after a dazzling first year, finishing with a 34-22-4 record and second in the newly-formed East Division, just two points behind the Aston Rebels. The IceRays have played the franchise over the last six seasons but as the Soo Eagles in 2012, taking down the former Eagles 4-3 in overtime on the opening day of the NAHL Showcase thanks to three goals in the third period and a Perry D’Arrisso goal just 40 seconds into the extra period. The Titans made a statement at the NAHL Showcase last year, finishing a perfect 4-0-0 including defeating the Robertson Cup Runner-Up, the Wichita Falls Wildcats, 4-3 in a shootout on the final day.
South Division Outlook:
Six of the seven South Division teams are now active in the 2016-17 season ahead of the 2016 NAHL Showcase. The Wichita Falls Wildcats have now earned points in all four games played including earning wins in two of three games against the Corpus Christi IceRays to take an early lead in the division. The Lone Star Brahmas earned a commanding 7-1 road win over the Amarillo Bulls to begin their season, the Odessa Jackalopes remained idle after one game last week, and the Topeka RoadRunners were halted in all three games to start the year against the reigning Robertson Cup Champions, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs.
|WICHITA FALLS WILDCATS||4||2||0||2||0||6||.750||2-0-0-0|
|LONE STAR BRAHMAS||1||1||0||0||0||2||1.000||1-0-0-0|
|CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS||3||1||2||0||0||2||.333||1-2-0-0|
IceRays forward David Thomson continues to be an exceptional weapon on the power play early in the season. In three games last week, the 19-year-old earned three power play goals including two (and the game-winner) in Thursday’s 4-3 overtime win. With an assist, Thomson shares the team lead in points with Cody Fleckenstein and sits tied for second in the NAHL in points as well as first in power play goals.