PREIVEW: ICERAYS @ ROADRUNNERS (GAME #2)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

at

TOPEKA ROADRUNNERS

Sunday, September 20 at 6:05 P.M.

Game #2 • Road Game #2 • NAHL Game #19 • Series: COR leads 1-0
Landon Arena, Kansas ExpoCentre • Topeka, Kansas
Radio: SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX 1230AM) • Mobile: TuneIn Radio

Video: FASTHockey.com • Twitter: @goicerays

Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. with Countdown To Faceoff

Tonight’s Game: The IceRays finish their opening weekend series against the Topeka RoadRunners from the Kansas ExpoCentre in Topeka, Kan. The IceRays have a chance to earn their first weekend sweep of the RoadRunners in franchise history.

Head-To-Head: Following last night’s win, the IceRays take the first game of the eight-game season series and their third win against Topeka in six years. Historically, the IceRays own a 3-17-3 record over the past five seasons. Their lone wins: Feb. 1, 2013 (3-2 SOW @ TOP); Oct. 17, 2015 (4-3 OTW at home); Sep. 18, 2015 (3-1 W @ TOP).

Last Night: The IceRays gained their first season-opening win since 2012, claiming a 3-1 victory over Topeka. IceRays forward Andrew McGlynn (18:59, 1st) scored the first goal of the season on a knuckler from the left wall. Topeka evened the score, 1-1, with an odd-angle shot by forward Matt Jennings (10:14, 2nd) before the IceRays gained their second of the night. Defenseman Michael Bevilacqua (19:47, 2nd) took advantage of a delayed penalty call late in the middle frame to move ahead, 2-1. Following a turnover in neutral territory, IceRays forward Ryan Cusin (7:09, 3rd) sent a one-timer from defenseman C.J. Valerian into an open net on a two-on-one rush. IceRays netminder Graham Hunt (1-0-0) earned the win, stopping 24 of 25 shots, while RoadRunners goaltender Vladimir Cibulka (1-1-0) picked up the loss, turning away 14 of 17 shots.

Solid Start: With their win last night, the IceRays improve to 3-2-1 on opening night since 2010, outscoring their opponents 16-15. Last night was also the first time a season-opening game was separated by more than one goal. The IceRays also have their first opportunity to sweep an opening series. Over their last two seasons, the IceRays fell on opening night to the RoadRunners. In their first three seasons, the IceRays opened the year at the NAHL Showcase.

Topeka Trouble: IceRays goaltender Dryden McKay has been a thorn in the side for Topeka since joining the NAHL. In six games with the Springfield Jr. Blues last season, the 17-year-old earned a 4-2-0 record with a sub-2.20 goals-against average and a sub-.940 save percentage against the RoadRunners. The Illinois native held the RoadRunners to two goals or less in all four wins while allowing four goals in each of his two losses. McKay finished the 2014-15 season eighth in save percentage (.917).

The First, The Few: IceRays forward Andrew McGlynn joins five other players as the first to record a season-opening goal in junior franchise history, including Sam Cheraso (2010), Josh Obregon (2011), Ian McGilvrey (2012), Danny Middleton (2013), and Travis Howe (2014). McGlynn’s goal is the third-latest season-opening goal behind Obregon (PP, 2:45 1st), Howe (8:51 1st), and Middleton (14:40 1st). Five of the six first-goal scorers were forwards (Howe, defenseman), and only one of those goals came after the first game of the season: Cheraso in game two of the NAHL Showcase (5-4 W vs. CHI).

Not That Tyler Johnson: Topeka goaltender Tyler Johnson enters his first season in the NAHL from a storied Compuware U18 program in the HPHL. Johnson played 12 games last season and finished with a 3.50 goals-against average and a .813 save percentage. He did appear in one game for the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). He was drafted in the 7th Round (127th overall) in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection Draft.

Edging Out: The Topeka RoadRunners begin the season with two losses in their first three games for the first time since 2012 and only the second time since traveling to Topeka in 2007. The RoadRunners did also drop two of three to start the year in 2004-05 in Santa Fe. The franchise has never dropped three of their first four games as a junior organization and have never been swept or lost a weekend series against the IceRays.

Playing Like Pros: The NAHL instituted two rule changes that will effect play after regulation. To follow the NHL and USA Hockey models making changes, the NAHL also shifted its overtime to 3-on-3 for five minutes in order to dilute the chances of shootouts in the regular season. The shootout format has also changed, reducing from a best-of-five to a best-of-three, a format the NHL currently uses. The additional bonus to both format changes allow games to end at a faster rate when going into extra play.

South Division Standings:
Wichita Falls Wildcats (1-0-0, 2 PTS)
Amarillo Bulls (1-1-0, 2 PTS)
Corpus Christi IceRays (1-0-0, 2 PTS)
Lone Star Brahmas (1-0-0, 2 PTS)
Topeka RoadRunners (1-2-0, 2 PTS)
Odessa Jackalopes (0-1-0, 0 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays begin the 2015 NAHL Showcase on Wednesday, September 23 at 1:30 p.m. against the Johnstown Tomahawks at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minn. Coverage of the NAHL Showcase is provided exclusively on www.FASTHockey.com.