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PREVIEW: ICERAYS @ BRAHMAS (GAME #19)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS @ LONE STAR BRAHMAS

Saturday, November 12 • 7:30 P.M. • NYTEX Sports Centre • North Richland Hills, TX
NAHL Game #162 • Game #19 • Road Game #12 • Series: LSB leads 1-0-0-0
Radio: SportsRadio CC (KSIX 1230AM) • Video: Hockey TV • Twitter: @goicerays

Coverage begins at 7:15 p.m. with Countdown To Faceoff

Tonight’s Game: The IceRays finish up their two-game weekend set and continue their four-game home-and-home series against the Lone Star Brahmas from the NYTEX Sports Centre.

Head-To-Head: The Brahmas earned the first win of the 11-game season series and have now won the opening game against the IceRays for the first time in their four-year franchise series. Over the last three seasons, the IceRays own a 12-13-4 record against the Brahmas including going 3-9-3 at the NYTEX Sports Centre.

Last Night: The IceRays ran into penalty trouble in the third period, quelling a comeback during their 3-1 loss to the Brahmas on Friday night from the NYTEX Sports Centre. Brahmas forward Austin O’Rourke (8:14 1st) opened the scoring for the home side from the high slot to take a 1-0 lead. The IceRays answered back later in the frame with the first NAHL goal by forward Cole Gammer (13:58 1st) to tie the game, 1-1. Before the end of the frame, Brahmas forward Carson Kelley (18:41 1st) edged the home team ahead 2-1 with a re-direction in front of the net. After a tight second period and penalties setting back the IceRays in the third period, Brahmas forward Drake Glover (PP, 12:20 3rd) added insurance to their eventual 3-1 win. Brahmas netminder Alec Calvaruso (7-1-0) halted 27 of 28 shots in the win, while IceRays goaltender Tomáš Vomáčka stopped 27 of 30 shots in the loss.

Trouble With Dubs: IceRays goaltender Tomáš Vomáčka has struggled to pick up wins over the last month of the season including last night’s game. The loss to the Brahmas is the fourth-straight loss over the last calendar month and hasn’t seen a win since October 7 in Topeka (4-1 W). In his last four starts, the Czech goaltender has conceded 12 goals (3.00 goals per game) and held opponents to three goals or less in three of those four. However, he’s only seen more than 30 shots once, and his team has scored just one goal in three of those four games with the lone exception on October 28 against Shreveport (5-4 L).

Power Outage: The IceRays power play unit continues to have difficulties picking up goals after a hot start to the season. Last night’s blanking by the Brahmas penalty kill is now the fourth-straight game without a power play goal and the sixth time over their last seven games with an attempt. The IceRays power play is scoreless in their last seven attempts and owns a 3-for-20 (15.00%) conversion rate in that seven-game span. The IceRays started the season with conversions in seven of their first ten games.

Streak Busters: The loss last night ended three different point streaks for the IceRays with all three coming on the same line. Forward David Baskerville saw his first four-game point streak come to an end after picking up five points (2 goals, 3 assists) including his first NAHL goal. Center Mason Krueger had two different streaks finish last night: his goal-scoring streak, which stops at four games with five goals as well as his point-scoring streak, which now closes at five games and eight points (5 goals, 3 assists). Forward Brad Power also came up without a point last night to close his seven-game point streak stemming from October 14 against Odessa after racking up nine points (3 goals, 6 assists) and the team’s longest point-scoring streak of the season. He finished two games away from tying the all-time junior franchise record for point-scoring streaks set in the 2014-15 season (9 games).

Pipe And Drape: The Brahmas have been led largely by their goaltending performance to the top of the South Division thanks to Alec Calvaruso and Erik Gordon. The two goaltenders have become the best 1-2 tandem in the NAHL, each earning goals-against averages under 2.00 and save percentages at .930 or above and are the only pair of goaltenders for the same team to accomplish the feat. In fact, they’re just two of three goaltenders who have that across the entire league with Gordon sitting second in the NAHL in both categories and Calvaruso in third in both instances. The only loss taken by the pair came last week on November 4 against Topeka in a 3-2 home loss.

Veteran Presence: While the Brahmas only have five returning veteran skaters on this year’s lineup, those players are helping to continue the success earned last season in Brahmaland. Four of the five players are among the top-seven scorers on the team as well as the eight players with ten points or more on the team. Forward Peter Kessel leads all Brahmas veterans with 19 points followed right behind by Carson Kelley with 18 points. Forward Troy York is second in goals (10) and defenseman John Zimmerman leads Brahmas defensemen in points (14) and all skaters in assists (14).

South Division Standings:
Lone Star Brahmas (15-3-1-0, 31 PTS)

Shreveport Mudbugs (10-5-0-1, 21 PTS)
Corpus Christi IceRays (8-7-1-2, 19 PTS)
Wichita Falls Wildcats (8-5-2-0, 18 PTS)
Amarillo Bulls (6-8-5-0, 17 PTS)
Topeka RoadRunners (7-10-1-1, 16 PTS)
Odessa Jackalopes (7-9-1-0, 15 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays return home to continue their four-game series with the Lone Star Brahmas on Friday, Nov. 18 at 7:05 p.m. from the American Bank Center. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on SportsJuice.com, Hockey TV, and 87.7FM in-arena.