PREVIEW: ICERAYS @ BRAHMAS (GAME #35)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

at

LONE STAR BRAHMAS

Saturday, January 16 at 7:30 P.M.

Game #35 • NAHL Game #390 • Series: Tied 2-2
NYTEX Sports Centre • North Richland Hills, TX
Radio: KSIX 1230AM • Video: FASTHockey.com

Mobile: TuneIn Radio Twitter: @goicerays

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

Tonight’s Game: The IceRays close out their six-game January road trip and attempt their first sweep of the Lone Star Brahmas at the NYTEX Sports Centre.

Head-To-Head: The IceRays evened the season series at 2-2 despite the Brahmas owning the one-point edge by virtue of an overtime loss. The IceRays and Brahmas are also even in the franchise series with ten wins each and the IceRays going 10-8-2 all-time following their second win at the NYTEX Sports Centre over the last three seasons, moving to 2-5-2.

Last Night: The IceRays scored four in the third period to win 5-2 over the Brahmas on Friday night from the NYTEX Sports Centre. Brahmas forward Alex Berardinelli (5:52 1st) redirected a shot in front of the net to give the home side a 1-0 lead. IceRays forward Regen Cavanagh (PP, 2:27 2nd) answered with his own redirection from Drake Lindsay to tie the game, 1-1. IceRays forward Brad Power (3:52 3rd) jammed in a low chance off a faceoff draw to give the IceRays a 2-1 lead. One minute later, IceRays defenseman Cody Lichtenvoort (4:53 3rd) sniped a shot fro the left circle to double the lead, 3-1. Berardinelli (SH, 15:15 3rd) earned his second of the night to cut the lead to one, 3-2. IceRays forward Carter Johnson (PP, 15:49 3rd; EN, 20:00 3rd) scored while wide open in the slot on the power play then scored an empty net goal from center ice to help claim the 5-2 win. Graham Hunt saved 17 of 19 shots in the win. Conor O’Brien stopped nine of 12 in 44:46 minutes during the loss, and Corbin Kaczperski turned away four of five shots in 12:40 minutes of relief.

One More Left: The IceRays close out their six-game annual January road trip tonight with a successful string of games. The team owns a 3-2-0 record through five games against the top-three teams in the South Division, including a sweep of the Topeka RoadRunners. In their three wins, the IceRays have outscored opponents 11-3 while only taking a combined 61 shots (20.33 shots per game), converting on 18.03 percent of their shots on goal. Before their trip, the IceRays owned a 3-4-0 record combined against Lone Star and Topeka though are still 0-6-0 against Wichita Falls and have been outscored 29-7 in those sets.

Two For The Show: The win for the IceRays last night was just their second at the NYTEX Sports Centre in the three-year series history dating back to the 2013-14 season. The other win: Feb. 28, 2014 in a 4-2 victory. The IceRays scored three or more goals in the third period during both of those games with one player earning two (Connor Kelly & Carter Johnson). The win also breaks a five-game regular losing spell in North Richland Hills dating through last season.

Wayne’s World: Forward Carter Johnson continues to consistently lead the IceRays in production both in direct scoring and leading to goals. His three-point game last night earns him his sixth multi-point game and the first with more than two points. Two goals last night also makes for his third multi-goal game and remains one of two IceRays players with more than one goal in a game (Andy McGlynn, Dec. 4 @ ODA). Johnson has scored two goals on Sep. 24 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (3-2 OTW), Nov. 20 vs. Lone Star (4-2 L), and last night vs. Lone Star (5-2 W). All three sets of goals came in the third period.

Congrats, Coach: Last night’s win helped IceRays head coach John Becanic reach a career milestone for his NAHL career. The 3rd year IceRays coach now owns 200 wins for his NAHL coaching career, improving to 200-120-34 through 354 games between the Pittsburgh Forge, Wenatchee Wild and IceRays while also owning a Robertson Cup and USA Hockey Jr. A Championship. Becanic is also ten wins away from 400 wins over his head coaching career in all of junior hockey through his time in the AWHL, WHL and NAHL.

Speedy Gonzales: The Brahmas continue to find life thanks to the legs and stick work of forward Alex Berardinelli, who placed two more goals last night and his fifth shorthanded tally. The Pittsburgh, Penn., native now has a five-game point streak (4+3=7) and has earned points in 10 of his last 11 games, recording six goals and six assists for 12 points in that span. In addition, he’s also been the heaviest hitter against the IceRays, scoring one-third of his 18 total goals just against Corpus Christi in four games thanks to a hat trick on November 21 and his two-goal game last night. He also leads all Brahmas in points against the IceRays with seven.

South Division Standings:
Wichita Falls Wildcats (28-5-3, 59 PTS)
Lone Star Brahmas (22-8-5, 49 PTS)
Topeka RoadRunners (22-14-1, 45
 PTS)
Corpus Christi IceRays (15-16-3, 33 PTS)
Odessa Jackalopes (11-16-4, 26 PTS)
Amarillo Bulls (8-24-3, 19 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays return to the American Bank Center for the first time in 2016 to begin a two-game set against the Topeka RoadRunners on Thursday, Jan 21 at 7:11 p.m. Tickets are available at www.Ticketmaster.com, the American Bank Center Box Office, and by calling 361-814-PUCK. Coverage begins at 6:55 p.m. on SportsJuice.com, FASTHockey.com, and 87.7FM in-arena.