PREVIEW: ICERAYS @ BRAHMAS (GAME #41)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

at

LONE STAR BRAHMAS

Saturday, February 6 at 7:30 P.M.

Game #41 • NAHL Game #462 • Series: LSB leads 4-1-1
NYTEX Sports Centre • North Richland Hills, TX
Radio: SportsRadio Corpus Christi (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 finish up their two-game weekend set against the Lone Star Brahmas at the NYTEX Sports Centre.

Head-To-Head: The IceRays have dropped two-straight games to the Brahmas but their first regulation road loss in the season series, moving to 2-3-1 through six games. The Brahmas have held the IceRays back at the NYTEX Sports Centre, forcing the IceRays to a 2-6-3 and a 10-9-3 all-time record. Tonight’s game is the second of five-straight against the Brahmas over the next two weeks.

Last Night: Special teams were the highlight in the IceRays 4-1 loss to the Brahmas on Friday night at the NYTEX Sports Centre. Brahmas forward Tyler Drevitch (PP, 5:41 1st) scored the game’s first goal with a one-time slap shot from the left circle. IceRays defenseman Colton Meekhof (PP, 7:28 2nd) scored his first power play goal to even the score, 1-1, before Brahmas forward Hogan Davidson (SH, 13:45 2nd) gave the home side back the lead, 2-1. The Brahmas opened up the game in the final period with goals from defenseman Bud Madej (PP, 7:33 3rd) and Davidson (EN, 18:01 3rd) to seal the 4-1 win. Brahmas goaltender Conor O’Brien stopped 18 of 19 shots in the win, and IceRays netminder Graham Hunt saved 24 of 27 shots in the loss.

Killing Me Softly: The IceRays penalty kill unit has gotten into a bit of a rut over their last two weekends. Following a 24-for-25 run starting on January 15, they have gone 4-for-9 (44.44%) over their last three games including a 2-for-4 effort last night. This is the second time the IceRays have allowed power play goals in three-straight games this season, and they also went 4-for-9 in that span between October 30 and November 13 against Wichita Falls and Odessa.

The Colton Effect: IceRays defenseman Colton Meekhof has a knack for finding points even after sitting out of the lineup. The 18-year-old defenseman has made a return to the lineup after not playing eight times this season (including the season-opener). He has recorded points in six of those eight games, earning four goals and three assists for seven points in those games including scoring one goal in each of those last four games. Those points make up over 60 percent of his point total. He now shares the most points from an IceRays defenseman with Michael Bevilacqua (11).

Short, Not Sweet: Last night’s shorthanded goal by the Brahmas worked in two opposite ways for both teams. The goal was Davidson’s first playing down a player and the team’s ninth this season, tying them with the Odessa Jackalopes for second-most in the NAHL only behind the Wichita Falls Wildcats by one (10). On the other hand, that was the ninth shorthanded goal against the IceRays power play unit this season, moving them to third-most in the NAHL behind both Alaska teams: Kenai River (11) and Fairbanks (10). Three of the Brahmas’ shorthanded goals have come against the IceRays.

Coughing Up: The Lone Star Brahmas scored the game’s first goal last night, marking the fifth time in six games against the IceRays where they’ve scored the opener. The IceRays have become accustomed to playing from behind this season, allowing the first goal in 29 of 40 games including in each of their last seven games and nine of their last ten. The IceRays have gone 10-16-3 when coughing up the first goal and haven’t scored the first goal of a game since January 9 against Wichita Falls (6-2 L). 

Permian Split: The Lone Star Brahmas split their two-game weekend set against the Odessa Jackalopes at the Ector County Coliseum with a 4-2 win on Friday and a 4-1 loss on Saturday. Forward Alex Berardinelli led the way with three points (2+1=3) in Friday’s win including the first and last goals of the evening and was joined by forward Peter Kessel (two assists) as the only two Brahmas with multi-point weekends. In total, 11 different players earned at least one point. Goalie Conor O’Brien saved 28 of 30 shots in Friday’s win, and Corbin Kaczperski stopped 11 of 15 shots in the loss.

Ray Stinger: The IceRays have not been able to control the fire that is Brahmas forward Alex Berardinelli. The team-leading point scorer leads all forwards in points against the IceRays with seven goals and three assist for ten points. Included in his track record is a hat-trick on November 21, a shorthanded goal in their last meeting on January 16, and two assists last night while tallying points in all six games with three multi-point games. In addition, he’s been hot as of recent for the Brahmas, grabbing points in ten of his last 12 games (15 points) as well as points in 15 of 18 games dating back to December 12. He sits tied for fourth in the NAHL in goals and leads the league in shorthanded goals (6), which doubles the second place player.

South Division Standings:
Wichita Falls Wildcats (32-8-4, 68 PTS)
Lone Star Brahmas (26-9-7, 59 PTS)
Topeka RoadRunners (27-16-1, 55 PTS)
Corpus Christi IceRays (17-19-4, 38 PTS)
Odessa Jackalopes (16-19-4, 36 PTS)
Amarillo Bulls (9-28-4, 22 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays continue their five-game series against the Lone Star Brahmas on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 7:11 p.m. from the American Bank Center. Tickets are available at www.Ticketmaster.com, the American Bank Center Box Office, or by calling the IceRays Front Office at 361-814-PUCK. Coverage begins at 6:55 p.m. on SportsJuice.com, FASTHockey.com, and 87.7FM in-arena.