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PREVIEW: ICERAYS @ BULLS (GAME #17)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS @ AMARILLO BULLS

Saturday, November 5 • 7:05 P.M. • Amarillo Civic Center • Amarillo, TX
NAHL Game #152 • Game #17 • Road Game #10 • Series: COR leads 1-0-0-0
Radio: 96.1FM & 103.3FM (Corpus Only) • Video: Hockey TV • Twitter: @goicerays

Coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. with Countdown To Faceoff

Tonight’s Game: The IceRays finishes their two-game weekend set against the Amarillo Bulls from the Amarillo Civic Center.

Head-To-Head: The IceRays claimed the first game of the season series for the second-straight year and the third time overall while doing so for the first time on the road. The Bulls have owned the franchise series dating back to 2010-11, keeping the IceRays to a 22-40-3 record all-time and a 10-19-2 record at the Amarillo Civic Center.

Last Game: The IceRays recorded three goals and got the help of a 41-save performance to shut out the Amarillo Bulls 3-0 on Friday night at the Amarillo Civic Center. Both sides stayed even through the first half of the game until three goals in the second period changed the forecast starting with IceRays forward David Thomson (13:02 2nd) to jump ahead 1-0. IceRays forward Mason Krueger (14:15 2nd) doubled the score, 2-0, with a rebound stuff, and IceRays forward David Baskerville (14:42 3rd) re-directed a shot from the left point to move ahead 3-0 while holding the Bulls in the third period. IceRays netminder Chad Veltri (1-0-0) earned a 41-save shutout in his NAHL debut, while Bulls goaltender Nikita Babintsev (5-5-0) halted 43 of 46 shots in the loss.

Welcome To The Show: IceRays goaltender Chad Veltri was a large part of the team’s second shutout of the season with his 41-save performance to make a mark never achieved in the last seven seasons. The 18-year-old netminder became the first player in IceRays junior franchise history to record a shutout in his NAHL debut during his fill-in weekend for netminder Tomáš Vomáčka. The game is the second shutout of the season for the IceRays, and all four shutouts in the 2016 calendar year have come with a 3-0 scoreline.

Second Is The Best: After struggling in the second period for most of the season, the IceRays have turned around their fortunes in the middle frame with another three-goal output. It’s the second-straight game the IceRays have put up three goals in the second period, and over their last six games the IceRays have outscored their opposition 9-5 including 6-1 in the last two games. The 26 shots recorded by the IceRays last night sets a junior franchise record for most shots attempted in a period, overstepping the mark set in the second period of three different games: Sep. 16, 2010 vs. the Chicago Hitmen (5-4 W), Oct. 15, 2011 against the New Mexico Mustangs (8-7 W) and Mar. 13, 2015 in Wichita Falls (4-3 OTW).

Leading The Pack: Three IceRays forwards continued their point streaks thanks to last night’s win, and all three remain atop the team point lead. Center Mason Krueger’s goal is his third-straight game with a goal and four in three games, and an assist last Thursday moves him to a four-game streak (4 goals, 2 assists). Center David Thomson also improves to a four-game point streak with his game-winning goal earning one point per game (3 goals, assist). Left winger Brad Power set a team-high six-game point streak thanks to his assist last night, stretching to seven points (2 goals, 5 assists) through that span. He is now three games away from tying the junior franchise record (9 games) set by defenseman Anthony Cortese in the 2014-15 season. Krueger leads the team in points (16) with Power right behind (14) and Thomson sharing third in points (13) while leading in goals (9).

Home Blunders: The Amarillo Bulls continue to struggle in the Amarillo Civic Center, continuing their winless drought to eight games to begin the season. The Bulls are 0-5-3 on home ice this season while getting points in three of their last five home games and outscored 36-17 in eight attempts. Their last home win came on Feb. 20, 2016 against the IceRays in a  5-3 win, but since then the Bulls have lost 12-straight games at home dating through the 2016-17 season. Including last season, the Bulls have lost 22 of their last 30 games overall from that home win against Corpus Christi.

Top Heavy: The Bulls have been led through the opening quarter of the season due in large part to their top unit: Hayden Broomhead, George Mika and Kosta Likourezos. The trio of forwards have combined for 54 points through 17 games while the rest of their team has combined for 67 points including players no longer on the team. Both Mika and Likourezos remain two of the top scorers in the NAHL with Mika sitting atop the league in points (22) and tied for 6th in goals (10) while Likourezos is tied for 9th in the league in points (19) and goals (9).

South Division Standings:
Lone Star Brahmas (13-3-1-0, 27 PTS)
Shreveport Mudbugs (9-5-0-1, 19 PTS)
Corpus Christi IceRays (7-6-1-2, 17 PTS)
Wichita Falls Wildcats (7-5-2-0, 16 PTS)
Amarillo Bulls (6-7-4-0, 16 PTS)
Topeka RoadRunners (7-10-0-1, 15 PTS)
Odessa Jackalopes (7-9-0-0, 14 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays continue their four-game road trip on Friday, Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. to open the season series against the Lone Star Brahmas from the NYTEX Sports Centre. Coverage begins at 7:15 p.m. on SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX 1230AM) and Hockey TV.