PREVIEW: ICERAYS @ BULLS (GAME #27)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

at

AMARILLO BULLS

Saturday, December 19 at 7:05 P.M.

Game #27 • NAHL Game #316 • Series: AMA leads 4-2-1
Amarillo Civic Center • Amarillo, TX
Radio: KSIX 1230AM • Video: FASTHockey.com

Mobile: TuneIn Radio Twitter: @goicerays

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

Tonight’s Game: The IceRays play their final game before the holiday break against the Amarillo Bulls from the Amarillo Civic Center. 

Head-To-Head: The Bulls claim the one-game edge in the season series, taking a 4-2-1 lead through seven games. This is also the fourth-straight game between the two teams with the Bulls taking two of three. The Bulls own the franchise series, putting the IceRays to a 18-38-1 record. Over the last two seasons, the IceRays have gone 6-6-2 against Amarillo.

Last Night: The IceRays were downed by early goals, falling 3-1 to the Bulls on Friday night at the Amarillo Civic Center. Bulls forward Liam Ferguson (5:49 1st) put back in his own rebound to give Amarillo a 1-0 lead. A few minutes later, Bulls forward Johan Lundgren (PP, 11:10 1st) was found open in the IceRays crease to double their lead, 2-0. While 4-on-4, Bulls forward Brady Crabtree (4:26 3rd) streaked in and slotted a short-side goal to triple the lead, 3-0. The IceRays found an answer from forward Brendan Miller (PP, 14:25 3rd) late in the game to break the shutout, 3-1, but a late push game up empty and the Bulls took the contest. Anton Martinsson saved 41 of 42 shots in the win, while Graham Hunt stopped 35 of 38 shots in the loss.

Starting Slow: The IceRays have had trouble getting off to a solid start in the first period. Opponents have scored the opening goal in each of their last seven games and in five of seven games against Amarillo. In only seven games this season have the IceRays scored the opening goal with four coming in their first seven games while only completing this three times in now 19 games. The IceRays are 4-3-1 when scoring the game’s first goal but 5-11-2 when allowing the first goal.

The Bull Pen: The IceRays have come up empty in all three games at the Amarillo Civic Center this season, scoring four goals in that span. Dating back to last season, the IceRays have lost four-straight and six of seven meetings in the Texas Panhandle, being held to two goals or less in their last four contests while the Bulls have tallied at least three goals in all but one game (Oct. 17, 2-1 OTL). Over the last six seasons, the IceRays own a 7-18-2 record when playing in Amarillo.

Handy Andy: With an assist last night, IceRays forward Andy McGlynn increases his lead in points in contests against the Bulls this season. In seven games, the 18-year-old owns one goal and five assists for six points, one point shy of hitting a point-per-game. He’s also one of three active IceRays to own a positive plus/minus (Bender: +2; LeLievre: +1). To compare, only two players have six or more points for Amarillo (Molinaro: 7; Mika: 6).

Fresh Blood: Yesterday afternoon, the IceRays announced the acquisition of defenseman Cody Lichtenvoort from the Springfield Jr. Blues in exchange for a 2016 4th Round Pick. Lichtenvoort, 20, has appeared in 21 games between the Jr. Blues and Janesville Jets this season, recording three assists with 30 penalty minutes and a +3 rating. The veteran is in his third NAHL season, amassing 11 goals and 21 assists for 32 points through 108 games with 188 penalty minutes and a -1 rating, playing his first two seasons with the Michigan Warriors.

Missing No: Each side with be without one more player for the remainder of the weekend set. Thanks to game misconducts called in a fight just before the end of the second period, IceRays defenseman Trevor Heuser and Bulls forward Joey Molinaro will be suspended for tonight’s game. Heuser has earned 42 penalty minutes over his last nine games including 21 in four games with two assists so far. Molinaro leads the Bulls in scoring with 10 goals and 15 assists for 25 points along with seven (three goals, four assists) against the IceRays in seven games.

Stonewall Defense: The Bulls are alive in the South Division in sole part to the play of their MVP candidate Anton Martinsson in net. The Swedish kid has three wins in his last four games while seeing over 40 shots in three of those contests. Martinsson has made the best of a difficult situation this season, seeing over 40 shots 12 times in 27 games (44.44%) and at least 30 shots a total of 21 times in 27 games (77.78%). For his efforts, he slots in now tied for first in the NAHL in save percentage with Justin Kapelmaster (WFS) and Luke Kania (MNW) while owning the sole lead in minutes (1589:36) and saves made (972).

South Division Standings:
Wichita Falls Wildcats (23-4-3, 49 PTS)
Topeka RoadRunners (20-11-0, 40 PTS)
Lone Star Brahmas (17-6-4, 38 PTS)
Odessa Jackalopes (10-11-3, 23 PTS)

Corpus Christi IceRays (9-14-3, 21 PTS)
Amarillo Bulls (8-20-3, 19 PTS)

Next Game: After the holiday break, the IceRays return home to the American Bank Center on Tuesday, Dec. 29 at 7:11 p.m. to begin a two-game set against the Odessa Jackalopes. Tickets are available at www.Ticketmaster.com, the American Bank Center Box Office, or by calling 361-814-PUCK. Coverage begins at 6:55 p.m. on SportsJuice.com, www.FASTHockey.com, and 87.7 FM in-arena.