PREVIEW: ICERAYS @ JACKALOPES (GAME #18)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

at

ODESSA JACKALOPES

Saturday, November 14 at 7:05 P.M.

Game #18 • NAHL Game #203 • Series: 1-0 ODA
Ector County Coliseum • Odessa, TX
Radio: SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX 1230AM) • Mobile: TuneIn Radio (KSIX)

Twitter: @goicerays

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

Tonight’s Game: The IceRays round out their road weekend series against the Odessa Jackalopes from the Ector County Coliseum.

Head-To-Head: The Jackalopes take an early 1-0 series lead, the first time the IceRays lost the series-opening game against Odessa. Last year, the IceRays earned a 10-2-0 record against Odessa including a 4-2-0 record at the Ector County Coliseum. Since Odessa joined the NAHL in 2011-12, the IceRays hold a 29-14-2 record while going 12-11-2 in the Permian Basin.

Last Game: The IceRays made a late charge but were held off by the Jackalopes on Friday night. Odessa forward Derek Brown (SH, 8:34 1st) scored the third short-handed goal against the IceRays this season to take an early lead. IceRays forward Brad Power (5:21 2nd) tied the game, 1-1, after creating an offensive turnover. Odessa forwards Brandon Tucker (PP, 8:28 2nd) and Hampus Sjodahl (PP, 10:02 2nd) converted on their only power plays of the second period to take a 3-1 lead. IceRays forward Brad LeLievre (11:04 3rd) drew the road side within one, 3-2, with a one-time goal before another man-advantage goal for Odessa by forward Oliver Celec (PP, 15:49 3rd). The IceRays came back within one, 4-3, with a one-timer by defenseman Michael Bevilacqua (17:29 3rd), but Odessa defenseman Cooper Zech (EN, 19:10 3rd) sealed the 5-3 win late in the game. Dean Shatzer stopped 24 of 27 shots in the win, while Dryden McKay saved 23 of 27 shots in the loss.

Skid Row: With last night’s loss, the IceRays have now dropped four-straight games including six-straight on the road. Since the team’s home-opening weekend on Oct. 2-3 against Amarillo, the IceRays have won only one game: Oct. 22 vs. Topeka (4-3 W). In those nine games, the IceRays have gone 1-6-2 while being outscored 34-14 and notching three goals or more twice (including last night). The IceRays have been swept in weekend series in three of their last four weekends.

Black Out: The IceRays power play unit has struggled mightily to get production going after being shut out last night for the third-straight game and sixth time over their last eight games. In that eight-game span, the IceRays have scored two goals on 28 chances (7.14%) while also missing out on each of their last 11 attempts. Overall, the IceRays have been shut down in nine of their first 17 games while being held to only one power play goal in their other eight games.

Made To Pay: For the second time this season, the IceRays allowed three power play goals in a single games with the only other occurrence coming on Oct. 9 against Wichita Falls (2-for-5). The IceRays have now allowed power play goals in four-straight games and seven of their last nine games dating back to Oct. 8, and in the span between three-goal outputs by opposing power plays, the IceRays have killed off 15-of-25 chances (60.00%). Last year, the IceRays allowed three power play goals or more five times though never on four chances or less.

Striking Up?: The IceRays recorded three goals for the fourth time this season and earned their fifth game with three or more goals. However, last night was their first loss in either of these scenarios, moving to 4-1-0 when scoring three-plus. Despite being held to one goal or less in their last three games, it’s the second time in five games the IceRays have notched three goals or more. Conversely, the IceRays have won one game when opponents have scored three goals or more (1-8-0).

Getting Jacked: With last night’s win, the Jackalopes have won three of their last four games, all at the Ector County Coliseum. In that span, Odessa has outscored opponents 18-12 playing the bottom-two teams in the South Division. Expanding to the beginning of October, the Jackalopes have won five of their last eight games, and all five of those wins came at home with a total of 11 of a possible 12 points. 

Veteran Leadership: The Jackalopes have rallied around play of two key veteran players during their recent winning spell. Forward Eric Carreras leads the team over their past five games with eight points, which does include a two-assist night last night and the hat-trick against Amarillo, and sits tied for second on the team in total points (14) while leading in goals (9). Center Hampus Sjodahl picked up two points (goal, assist) last night and moves to eight points over his last five games, sharing the team lead in goals (5) during that span and tied with Carreras in points for the year. Of the eight players with ten points or more, five of them are veterans (Carreras, Sjodahl, Zach Zech, Derek Brown, Ryan MacKellar).

South Division Standings:
Wichita Falls Wildcats (14-2-2, 30 PTS)
Lone Star Brahmas (10-1-3, 23 PTS)
Topeka RoadRunners (10-11-0, 20 PTS)
Odessa Jackalopes (8-5-1, 17 PTS)

Corpus Christi IceRays (5-10-2, 12 PTS)
Amarillo Bulls (5-13-2, 12 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays return home on Thursday, Nov. 19 to open the season series with the Lone Star Brahmas at 10:45 a.m. from the American Bank Center. Coverage begins at 10:30 a.m. on SportsJuice.com, FASTHockey.com, and 87.7FM in-arena. Tickets are available at www.Ticketmaster.com, the American Bank Center Box Office, or by calling 361-814-PUCK.