PREVIEW: ICERAYS @ JACKALOPES (GAME # 23)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

at

ODESSA JACKALOPES

Friday, December 4 at 7:05 P.M.

Game #23 • NAHL Game #268 • Series: ODA leads 2-1-0
Ector County Coliseum • Odessa, TX
Radio: SportsRadio Corpus Christi (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 close out their two-game end-of-week set against the Odessa Jackalopes from the Ector County Coliseum.

Head-To-Head: The IceRays claimed their first win of the season series, moving to a 1-1-1 record against Odessa. Corpus Christi has now won 11 of their last 15 meetings with the Jackalopes and own the franchise series at 30-14-3.

Last Night: The IceRays held off a late pursuit by the Jackalopes to claim a 3-2 win on Thursday night at the Ector County Coliseum. Jackalopes forward Jon Russell (6:46 1st) earned his first Odessa goal and put the home side up 1-0 before two-straight goals from IceRays forwards: Nathan Bryer (10:43 1st) and Mason Krueger (13:20), who both helped to hand the IceRays a 2-1 lead. Just after the end of an IceRays power play, Jackalopes forward Hampus Sjodahl (15:42 1st) knotted the game up, 2-2, with an unassisted goal. IceRays defenseman Colton Meekhof (2:24 2nd) slotted the eventual game-winner fro the blue line, and the IceRays would hold the Jackalopes at bay to win 3-2. Dryden McKay saved 29 of 31 shots in the win, while Dean Shatzer halted 26 of 29 shots in the loss.

Three Goals Is Key: For the third time in six games, the IceRays have scored three goals or more in a contest, going 2-1-0 in those three contests dating back to November 13. The team has been the most productive when scoring exactly three goals, going 4-1-0 with eight points. Three of those five games were separated by only one goal, and the IceRays claimed wins in all three of those contests. When scoring three or more goals in a game, the IceRays are now 6-1-0.

Snapping Skids: Multiple IceRays snapped droughts during last night’s win against the Jackalopes. Goaltender Dryden McKay earned his first win since October 22 vs. Topeka (three games) and also stopped less than three goals for the first time in four games. Forward Nathan Bryer and defenseman Colton Meekhof each scored their second goal of the season, breaking a five-game goal drought for Meekhof and a 15-game valley for Bryer (October 2). Forward Andy McGlynn also ended a long point skid, earning his first tally since October 16 vs. Amarillo (nine games).

Jack Attacker: IceRays forward Nathan Bryer continues to be a threat against Odessa since joining the IceRays last season. The co-captain leads the IceRays in points against the Jackalopes this season with one goal and two assists, and three of his five points have come against tonight’s home team. In 15 games over the last two seasons, Bryer owns five goals and 10 assists for 15 points and is one of two players on the active roster with 10 points or more (Brad LeLievre: four goals, seven assists).

Battle Tested: Goaltenders Graham Hunt and Dryden McKay have been tested repeatedly over their recent stretch. Both netminders have seen 30 or more shots in each of their last five games and six times in their last seven matchups. That makes it 14 of 22 games (63.64%) in which the IceRays have allowed more than 30 attempts by opponents. In those games, the IceRays own a 4-8-2 record in those games but have claimed two wins in their last four games. Worth noting: the IceRays have allowed exactly 31 shots four times and have gone 3-1-0 in those contests.

Century Man: After playing in last night’s game, IceRays defenseman Trevor Heuser becomes the eighth player in IceRays junior history to play 100 games with the team. He joins Brad LeLievre (103) as the two active skaters with over 100 games under their belts in their IceRays career. Tonight will tie him for seventh in junior history in IceRays games played with defenseman Perry D’Arrisso (‘11-’13) and keep him three back of LeLievre (‘13-pres.). Heuser has two assists this season, and in parts of five seasons in Corpus Christi he has four goals and 16 assists for 20 points with 145 penalty minutes and a +8 rating.

Hitting The Skids: The Jackalopes have struggled to produce points in their recent stretch, dropping now five of their last six games since sweeping the IceRays on Nov. 13-14 including their last four home games. During that span, the Jackalopes have been held to two goals or less in four of six games and are 0-for-2 when scoring three goals. Odessa is playing their 12th game at the Ector County Coliseum, where they have gone 6-3-2 this season. However, they have only played six true road games, going 1-5-0 so far.

South Division Standings:
Wichita Falls Wildcats (21-3-2, 44 PTS)
Topeka RoadRunners (17-11-0, 34 PTS)
Lone Star Brahmas (15-3-4, 34 PTS)
Odessa Jackalopes (10-9-2, 22 PTS)

Corpus Christi IceRays (6-12-3, 17 PTS)
Amarillo Bulls (5-19-3, 13 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays head back home to the American Bank Center and begin a two-game set against the Amarillo Bulls on Friday, Dec. 11 at 7:11 p.m. on Grades For Blades Night. 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, FASTHockey.com, and 87.7FM in-arena.