PREVIEW: ICERAYS @ MUDBUGS (GAME #28)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS @ SHREVEPORT MUDBUGS

Friday, December 16 • 7:11 P.M. • Hirsch Coliseum • Shreveport, LA
NAHL Game #288 • Game #28 • Road Game #15 • Series: COR leads 2-1-0-0
Radio: KSIX 1230AM • Video: Hockey TV • Twitter: @goicerays • In-Arena: 87.7FM

Coverage begins at 6:55 p.m. with Countdown To Faceoff

Tonight’s Game: The IceRays make their first trip to George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum for the first time in junior franchise history to take on the Shreveport Mudbugs.

Head-To-Head: The IceRays and Mudbugs rekindled their franchise series at the American Bank Center to close October, and the IceRays picked up wins in two of three including a shutout victory in their first meeting on October 27. The IceRays and Mudbugs did play two preseason games in Shreveport, and the Mudbugs claimed both games on home ice. The IceRays are 23-26-4 in 52 all-time games including the WPHL and CHL franchise series.

Last Game: The IceRays offense came alive to the tune of six goals in a 6-1 win over the Lone Star Brahmas on Saturday night from the NYTEX Sports Centre. IceRays defenseman Tucker White (5:48 1st) scored his first NAHL goal on a deflection off a Brahmas defenseman to give the road side a 1-0 lead followed by a breakaway goal from forward Andy McGlynn (10:00 1st) coming out of the penalty box and a shorthanded goal by forward Brad Power (SH, 17:50 1st) off a takeaway from the Brahmas goaltender to triple the lead, 3-0. Brahmas forward Aiden Spellacy (PP, 18:32 1st) scored on the same power play to get on the board, 3-1. The IceRays spread the lead with three more goals throughout the game including a 4-on-4 goal from center David Thomson (13:51 2nd) and two more turnover goals in the third period from center Mason Krueger (2:53 3rd) and forward Nathan Bryer (14:49 3rd) to take a commanding 6-1 win. IceRays netminder Tomáš Vomáčka (6-10-1) stopped 26 of 27 shots in the win. Brahmas goaltender Erik Gordon (11-2-0) halted 7 of 10 shots in 17:42 minutes picking up the loss, and Alec Calvaruso turned away 19 of 22 shots in 42:09 minutes of relief.

Boom Goes The Dynamite: The IceRays scored six goals for just the second time this season as part of Saturday’s win against the Brahmas. The only other occurrence came on October 8 in Topeka during a 7-6 overtime loss to the RoadRunners, and the most recent win marks the first victory while scoring five goals or more this season. All previous 10 wins came with either three or four goals scored in a game. The last six-goal game prior to this season was Dec. 19, 2015 in a 6-2 win in Amarillo. The game is also the largest margin of victory this season, breaking a five-game share of the previous high of 3: Oct. 7 @ TOP (4-1 W); Oct. 27 vs. SHR (3-0 W); Nov. 4 @ AMA (3-0 W); Nov. 19 vs. LSB (4-1 W); Nov. 25 vs. AMA (4-1 W).

You’re The Top: The offensive output on Saturday was the best result at the NYTEX Sports Centre since the start of the junior franchise in 2013-14. Prior to Saturday, the only two games in which the IceRays scored three or more goals in Brahmaland came on Feb. 28, 2014 (4-2 W) and Jan. 15, 2016 (5-2 W), and it’s just the fourth road win in the franchise series and the third in the last two years.

Shorty, My Girl: IceRays forward Brad Power cashed in on a shorthanded goal last Saturday as part of the team’s 6-1 victory. That’s the second shorthanded goal of the season for Power and third overall for the team this season. The last time the IceRays scored a shorthanded goal on the road came on Mar. 21, 2015 in a 5-3 win in Odessa when Brad LeLievre cashed in during the first period on Tanner Creel. So far, 21 of the 24 NAHL teams have scored shorthanded goals, and the IceRays are one of 13 teams with three or more shorthanded goals.

Last Time Out: Prior to a weekend off last week, the Shreveport Mudbugs continued their five-game homestand with back-to-back wins over the Amarillo Bulls, winning 4-2 on December 2 and 3-2 in overtime on December 3 from George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum. Forward Croix Evingson (1+3=4) led the way and had a three-point night on Saturday, factoring in with two assists and the game-winning goal in overtime. Forwards Frankie Melton (2+1=3), Steven Mather (2+0=2), Gueorgui Feduolov (1+1=2) and Jordan Fader (0+2=2) all picked up multi-point weekend with Mather and Melton adding in a multi-point game. Goaltender John Roberts earned NAHL South Star of the Week for his two-win performance, stopping 71 of 75 shots through both games.

South Division Standings:
Lone Star Brahmas (21-8-1-0, 43 PTS)
Wichita Falls Wildcats (18-6-3-0, 39 PTS)
Shreveport Mudbugs (15-7-0-1, 31 PTS)
Corpus Christi IceRays (11-13-1-2, 25 PTS)
Topeka RoadRunners (11-14-2-1, 25 PTS)
Odessa Jackalopes (10-12-4-0, 24 PTS)
Amarillo Bulls (8-13-7-0, 23 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays play their final game before the holiday break on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 7:11 p.m. against the Mudbugs from George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum. Coverage begins at 6:55 p.m. on SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX 1230AM) & Hockey TV.