PREVIEW: ICERAYS VS. BRAHMAS (GAME #19)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

vs.

LONE STAR BRAHMAS

Thursday, November 19 at 10:30 A.M.

Game #19 • NAHL Game #213 • Series: 0-0
American Bank Center • Corpus Christi, TX
Radio: SportsJuice.com • Video: FASTHockey.com • In-Arena: 87.7FM

Mobile: TuneIn Radio (KSIX) Twitter: @goicerays

Coverage begins at 10:30 a.m. with Countdown To Faceoff

Today's Game: The Corpus Christi IceRays open a three-game, three-day set and their final South Division season series against the Lone Star Brahmas from the American Bank Center.

Head-To-Head: The IceRays and Brahmas will play 12 games for the first time in their third season series dating back to 2013-14. Last season, the IceRays were edged in their eight-game series, owning a 3-4-1 record and winning three of four games in the Coastal Bend. Over the last two seasons, the IceRays hold the franchise series record at 8-6-1. The previous franchise, the Texas Tornado, gave the IceRays a 9-24-3 record from 2010-13.

Last Game: The IceRays pushed the Odessa Jackalopes into a shootout but fell 3-2 (1-0 shootout) on Saturday night at the Ector County Coliseum. IceRays forward Drake Lindsay (9:02 1st) scored the game’s opening goal to give the road team a 1-0 lead before Jackalopes forward Hampus Sjodahl (SH, 13:26 1st) took advantage of play in front of the IceRays’ net to tie the game, 1-1, after one period. The Jackalopes took a 2-1 lead when forward Zach Zech (8:28 2nd) poked home a mid-game goal. With the netminder pulled, IceRays forward Brad Power (EA, 18:40 3rd) pushed the game into overtime, 2-2, with a late game goal. After a scoreless overtime, Jackalopes forward Derek Brown was the only player to score in the shootout, giving Odessa the edge, 3-2 (1-0). Jackalopes goaltender Gunner Rivers (6-1-0) turned aside 22 of 24 shots in the win, and IceRays netminder Graham Hunt (2-5-2) saved a season-high 48 of 50 shots in the loss.

Sweeps Week: The IceRays were swept by the Jackalopes for just the fifth time in junior franchise history and the first since Nov. 15-16, 2013 at the Ector County Coliseum, during which the Jackalopes edged out the IceRays by one goal in each match. During that 2013-14 season and the 2011-12 season, the IceRays were swept two times in four weekend series by Odessa. Over their five-year history of games, the IceRays have earned 11 sweeps, were swept five times, and had a split or non-sweep five more times. This season, the IceRays have been swept in two-straight weekends and now four times in seven weekends.

InstaGraham: IceRays goaltender Graham Hunt had an impeccable performance on Saturday night despite the shootout loss, saving a season-high 48 shots on 50 chances. In the process, the 20-year-old set a new franchise record for saves in a period with 27 stops, overtaking the old record of 24 set on March 17, 2012 in Amarillo (Anthony Stolarz). The 28 shots allowed that period also sets a new franchise-high, topping the previous record of 27 shots from Oct. 24, 2010 against the Texas Tornado (Pheonix Copley). In 316 games, IceRays goaltenders have stopped 20 or more shots in a period just 10 times across seven different netminders, and two of the seven have performed this feat multiple times: Stolarz (3) and Ben Myers (2).

Rally Towels: For the fourth time this year, the IceRays have scored a game-tying goal within the final five minutes of the third period to force overtime following Saturday’s late-game goal by Brad Power with an extra attacker at 1:20 left in the game against Odessa. Three of the four goals have come within the final two minutes of the game with the goalie pulled, the latest occurring with 1:02 left in the game two different times: Sep. 24 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (Carter Johnson) and Oct. 24 against Topeka (Mason Krueger, PPG). In those games, however, the IceRays have gone 1-3 in overtime and shootout results (1-1 in OT, 0-2 in SO).

Undeniabull: The Lone Star Brahmas continued their strong start to the 2015-16 season with a weekend sweep of the Amarillo Bulls at the NYTEX SportsCentre in North Richland Hills with a 4-1 win on Friday and a 4-3 comeback win on Saturday. Forward Kyle Patava led the way for the Brahmas with four points (one goal, three assists) over those two games with a pair of points in each, and forwards Bud Madej (goal, two assists) and Cody Wickline (three assists) followed suit with three-point weekends. Only three players earned points in each game: Patava, Madej and Martin Mellberg (two assists). Goaltender Connor O’Brien stopped 16 of 17 shots in Friday’s win, and Corbin Kaczperski saved 17 of 20 shots in Saturday’s win.

“Star” of the Week: The North American Hockey League recognized Brahmas forward Kyle Patava as the Easton Hockey South Division Star of the Week following a two-goal, two-assist performance last weekend against the Bulls. Over the last two seasons, the Iowan has played with the Janesville Jets, amassing 19 goals and 35 assists for 54 points through 74 games before advancing to the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers for 42 games, recording one goal and four assists. Now, in his third NAHL season, Patava is on pace to equal his 2013-14 ratio of 2:3 in points to games.

South Division Standings:
Wichita Falls Wildcats (14-3-2, 30 PTS)
Lone Star Brahmas (11-1-3, 25 PTS)
Topeka RoadRunners (11-11-0, 22 PTS)
Odessa Jackalopes (9-5-1, 19 PTS)

Corpus Christi IceRays (5-10-3, 13 PTS)
Amarillo Bulls (5-14-2, 12 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays return to their normal start time of 7:11 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20 to continue their series with the Lone Star Brahmas from the American Bank Center. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.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.