PREVIEW: ICERAYS VS. BRAHMAS (GAME #21)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS VS. LONE STAR BRAHMAS

Saturday, November 19 • 7:05 P.M. • American Bank Center • Corpus Christi, TX
NAHL Game #198 • Game #21 • Home Game #9 • Series: LSB leads 3-0-0-0
Radio: SportsJuice.com • Video: Hockey TV • Twitter: @goicerays • In-Arena: 87.7FM

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

Tonight’s Game: The IceRays complete their four-game stretch against the Lone Star Brahmas from the American Bank Center on Stars & Stripes Night, presented by Whataburger and First Title Company.

Head-To-Head: The IceRays have dropped the first three games of the season series and have been held to just two goals through the opening portion of the season series so far. The IceRays now own a 12-15-4 record in their fourth season of the franchise series against the Brahmas though their home record now sits at 9-5-1 with losses in five of their last seven meetings at the American Bank Center.

Last Night: Power play opportunities in the second period helped to shut down the IceRays in a 3-0 loss to the Brahmas on Friday night from the American Bank Center. After an even first period, Brahmas forward Hunter Stanley (PP, 1:52 2nd) opened the scoring on the first penalty of the game to take a 1-0 lead. After the IceRays were set back on a 5-on-3 penalty kill, Brahmas forwards Drake Glover (PP, 12:25 2nd) and Troy York (PP, 13:19 2nd) capitalized on each end with a rebound and breakaway, respectively, to triple the lead, 3-0. The IceRays were held back despite a goaltending change in the third period, falling 3-0 in the shutout loss. Brahmas netminder Alec Calvaruso (8-1-0) halted all 20 shots faced in the win. IceRays goaltender Tomáš Vomáčka (4-8-1) stopped 9 of 12 shots in 39:09 minutes and the loss, and Cam Burggrabe stopped all nine shots faced in 20:51 minutes of relief.

Shut Down: The IceRays were held without a goal in a game for the first time this season coming at the one-third mark of the season. The last time the IceRays were shut out came last season against the Brahmas on February 6 in a 1-0 loss from the NYTEX Sports Centre, however it’s been almost two years since the IceRays were shut out on home ice: Mar. 28, 2014 against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (2-0 L). The IceRays have conceded 32 shutouts against them over the last seven seasons while only earning 13 with four of those coming in the 2016 calendar year including two this season (Oct. 27 vs. SHR; Nov. 4 @ AMA).

Not So Special: All three goals in last night’s game were conceded on the penalty kill, marking the first time this season the IceRays converted on less than half of their penalty kills in their 1-for-4 effort. It’s also the third time this season the IceRays have allowed three power play goals in a game with the other two instances coming on October 8 in Topeka (4-for-7) during their 7-6 overtime loss and October 28 at home against Shreveport (3-for-6) in a 5-4 loss. The IceRays have now allowed power play goals in four-straight games and six of their last seven, going 21-for-31 (67.74%) in that stretch.

Changing of the Guard: For the first time this season, IceRays goaltender Tomáš Vomáčka was pulled mid-game for Camden Burggrabe during last night’s loss. Vomáčka has caught a bit of a rough patch, dropping his last five games since returning to the American Bank Center on October 14 with four of those losses coming on home ice. He owns a 3.25 goals-against average and .893 save percentage in that stretch. On the other hand, Burggrabe continues to rise in that same time span, winning three of his four decisions and conceding no more than two goals in a game. The Northern Michigan commit is 3-1-0 with a 1.15 goals-against average and a .958 save percentage in that same time span with both sets of numbers coming in their last five games.

Road Warriors: On top of their success throughout the season, the Brahmas have been the best team in the NAHL on the road, picking up wins in 11 of 13 games and points in all but one contest. Since their lone regulation road loss of the season on September 29 in Shreveport (4-2 L), the Brahmas have won nine-straight games away from the NYTEX Sports Centre and have scored three or more goals in all nine contests including six games with at least four goals. Lone Star owns a +27 goal differential in 13 road contests this season, making them the only team outscoring their opponents by over 20 goals and just one of three teams with a double-digit positive road output (Johnstown, +19; Aston, +16).

Military Night: The IceRays and Brahmas play on Starts & Stripes Night for the third-straight season, continuing the unintended tradition of military meetings. The IceRays conceded their first loss in the opening game of Stars & Stripes Weekend over the last three seasons but ended their first game in regulation in that situation. However, the IceRays have lost on Stars & Stripes Night each of the last two seasons and all three games after the weekend opener. The IceRays are now 2-4-0 in games on Stars & Stripes Weekend in the mini-series.

South Division Standings:
Lone Star Brahmas (18-3-1-0, 37 PTS)
Shreveport Mudbugs (11-6-0-1, 23 PTS)
Wichita Falls Wildcats (10-6-2-0, 22 PTS)
Corpus Christi IceRays (8-9-1-2, 19 PTS)
Topeka RoadRunners (8-11-1-1, 18 PTS)
Amarillo Bulls (6-9-6-0, 18 PTS)
Odessa Jackalopes (8-10-1-0, 17 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays return to action on Friday, Nov. 25 at 7:05 p.m. as they welcome the Amarillo Bulls for the first time this season to the American Bank Center on Black Friday. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on SportsJuice.com, Hockey TV, and 87.7FM in-arena.