PREVIEW: ICERAYS VS. BRAHMAS (GAME #43)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

vs.

LONE STAR BRAHMAS

Friday, February 12 at 7:11 P.M.

Game #43 • NAHL Game #471 • Series: LSB leads 5-2-1
American Bank Center • Corpus Christi, TX
Radio: SportsJuice.com • Video: FASTHockey.com 
• In-Arena: 87.7FM
Mobile: TuneIn Radio Twitter: @goicerays

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

Tonight’s Game: The IceRays and Brahmas play game two of their three-in-three set at the American Bank Center as well as their fourth-straight game against each other.

Head-To-Head: The IceRays snapped a three-game skid against the Brahmas, improving to 3-4-1 on the season with four games remaining in the season set. Their record now stands at 11-10-3 in three seasons, however the IceRays have owned the franchise series at the American Bank Center, winning now nine of 12 meetings including wins on both Thursday games: Nov. 19 (4-3 OTW) and Feb. 11 (3-0 W).

Last Night: A hat-trick and a perfect goaltending performance led to an IceRays 3-0 blanking of the Brahmas on Thursday night at the American Bank Center. IceRays forward Carter Johnson (PP, 19:59 1st) picked up the game’s first goal on a one-time shot off a faceoff draw to take a 1-0 lead for the home side. In the second, Johnson (17:22 2nd) received a pass from forward Brendan Miller and worked his way to find an opening on the right side to double the lead, 2-0. Johnson (SH, EN, 18:55 3rd) then finished the hat-trick with a shot from his own blue line and seal the win, 3-0. IceRays goaltender Dryden McKay earned his first shutout of the season and second for the team, stopping all 30 shots. Brahmas netminder Conor O’Brien grabbed the loss, saving 11 of 13 shots.

Let Them Fly: Forward Carter Johnson recorded the first hat-trick for an IceRays player this season and continues his leading run atop the squad. It’s the first hat-trick by an IceRays player since Feb. 28, 2015 when Tanner Lomsnes netted a hat-trick in a 6-3 win over Rio Grande Valley and the first in over two years: Feb. 7, 2014 (Jake Durflinger, 7-6 OTL vs. TOP). Johnson is the ninth player in IceRays junior franchise history to record a hat-trick, which is tied for the most goals in a game by a single player. Johnson now has four multi-goal games this season, the most of any IceRays player.

#NoWayMcKay: Goaltender Dryden McKay earned his first shutout of the season, saving all 30 shots he faced including 16 in the first period. The shutout is the third of his NAHL career with the most previous coming in a 1-0 win over Topeka at home for Springfield on Feb. 6, 2015 (37 saves). In his last two shutouts, he’s faced 30 or more shots against South Division opponents. McKay has held opponents to two goals or less in now six of his last seven starts dating back to the beginning of December, earning a 5-1-0 record with a 1.87 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage through his last seven games including a 6-2 loss to the Wichita Falls Wildcats on January 9. Both shutouts for the IceRays this season have also come by the same scoreline.

First Is Better: The IceRays recorded the first goal of the game against the Brahmas for just the second time this season in eight meetings, and coincidentally the other came on a Thursday at the American Bank Center: Nov. 19 in a 4-3 overtime win to open the season series. The IceRays have only scored the first goal of a game two times in their last 12 games as well as 12 total times this season. Both first goals for the IceRays against Lone Star have come on special teams (O’Brien, SH; Johnson, PP). In games where the IceRays score first, they are now 8-3-1.

Anything But Fives: The recent trend of special teams play continued through last night with three more goals coming away from 5-on-5 play. Now, the IceRays and Brahmas have played 180 minutes (three games) without a 5-on-5 goal. The 4-on-4 goal was the first even-strength goal in that span but came with one player in each penalty box. Now in their last five games, only three of the 19 total goals scored came with five players on the ice for each side. The last 5-on-5 goal scored came on Jan. 16 in the third period on the game-tying goal by Brad Power.

Goose Eggs: The Brahmas incurred just their third shutout of the season and third against a different opponent. Their other two shutouts came against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs (1-0 SOL) on Sep. 24 at the NAHL Showcase and most recently against the Wichita Falls Wildcats (4-0 L) on Nov. 25 at home. Lone Star has been part of seven shutouts this year and on the winning side of four of those games. After their last two, the Brahmas have won the following game. In addition, goaltender Conor O’Brien has been in net for the first and third shutout against, and the 13 shots faced last night is the third-lowest against him this season with the smallest amount on Nov. 27 against Amarillo (9-9 SV).

South Division Standings:
Wichita Falls Wildcats (32-9-4, 68 PTS)
Lone Star Brahmas (27-10-7, 61 PTS)
Topeka RoadRunners (28-16-1, 57 PTS)
Corpus Christi IceRays (18-20-4, 40 PTS)
Odessa Jackalopes (17-19-4, 38 PTS)
Amarillo Bulls (9-29-4, 22 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays finish their home portion of the season series against the Lone Star Brahmas on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 7:11 p.m. from the American Bank Center. Tickets are available at www.Ticketmaster.com, the American Bank Center Box Office, or by calling the IceRays Front Office at 361-814-PUCK. Coverage begins at 6:55 p.m. on SportsJuice.com, FASTHockey.com, and 87.7FM in-arena.