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PREVIEW: ICERAYS VS. BRAHMAS (GAME #45)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS VS. LONE STAR BRAHMAS

Saturday, February 25 • 7:05 P.M. • American Bank Center • Corpus Christi, TX
NAHL Game #517 • Game #45 • Home Game #23 • Series: LSB leads 5-2-0-0
Radio: SportsJuice.com • Video: Hockey TV
Twitter: @goicerays • Video: 87.7FM

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

Tonight’s Game: The IceRays finish February with the back end of a two-game set against the Lone Star Brahmas on Heart Night, benefitting the American Heart Association.

Head-To-Head: The IceRays and Brahmas met in overtime for the first time this season, and the IceRays slipped in that situation to a 2-4-1-0 record on the season. The Brahmas have taken three of the last four games that have resulted in at least overtime. In four seasons, the IceRays are now 14-16-5 against the Brahmas while owning a 10-5-2 record at the American Bank Center.

Last Night: The IceRays saw their win streak come to an end in their 2-1 overtime loss to the Brahmas on Friday night at the American Bank Center. Scoring waited until late in the game, when Brahmas forward Carson Kelley (16:06 3rd) took a shot off the post from the left circle to edge ahead 1-0. Less than one minute later, IceRays forward Jayson DiMizio (17:02 3rd) jammed home a loose puck in the Brahmas crease to send the game into overtime, 1-1. In the dying seconds, Brahmas forward Troy York (4:52 OT) took a one-time shot from the left circle that beat the netminder glove-side to grab both points in a 2-1 decision. Brahmas goaltender Max Prawdzik (6-1-0) stopped 21 of 22 shots in the win, while IceRays netminder Tomáš Vomáčka (14-11-3) turned down 26 of 28 shots in the overtime loss.

Points!: Though the IceRays’ seven-game win streak came to an end in last night’s overtime loss, their point streak continues to eight-straight games, their longest of the season. In their recent run, the IceRays have earned points in all seven games through February with one remaining while continuing to close the gap on second and third place, now at two and one point, respectively. Broadly, the IceRays now have points in 16 of their last 18 games, earning a 14-2-1-1 record since December 10 and going on two winning streaks of six games or more with half of their wins against top-two teams in the South Division (Lone Star: 1, Shreveport: 6).

Extra Help: Despite last night’s overtime loss, the IceRays have been successful over the franchise’s history in games ending in the five-minute extra period though sitting at 2-2 this season. Over their last three years, the IceRays are 14-5 in games ending in overtime and are overall 21-17 in that situation. However, when games trail into a shootout, the IceRays are 1-3 this season and 17-23 over the last seven years. In total, the IceRays are 38-40 through 78 games ending after regulation. Their last overtime result came on October 8 in Topeka (7-6 OTL).

Loving The Month: The IceRays head into their final game of the month on an impressive run and a best for the junior franchise. At 6-0-1-0, the IceRays own their best February record in junior franchise history, eclipsing their former best during the 2012-13 season (5-3-0-0 record, 10 points). In fact, those are the only two years the IceRays have owned a positive record or double-digit points in February. Since December, the IceRays have owned a positive monthly record in all three months as well as four of six months this season, earning a minimum of four wins and eight points since October.

Something Special: The IceRays have struggled to produce wins on night one of a two-game weekend set wearing specialty jerseys for the weekend. In all three attempts, the IceRays are 0-2-1-0 with two of those three games ending in a one-goal differential. However, in both previous attempts, the IceRays have come back on the specialty night and won, including a 4-1 win against the Brahmas on Stars & Stripes Night. That is contrary to the trend for the season, which is a 11-5-1-3 on night one of a set of consecutive games followed up by a 12-7-0-0 record in the second game of two nights. The IceRays are also 9-5-1-1 on Saturday nights.

Oh Brahma!: The Brahmas have had great success in overtime games this season, especially in their recent run. They earned their second overtime in as many games by the same scoreline while also winning six-straight games ending in overtime since September 24 at the NAHL Showcase. The Brahmas are now 10-1 in games ending after regulation this season, sitting atop the league in that category. They also have a better propensity to win close games, owning a 16-5-1-0 record (.750) in one-goal games thus far including two 2-1 wins over the IceRays in 2016-17.

South Division Standings:
Lone Star Brahmas (37-11-1-0, 75 PTS)
Wichita Falls Wildcats (25-15-4-1, 55 PTS)
Shreveport Mudbugs (25-15-2-2, 54 PTS)
Corpus Christi IceRays (24-15-2-3, 53 PTS)
Odessa Jackalopes (18-22-5-0, 41 PTS)
Amarillo Bulls (15-21-7-1, 38 PTS)
Topeka RoadRunners (15-28-4-1, 35 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays begin the final weekend of the four-week home stand on Friday, Mar. 3 at 7:05 p.m. when they open a two-game set against the Wichita Falls Wildcats. Tickets are available at the American Bank Center Box Office and Ticketmaster.com. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on SportsJuice.com, Hockey TV and 87.7FM in-arena.