Loading Scoreboard...

PREVIEW: ICERAYS VS. BULLS (GAME #33)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS VS. AMARILLO BULLS

Friday, January 13 • 7:05 P.M. • American Bank Center • Corpus Christi, TX
NAHL Game #360 • Game #33 • Home Game #17 • Series: COR leads 4-1-0-0
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 finish their lone home weekend of January at the American Bank Center against the Amarillo Bulls.

Head-To-Head: The IceRays have now won four of their first five meetings with the Bulls and their first one-goal game in the season series while taking two of three at the American Bank Center. The IceRays can win the season series outright with one win over their next three meetings. The IceRays are 13-19-1 at the American Bank Center over the last seven seasons while owning a 25-41-3 record in the junior franchise series.

Last Night: The IceRays and Bulls took a close game into a shootout, and the IceRays came out on top 4-3 on Thursday night at the American Bank Center. Bulls forward Brendan Walkom (1:30 1st) opened the scoring early in the contest to take a 1-0 lead before IceRays newcomer Larry Jungwirth (12:10 1st) answered for his first IceRays goal on his first shot to tie the game at 1-1. On their second power play, IceRays forward Griffin Loughran (PP, 3:42 2nd) scored his first NAHL goal to push ahead, 2-1. The Bulls answered from defenseman Jeff Solow (10:33 2nd) to send a 2-2 game into the third period. Another early IceRays goal, this time from forward Mason Krueger (0:54 3rd), gave the home side a 3-2 lead, but Bulls forward Steven Ipri (10:41 3rd) knotted the game at 3-3 and went into overtime and a shootout. IceRays forward David Thomson (2nd) scored the lone goal in the shootout to earn a 4-3 home win. IceRays goaltender Tomáš Vomáčka (10-10-2) stopped 26 of 29 shots in the win, while Bulls netminder Brandon Bussi (7-4-3) halted 33 of 36 shots in the shootout loss.

Going Streaking: The IceRays continued their recent hot run last night with a win at home, marking their fourth-straight win and six-straight games with points. The team is now on their longest win streak of the season, eclipsing their three-game stretch from October 29 to November 5, and it’s also just the second time in two seasons the team has put together a four-game win streak, joining their 5-0-0 stretch from Dec. 18, 2015 to Jan. 2, 2016. The team’s last six-game point streak came from Sep. 19, 2014 to Oct. 10, 2014, when they went 4-0-1-1 crossing through the NAHL Showcase.

Great Layover: The IceRays remained perfect in games coming after an off-weekend, moving to 4-0 in the immediate game following a break including two shutouts and a shootout win while outscoring opponents 14-8 in those games. In total, the team will finish 7-1-1-0 following a weekend away from games with a 5-1-0-0 record at the American Bank Center.

First and First: Two IceRays players earned firsts last night during their win against the Bulls. Forward Larry Jungwirth earned his first IceRays goal midway through the first period as well as his first IceRays assist early in the second period, also resulting in his first multi-point game in his first game in Corpus Christi. Forward Griffin Loughran also tabbed his first NAHL goal in the second period on the power play following a six-game drought since joining the IceRays at the start of December as well as his first assist to combine with another first multi-point game. Their line, including center David Thomson, factored for five of the team’s nine points in regulation last night.

Consistency Achieved: For the first time since December 9, the IceRays allowed three or more goals in regulation, meaning the team has achieved consistency in defensive production over their recent point streak. It’s the first time during the team’s six-game point streak that the team allowed more than two goals in regulation and the second time they allowed three goals in total with the only other occurrence coming on December 16 in Shreveport (3-2 SOL). This comes following a stretch with four or more goals allowed in four-straight games before the hot run.

Who’s The New Kid: The Amarillo Bulls shifted their lineup in the last few weeks and recently acquired goaltender Brandon Bussi from the New Jersey Titans in exchange for Kosta Likourezos, and Bussi made his Bulls debut last night. It was the first game since November 25 that the Bulls allowed netminder Nikita Babintsev a night off, marking 13-straight starts for the leading netminder. During that span, the Bulls turned around their fortunes and are now 7-5-1-1 in their last 14 games since last meeting the IceRays. Bussi has now dropped three of his last four games.

South Division Standings:
Lone Star Brahmas (26-8-1-0, 53 PTS)
Wichita Falls Wildcats (21-9-3-1, 46 PTS)
Shreveport Mudbugs (20-11-0-1, 41 PTS)
Corpus Christi IceRays (15-13-1-3, 34 PTS)
Amarillo Bulls (12-17-7-1, 32 PTS)

Odessa Jackalopes (13-14-4-0, 30 PTS)
Topeka RoadRunners (11-22-2-1, 25 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays embark on a three-week road trip starting on Friday, Jan. 20 at 7:05 p.m. to continue their four-game stretch against the Amarillo Bulls from the Amarillo Civic Center. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX 1230AM) and Hockey TV.