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PREVIEW: ICERAYS VS. JACKALOPES (GAME #11)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS VS. ODESSA JACKALOPES

Friday, October 14 • 7:05 P.M. • American Bank Center • Corpus Christi, TX
 NAHL Game #73 • Game #11 • Home Game #3 • Series: 0-0-0-0
Radio: SportsJuice • Video: HockeyTV • Twitter: @goicerays

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

Tonight’s Game: The IceRays open the 2016-17 home schedule against the Odessa Jackalopes at the American Bank Center after a 10-game road trip to open the season.

Head-To-Head: The IceRays and Jackalopes battled for the final playoff spot last season with Odessa taking the edge though splitting the series with a 6-4-2 record. Over the franchises’ histories, the IceRays have owned the matchup, going 35-17-4 over the last five seasons while taking a 19-6-1 with them at the American Bank Center despite going 2-3-1 last year.

Last Game: The IceRays set a franchise-record 61 shots and five power play goals during their 7-6 overtime loss to the Topeka RoadRunners on Saturday night from the Kansas Expocentre. RoadRunners forward Jeff Makowski (PP, 3:00 1st) notched the game’s first goal before the IceRays answered with three tallies in the opening period from forwards David Thomson (PP, 5:37 1st), Andy McGlynn (10:34 1st) and Brendan Miller (PP, 16:33 1st) to take the lead, 3-1, before a semi-line brawl ended the first period. On the ensuing power play, RoadRunners forward D.J. Busdeker (PP, 2:19 2nd) capitalized to come within one, 3-2, followed by a Marcus Russell (SH, 6:28 2nd) goal to tie the game, 3-3. Thomson (PP, 7:13 2nd) scored his second of the night to take back the lead before RoadRunners forwards Busdeker (8:32 2nd) and Marshall Bowery (9:00 2nd) retook the lead, 5-4. IceRays forward Josh Tripp (PP, 6:38 3rd), RoadRunners forward Alex Frye (PP, 9:24 3rd) and IceRays forward Nathan Bryer (PP, 15:07 3rd) traded power play goals to send the game into overtime, 6-6. With seconds left, RoadRunners defenseman Matthew Barnes (4:46 OT) scored the game-winner to give Topeka the full two points. Mike Rockwell (3-3-0) stopped 37 of 40 shots in 45:15 minutes in the win with starter Ryan Snowden halting 18 of 21 in 19:31 minutes. Camden Burggrabe (0-0-1) turned away 32 of 39 shots in the overtime loss.

End Of The Road: The IceRays finished their season-opening 10-game road trip with a 4-3-1-2 record and 11 points, marking them just over a point-per-game clip heading into their home schedule. During their four-week trip, the IceRays picked up points in seven of their ten games despite being outscored 37-31. They also saw five of those 10 games go into at least overtime though winning two of those contests. This weekend is the latest the IceRays have started their home schedule since the 2009-10 season in the Central Hockey League (CHL) when they began on Oct. 17, 2009 against the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs (4-3 L).

Full Court Press: Offense was a large part of the IceRays’ success over the last three-game set, outpacing the RoadRunners 14-11 and outshooting the opposition 128-100 while setting a franchise-high 61 shots on Saturday night, which overtakes a mark set in the first junior franchise game on Sep. 16, 2010 against the Chicago Hitmen (5-4 W). The IceRays now have scored three or more goals in each of their last four games and five of six while owning a 3-1-1-1 over that six-game span.

In Tandem: IceRays forwards Nathan Bryer, Cole Filler and Andy McGlynn closed out an impressive weekend on the same line with four more points on Saturday night, improving their mark of dominance on the weekend. The three-man unit combined for 23 of the team’s 42 points (54.76%) through three games against Topeka as well as all 21 points on even-strength goals. In fact, that unit scored all seven goals during five-on-five play with McGlynn scoring five of those goals. For their efforts, Bryer was named NAHL South Division Star of the Week after his nine-point adventure (4 goals, 5 assists), and Andy McGlynn earned NAHL South Division 2nd Star of the Week after seven points (5 goals, 2 assists). Filler earned seven assists in three games over the weekend. All three are on three-game point streaks.

Splitport, LA: The Odessa Jackalopes made their first trip to Louisiana for a split weekend against the Shreveport Mudbugs, winning 4-3 on Friday night and dropping 4-2 on Saturday. Four players picked up multi-point weekends with forward Chase Thudium (2+1=3) leading the way with a pair of goals and defenseman Cooper Zech (1+2=3) sharing the team lead in points on the weekend. Veterans Zach Zech (1+1=2) and Christian Hausinger (0+2=2) rounded the two-game tilt with a pair of points. Goaltender Jonny Hogue earned the win on Friday with 41 saves on 44 chances, while returning netminder Jon Flakne was saddled with the loss after a 13-for-17 effort on Saturday.

Roadies: The Jackalopes have yet to play a game at the Ector County Coliseum in the 2016-17 season as part of a 13-game annual road trip to open the year. Thus far, the Jackalopes are averaging just over one point per game and have only been held to fewer than three goals three times: Sep. 24 @ WBS (3-1 L), Oct. 1 @ WFS (4-2 L), and Oct. 8 @ SHR (4-2 L). All three of those games have come in their last five outings. Odessa returns to the Permian Basin on October 27 to begin a stretch with 13 of their next 15 games will be at the Ector County Coliseum stretching through December 30.

South Division Standings:
Amarillo Bulls (6-4-1-0, 13 PTS)
Wichita Falls Wildcats (5-4-2-0, 12 PTS)
Lone Star Brahmas (5-2-1-0, 11 PTS)
Corpus Christi IceRays (4-3-1-2, 10 PTS)
Odessa Jackalopes (5-4-0-0, 10 PTS)
Topeka RoadRunners (5-7-0-0, 10 PTS)
Shreveport Mudbugs (4-3-0-1, 9 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays close out home opening weekend against the Jackalopes on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 7:05 p.m. at the American Bank Center. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com, the American Bank Center Box Office, or the IceRays Front Office. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on SportsJuice.com, HockeyTV, and 87.7FM in-arena.