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PREVIEW: ICERAYS VS. JACKALOPES (GAME #12)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS VS. ODESSA JACKALOPES

Saturday, October 15 • 7:05 P.M. • American Bank Center • Corpus Christi, TX
 NAHL Game #83 • Game #12 • Home Game #4 • Series: ODA leads 1-0-0-0
Radio: SportsJuice • Video: HockeyTV • Twitter: @goicerays

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

Tonight’s Game: The IceRays finish the opening weekend against the Odessa Jackalopes from the American Bank Center on Childhood Cancer Awareness Night, benefitting the Brooke’s Blossoming Hope For Childhood Cancer Foundation.

Head-To-Head: The IceRays dropped the opening game of the season series against Odessa for the second-straight season and the first game at home of the season since Sep. 28, 2012 against Topeka (8-4 L). The IceRays still own the franchise series at 25-18-4 while slipping to 19-7-1 on home ice with a 2-4-1 record over the last two seasons.

Last Night: The IceRays maintained a close game but slipped late in the game to fall 2-1 to the Jackalopes on home opening night at the American Bank Center. Jackalopes forward Nick Klishko (13:05 1st) found an opening from the right circle to give Odessa a 1-0 lead. The IceRays wouldn’t tie the game until the second period when forward Brad Power (10:56 2nd) slid a shot through the five-hole to make it 1-1. In the final minute of the game, Jackalopes forward Ryan MacKellar (19:01 3rd) re-directed a shot off his knee coming from Christian Hausinger to edge ahead and win 2-1. Jonny Hogue (4-2-0) saved 18 of 19 shots in the win, and Tomáš Vomáčka (4-4-1) halted 28 of 30 shots in the loss.

Streak Busters: Last night’s regulation loss brought to close a four-game point streak stretching from the end of the NAHL Showcase. During that span, the IceRays went 2-0-1-1 with an overtime loss to Topeka on Saturday night (7-6 OTL) and a shootout loss to New Jersey on September 24 (4-3 SOL) in the first day of the streak. Not only that, it broke four player streaks in the process. Forwards Cole Filler (0+7=7) and Andy McGlynn (5+2=7) had their three-game point streak silenced, forward Josh Tripp (3+2=5) saw his four-game point streak close, and forward Nathan Bryer (5+5=10) had his four-game goal and point streak snap in the loss.

Home Sputter: The IceRays dropped last night’s home opener returning to the American Bank Center and dropped the home opener for the first time since Sep. 28, 2012 in a game against the Topeka RoadRunners (8-4 L). While it’s not the largest home loss, it’s just the second time since becoming a junior franchise the IceRays fell on their return to home ice. Historically, the IceRays are now 5-2-0-0 on home opening night including winning two of those games after regulation (Oct. 1, 2010 vs. WFS, 4-3 SOW; Sep. 23, 2011 vs. ODA, 2-1 OTW).

Powering Up: IceRays forward Brad Power notched the home side’s lone goal in last night’s loss, providing life and a spark midway through the contest. The goal was his first since scoring a hat-trick on Sep. 22 against the Minnesota Magicians in a 4-3 overtime win and moves him to a share of third on the team in goals (5) and points (8). Since joining the IceRays, the Saint John’s, N.F. product has continued to not only be productive across the league but also specifically against the Jackalopes, now recording nine points (7 goals, 2 assists) through 13 games with a +4 rating dating back through last season. His goals are the most against Odessa by an active player and leading now by three over the next closest: Andy McGlynn (4).

Hulk Houge-an: Jackalopes netminder Jonny Hogue has been a welcome addition to the Odessa roster after the team battled with goaltending issues last season. Through just six games in net, the Lethbridge, Alb., native sits sixth in the NAHL in save percentage (.929) and seventh in goals-against average (2.17). The 20-year-old is putting up career numbers early in his NAHL career after parts of three seasons in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) and 18 games with the Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL). Previously, Hogue’s best season came in 2014-15 with Drumheller (AJHL), recording a 17-6-5 record with a career-best 3.08 GAA and .905 SV%.

Keep Truckin’: The Jackalopes continue their 13-game road trip away from the Ector County Coliseum with only three more road games left including tonight. The IceRays held the Jackalopes to just two goals, their lowest total since October 8 and have only been held to fewer than three goals now four times with the other three coming on Sep. 24 @ WBS (3-1 L), Oct. 1 @ WFS (4-2 L), and Oct. 8 @ SHR (4-2 L). All four of those games have come in their last six outings after kicking off the season with three or more goals in all four games and outscoring opponents 18-10. 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:
Lone Star Brahmas (6-2-1-0, 13 PTS)
Amarillo Bulls (6-5-1-0, 13 PTS)
Odessa Jackalopes (6-4-0-0, 12 PTS)
Wichita Falls Wildcats (5-4-2-0, 12 PTS)
Corpus Christi IceRays (4-4-1-2, 10 PTS)
Topeka RoadRunners (5-8-0-0, 10 PTS)
Shreveport Mudbugs (4-3-0-1, 9 PTS)

Next Game: After a weekend off, the IceRays are back in action on Thursday, Oct. 27 at 10:00 a.m. to welcome back the Shreveport Mudbugs and the Kids Day Game. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com, the American Bank Center Box Office, or the IceRays Front Office. Coverage begins at 9:45 a.m. on SportsJuice.com, HockeyTV, and 87.7FM in-arena.