PREVIEW: ICERAYS VS. ROADRUNNERS (GAME #14)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

vs.

TOPEKA ROADRUNNERS

Saturday, October 24 at 7:05 P.M.

Game #14 • NAHL Game #137 • Series: COR leads 2-1-0
American Bank Center • Corpus Christi, TX
Radio: SportsJuice.com • Mobile: TuneIn Radio • In-Arena: 87.7FM

Video: FASTHockey.com • Twitter: @goicerays

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

Tonight’s Game: The IceRays finish off a two-game, three-day weekend set against the Topeka RoadRunners at the American Bank Center in the 8th annual Pink In The Rink game, presented by AutoNation, Drive Pink, Radiology & Imaging, and South Texas Surgical Hospital.

Head-To-Head: For the first time in junior franchise history, the IceRays have won two games against Topeka in the same season, taking a 2-1-0 advantage in the season series. The IceRays have won three of their last five games over the last two seasons (including their first two home wins) despite owning a 4-18-3 record over the past six seasons.

Last Game: Three players earned their first NAHL goals as the IceRays held off the RoadRunners, 4-3, on Thursday night at the American Bank Center. IceRays defenseman Colton Meekhof (15:57 1st) put up his first goal and the game’s first for a 1-0 lead. Forward Regen Cavanagh (2:21 2nd) doubled the IceRays lead, 2-0, on a re-direction play. Topeka forwards Marcus Russell (8:17 2nd) and Dominic Lutz (15:24 2nd) scored the first goals for the road side and tied the game, 2-2. The IceRays bounced back with a quick goal by forward Brad LeLievre (3:31 3rd) to take a 3-2 lead followed by the first of the year for forward Brad Power (10:18 3rd). RoadRunners defenseman John O’Connor (PP, EA, 19:44 3rd) tacked on a late goal with the goalie pulled, but the IceRays claimed the win. Dryden McKay saved a season-high 43 of 45 shots in the win, and Tyler Johnson stopped 16 of 20 shots in the loss.

Skid Row: The IceRays snapped a season-high four-game losing streak with their win on Thursday night, which also marked the second weekday game win of the season. During their skid, the IceRays were outscored 18-4 despite recording 35+ shots in three of four games, swept in consecutive weekends to Wichita Falls at home and Amarillo on the road. However, with an overtime loss on Oct. 17, the IceRays did earn one point despite slipping to fifth in the South Division.

Light The Burners: For the first time this season, the IceRays recorded four goals in a game and notched three or more goals for just the fourth time in 13 games. The absence of four-goal games sets a new junior franchise high, blowing away the old record set in each of the last two seasons (three games). Thus far, the IceRays are ranked last in goals per game (1.85) and rank 20th in total goals (24) ahead the Aberdeen Wings (21) and Coulee Region Chill (19).

Saving The Day: Goaltender Dryden McKay made a strong statement in the win, saving a season-high 43 shots on 45 chances. The shots against is the highest of the season and the most against the IceRays since Oct. 17, 2014 when the RoadRunners placed 51 against netminder Andrew Lindgren. This is the sixth time that McKay has seen at least 40 shots against over the past two seasons (fourth time against Topeka) with the most saves and shots against coming on Nov. 15, 2014 against the RoadRunners, saving 44 of 46 shots in a 3-2 win for Springfield. In such situations, he owns a  3-3-0 record with a 3.54 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage.

Quadruple Doubles: Four different IceRays earned multi-point games in Thursday’s win, the most as a team this season. The mark beats out the previous standard set on Sep. 24 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with three players recording at least two points. That game also has the only time that a player has three points in a single effort, and it happened to two people: forwards Ryan Cusin and Drake Lindsay (three assists). No player this season has scored a hat-trick, but forward Carter Johnson is the only with a two-goal night, which were the game-typing and game-winning goal on the same night.

Shooting Clinic: The RoadRunners have overpowered the IceRays in shots over the past few seasons both at home and on the road. They’re averaging 44.63 shots per game over their last eight games against the IceRays with five of those coming with 45 or more shots. In that span, Topeka owns a 5-2-1 record against the IceRays despite only outscoring their opponents 30-25, which tallies for an 8.40% conversion rate. The IceRays do hold a higher conversion rate against the RoadRunners at 12.69%.

Lutz of Love: After going scoreless in his first four games of the season, Topeka forward Dominic Lutz has held the hot hand in point production with nine-straight games with at least one point, which ranks atop the NAHL so far. His first goal of the year came in game four of the streak and his lone multi-point was recorded in game seven (two assists). He currently leads the team in points (10) and shares the team lead in assists (6). During his streak, the RoadRunners have gone 4-5-0.

South Division Standings:
Wichita Falls Wildcats (10-1-1, 21 PTS)
Lone Star Brahmas (6-1-3, 15 PTS)
Odessa Jackalopes (7-5-0, 12 PTS)

Topeka RoadRunners (7-8-0, 14 PTS)
Corpus Christi IceRays (5-7-1, 11 PTS)
Amarillo Bulls (3-9-2, 8 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays hit the road on Friday, October 30 to begin the first of a two-game weekend set against the South Division-leading Wichita Falls Wildcats at 7:05 p.m. from the Kay Yeager Coliseum. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX 1230AM) and FASTHockey.com.