Preview: IceRays vs. Shreveport Mudbugs (Game 32)

 


Rays Reach Season Offensive Peak

The IceRays’ attack exploded in their last outing before the break. Focus is always a concern on the final game heading into the holidays, but the IceRays proved that to be anything but the case. Stomping the Odessa Jackalopes by a 7-3 final, the Rays reached their offensive peak this season, matching their highest goal total in a single game since March 4th, 2017.

Perhaps what was most impressive was that all but one of the scores were accompanied by two assists, which is a testament to how well the IceRays moved the puck. The chemistry and creativity were clearly in full swing, and eventually the offense seemed to come easily for them. However, no team has kept the Rays’ attacking game in check as well as Shreveport has this season.


The Matchup

Shreveport managed to shut out Corpus Christi in their last meeting. They are also the only team to have convincingly defeated the Rays at the American Bank Center all season.

The Mudbugs are also riding high after sweeping Amarillo at George’s Pond just before the holidays, outscoring the Bulls 11-3 on the weekend. Both of these teams are very well-rested and are coming off of dominant performances, making tonight’s matchup a particularly interesting affair.


Peltonen Returns

When Aleksi Peltonen last played for the IceRays, they hosted Shreveport on December 3rd. The prior day, Peltonen led the Rays to victory over the Mudbugs with a pair of primary assists, as well as scoring the game-winning shootout goal.

A brief stint with the USHL’s Omaha Lancers saw Peltonen register a goal and a +1 rating through four games played throughout December. An elite playmaker and the IceRays’ top shootout specialist, Peltonen’s return will unquestionably be a welcome one.


Idle South

The IceRays can kick-start the second half of their season on a high note by taking down Shreveport as the rest of the division is idle tonight. With Lone Star off all weekend, the IceRays can come within just two points of the second-place Brahmas come Friday night.

However, Odessa and Amarillo will play each other in a three-game home and home series from Friday until Sunday. Both teams are straddling the IceRays for positioning in the division by a narrow difference. The South could look entirely different by the time this weekend fully wraps up.