Preview: IceRays vs Shreveport Mudbugs (Game 40)


Rays Fall on Teacher Night

Back-to-back enormous crowds were on hand for the IceRays between last Saturday and yesterday, but Shreveport was able to take the energy out of the American Bank Center early. Six and a half minutes in, they struck shortly after dropping their first power play, and would add another on a man-advantage to double their lead. Brendan Miller’s power play goal in the final seconds of the first period re-instilled life into the crowd and onto the bench, setting the stage for what seemed to be another second period comeback.

The Rays dominated the start of the next stanza, threatening to tie the score multiple times. However, a momentum-shifting shorthanded goal scored by Jack Clement would tip the scales in Shreveport’s favor, and they remained that way for virtually the rest of the contest.


The Matchup

Tonight will be the last time the Mudbugs play the IceRays at the American Bank Center this season. Shreveport has now defeated the IceRays three straight times, but last night was the first time in five matchups they bested the Rays by a substantial margin. In the six home series the IceRays’ have played this season, they’ve not once failed to extract at least a point. No team is easy to sweep on their home ice, and the Rays have proven throughout the season to be a very resilient group.

At times, Corpus Christi found itself hemmed into its own zone for extended periods and had winded players on the ice for excessively long shifts. Finding a way to keep the shifts shorter against such a well-conditioned team will undoubtedly be one of the keys to victory for the IceRays tonight.


Record-Setting Streak Ends for St. Onge

All good things must come to an end, which was the case for Rylee St. Onge last night. Having tied Larry Jungwirth for the all-time junior franchise record by scoring a goal in seven consecutive games, St. Onge couldn’t extend it further to snag sole possession of the title. However, he did manage to extend his point streak to nine games with a secondary helper on Miller’s power play goal last night. Jungwirth also prolonged a streak of his own, registering a point in six straight and a goal in three. Make no mistake, the two of them are still red-hot and are a threat anytime they’re on the ice.


Coffey Takes One for the Team

Blake Coffey is, by all accounts, a highly skilled defenseman with sharp offensive instincts and a heavy shot. However, he proved to be more than that last night when he fought against Shreveport’s Ryan Burnett. With the team trailing by three and time winding down, Coffey knew something had to be done to light a fire under his teammates. Not regarded as a fighter, he dropped the gloves all the same and wrestled Burnett down to the ice, generating one last jolt into the audience and onto the IceRays bench before time expired. Those types of selfless, team-first decisions will become increasingly important as the playoffs draw closer.