PREVIEW: ICERAYS vs. TOMAHAWKS (GAME #3)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

vs.

JOHNSTOWN TOMAHAWKS

Wednesday, September 23 at 1:30 P.M.

Game #3 • NAHL Showcase Game #1 • NAHL Game #24
Schwan Super Rink • Blaine, Minn.
Video: FASTHockey.com • Twitter: @goicerays

Coverage begins at 1:25 p.m. with Countdown To Faceoff

Today’s Game: The IceRays open the 2015 NAHL Showcase against the Johnstown Tomahawks from Schwan Super Rink 4.

About The Show: The NAHL Showcase is a four-day tournament hosted by the league that provides an opportunity for players to show their skills to college and professional hockey scouts at game speed as well as for coaches to evaluate their teams prior to the Oct. 1 roster deadline. All four games played count as part of the 60-game schedule, and rosters will be cut from 25 to 23 players following the weekend. The IceRays have appeared in 20 NAHL Showcase games over the past five seasons, recording a 10-7-3 record. Last season, the IceRays earned a 2-1-1 record and improved their overall record under head coach John Becanic to 3-3-2.

Head-To-Head: This is only the second meeting between the IceRays and Tomahawks with the first coming on Sep. 15, 2012 in the second day of the NAHL Showcase in a 5-3 win for the IceRays in a physical contest. Johnstown took a 2-0 lead in the first period with goals from Kristaps Bazevics (10:42 1st) and J.B. Baker (16:03 1st), however IceRays forward Rudy Sulmonte single-handedly brought the IceRays back into the game with a hat-trick in the second period (1:56 2nd; SH, 4:37 2nd; SH, 17:10 2nd) and a 3-2 lead. Tomahawks forward Jeff Bergh (19:18 2nd) tied the game, 3-3, before the period break, however IceRays forwards Roman Uchyn (2:10 3rd) and Tommaso Bucci (14:58 3rd) capped the game off with goals for the 5-3 win. Jett Salinas saved 23 of 26 shots in the win, and Engum Bodhi stopped 15 of 20 shots in the loss. Both teams combined for 188 penalty minutes (101 for the IceRays), including 11 misconducts (three game misconducts).

Last Game: The IceRays could not complete the weekend sweep, falling 2-1 to the Topeka RoadRunners on Sunday night from the Kansas ExpoCentre. For the second-straight game, IceRays forward Andrew McGlynn (PP, 2:53 1st) claimed the game’s opening goal on a chance down low and put the road side ahead 1-0. After a goal was called back on Topeka later that period, the RoadRunners knotted the game, 1-1, on a snipe by forward Quinn Preston (5:53 2nd) from the left circle. Later in the period, RoadRunners defenseman Ryan O’Connor (PP, 10:27 2nd) scored through a screen at the left point just seven seconds into a man-advantage to put Topeka up 2-1. RoadRunners goaltender Tyler Johnson (1-1-0) earned the win, turning aside 13 of 14 shots, while IceRays netminder Dryden McKay (0-1-0) grabbed the loss, stopping 33 of 35 shots. 

Ammo Drop: Over their first two games of the season and their lone pre-season game, the IceRays have been held to under 20 shots in each game. Not including pre-season action, the IceRays are averaging 16 shots per game and were outshot 60-32 despite outscoring Topeka 4-3 over the weekend. Last year’s squad never played two games with fewer than 20 shots, and it’s the least amount of shots in the opening two games in junior franchise history.

Handy Andy: IceRays forward Andrew McGlynn was named NAHL South Division Star of the Week for his two-goal performance against Topeka last weekend. He notched the team’s season-opening goal in Friday’s 3-1 win while scoring the team’s lone goal on Sunday evening on the power play in a 2-1 loss. He becomes the first IceRays player in junior franchise to score the opening goal in each of the team’s first two games of a season as well as the sixth to earn the league’s top weekly honor (earliest).

Going East: The Johnstown Tomahawks opened the 2015-16 season on the road, blowing out the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights 7-3 on Friday night and falling to the New Jersey Titans 5-2 on Saturday night. Anthony Parrucci led the way with four points (three goals, assist) with two goals and one assist in Friday’s win, earning East Division Star of the Week for his standout performance. Dante Suffredini locked in three assists on Friday, and four other players gained multi-point weekends (Joe Delandro, Dalton Hunter, Brendan Jaquay, Andrew Romano). Jacob Gwillim stopped 28 of 31 shots in Friday’s win, however Camden Burggrabe saved 26 of 31 shots in Saturday’s loss.

Hawks’ History: Last season, Johnstown split their showcase schedule 2-2-0 including a 4-0 loss to Topeka and a 6-4 win over Odessa. Over their last three seasons, they own a 5-5-2 record at the NAHL Showcase, and franchise holds a 21-23-5 record dating back to 2004 as the Springfield (MO) Spirit, Wasilla Spirit, and Alaska Avalanche. In May, the Tomahawks were crowned as the first Kraft Hockeyville USA winner while going 25-27-8 in the 2014-15 season and missing the playoffs by one point in the North Division.

South Division Standings:
Topeka RoadRunners (2-2-0, 4 PTS)
Wichita Falls Wildcats (1-0-0, 2 PTS)
Amarillo Bulls (1-1-0, 2 PTS)
Corpus Christi IceRays (1-1-0, 2 PTS)
Lone Star Brahmas (1-0-0, 2 PTS)
Odessa Jackalopes (0-1-0, 0 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays continue their 2015 NAHL Showcase schedule on Thursday, September 24 at 1:15 p.m. against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. Coverage of the NAHL Showcase is provided exclusively on www.FASTHockey.com.