Preview: IceRays vs. Topeka RoadRunners (Game 20)

Jungwirth Dominates, Rays Win Third Straight
On Monday, Larry Jungwirth earned South Division First Star of the Week honors with his four-point performance in Topeka last weekend. Yesterday, he matched that weekend point total in a single game, scoring his first career hat trick and putting the team on his back as the Rays skated to their third straight victory. His efforts helped re-ignite a struggling power play, which was firing on all cylinders last night. It clicked on 2 of 8 opportunities and threatened to score on almost every occasion. Rylee St. Onge, Blake Coffey, Conor Yawney and Matt Acciaioli also had strong offensive performances, as each of them were largely responsible for helping Jungwirth achieve his four-point night. Chad Veltri had another strong showing in net, making 26 of a possible 28 saves and winning his third straight start. He was rock-solid yet again, but whether he was dominant enough to warrant a fifth consecutive start remains to be seen. Jacob Acton has been waiting in the wings since making his debut in Amarillo over two weeks ago, and a goaltender starting five straight games is something very seldom seen in the NAHL South.

The Matchup
Corpus Christi is now on its longest winning streak of the season, while Topeka has just dropped its eighth in a row. Tonight their head coach Josh Kamrass returns to the bench after being suspended yesterday, with the entire team under him hungry to end their winless drought. Going on a season-high eight power plays is not likely to happen again today for the IceRays, and Topeka is returning to full strength in every sense of the word. However, full strength or not, the RoadRunners have immensely struggled at keeping the IceRays off the scoreboard this season. In five contests, the Rays have scored 22 goals against Topeka, averaging 4.4 goals per game. Half of their season goal totals have been scored against the Runners. Given the way things have gone of late between these rivals combined with the accentuated excitement heading into tonight, we could be in for a high-scoring barn burner.

St. Onge Settling In
When Rylee St. Onge was brought on board just over a month ago, Brad Flynn was thrilled to be receiving such a skilled offensive talent who was expected to play in the USHL this season. While he immediately made the impression he was expected to, the production had strangely not been there. In his first eight games with the IceRays, he probably had as many chances to produce as anyone but was held without a goal. He did not have puck luck on his side, as it seemed like any unfortunate bounce that could happen to him did. Things took a complete 180 for him a week ago, when he sealed the game with an empty-net goal. Since then, he’s had a goal in back-to-back games with two assists over that span. He’s become a fixture on the IceRays power play and a vital component of their top-scoring line with Jungwirth and Aleksi Peltonen. St. Onge seems to be another player who thrives against Topeka, and he will certainly be someone to watch tonight.

Stars & Stripes Night
The IceRays extend their thanks to the servicemen and women who have previously or currently protect the Corpus Christi area and/or the United States of America. To show our gratitude, admission to tonight’s game free for active & former military members, first responders, and their families. Simply show a military/first responder ID at the box office to redeem tickets. We expect a large crowd, and encourage our fans to compensate for traffic accordingly.