PREVIEW: ICERAYS VS. WILDCATS (GAME #51)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

VS.

WICHITA FALLS WILDCATS

Friday, March 11 at 7:11 P.M.

Game #51 • NAHL Game #559 • Series: WFS leads 6-0-0
American Bank Center • Odessa, TX
Radio: SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX 1230AM) • Video: FASTHockey.com

Mobile: TuneIn Radio Twitter: @goicerays

Coverage begins at 6:55 p.m. with Countdown To Faceoff

Tonight’s Game: The IceRays enter their final ten games of the 2015-16 season with the first of a two-game home weekend set against the Wichita Falls Wildcats at the American Bank Center on Grades For Blades Night.

Head-To-Head: The Wildcats have owned the season series, recording wins in all six meetings with four of the six coming at their home rink. Both teams will play six times in each of their final ten games of the season with four coming at the American Bank Center as well as rounding out the season with four-straight meetings. The IceRays are 17-29-6 all-time against the Wildcats while going 12-13-1 on home ice.

Last Game: The IceRays held firm to take a 3-1 win over Odessa Jackalopes and sweep the weekend set on Saturday night at the Ector County Coliseum. IceRays forward Andy McGlynn (7:50 1st) started the scoring with a slick backhanded shot just in front of the net to take a 1-0 lead. On a late power play in the opening period, IceRays defenseman Cody LIchtenvoort (PP, 17:34 1st) wristed a shot from the left circle to double the lead, 2-0. IceRays forward Brad Power (13:52 2nd) tripled the lead to 3-0 thanks to a jam on a rebound following a 2-on-1 break. Less than one minute later, Jackalopes forward Derek Brown (PP, 14:46 2nd) quelled the road side’s three-unanswered streak to draw within two, 3-1. Both sides went scoreless in the final period, and the IceRays came away with the win. IceRays goaltender Dryden McKay (11-9-2) turned aside 27 of 28 shots in the win, while Jackalopes netminder Dean Shatzer (9-13-3) stopped 25 of 28 shots in the loss.

Hot Tamales: Multiple IceRays are beginning to go on hot streaks following the weekend sweep of Odessa. Forwards Carter Johnson and Brad Power are both on three-game point streaks with Johnson recording four points (2+2=4) and Power gaining a point in each of his last three games (2+1=3) with goals in two-straight. Defenseman Cody Lichtenvoort is also on a three-game point streak with five points (2+3=5) over that time with his first two goals in an IceRays uniform. Forward Regen Cavanagh continues to tear through opponents, owning now an eight-game point streak dating back to February 12, recording four goals and six assists for 10 points with two multi-point games. Cavanagh is now one game shy of tying the junior franchise record for consecutive games with points (9) set by defenseman Anthony Cortese in the 2014-15 season.

#NoWayMcKay: IceRays goaltender Dryden McKay continues his strong run in net following another solid weekend to begin March. Since his first game in Odessa on December 3, the 18-year-old has kept opponents to two goals or less in 11 of his last 14 games with 12 of those games as starts. He owns a 8-3-1 record with a 1.99 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage during that 14-game stretch while vaulting to sixth in junior franchise history for wins in a single-season and career by an IceRays goaltender with three wins separating him from both Pheonix Copley (‘10-’11) and Hayden Stewart (‘12-’13) for fourth in career goalie wins (14).

Bull Riding: Prior to their weekend off to begin March, the Wichita Falls Wildcats completed a three-game sweep of the Amarillo Bulls over six days beginning Friday, Feb. 26 and ending Wednesday, Mar. 2 from the Kay Yeager Coliseum, winning 5-3 that Friday, 3-1 the following night and 2-0 last Wednesday. 17 different players earned points for the Wildcats over the three-game span including 13 just in game one, and forward Austin Beaulieu led the way with three goals and was one of three players with a three-point stretch: forwards Austin Albrecht (1+2=3) and Andre Pison (1+2=3). Nine total players also earned multi-point weekends. Netminder Julian Sime stopped 23 of 26 shots to open the stretch that Friday, and goaltender Justin Kapelmaster turned away 52 of 53 shots while earning his fourth shutout of the season on Wednesday.

Into The Depths: One of the strongest points of this season’s Wildcats team is the depth of their scoring throughout the lineup. Heading into this weekend, the Wildcats have eight players with at least 30 points and two more just outside of the mark. Only one team has more players with at least 30 points: Fairbanks (10). Included in that are forwards Austin Albrecht (T-8th) and Austin Beaulieu (T-17th), who each sit in the top-20 in league scoring, as well as Adam Goodsir, who is tied for second in the league in goals (26). Defenseman Jeff Baum is one of the top point scorers among d-men, sitting ninth in scoring (27) and second in goals (10). Further back, goaltender Justin Kapelmaster has been one of the league leaders all season, now sitting second in goals-against average (1.99), third in wins (27), tied for third in shutouts (4), and tied for fourth in save percentage (.925)

South Division Standings:
x-Wichita Falls Wildcats (37-9-4, 78 PTS)
x-Lone Star Brahmas (31-11-7, 71 PTS)
Topeka RoadRunners (28-20-1, 57 PTS)
Corpus Christi IceRays (21-23-6, 48 PTS)
Odessa Jackalopes (21-23-4, 46 PTS)
Amarillo Bulls (11-34-4, 26 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays close out their two-game weekend set against the Wichita Falls Wildcats on Saturday, March 12 at 7:11 p.m. from the American Bank Center. Tickets are available at www.Ticketmaster.com, the American Bank Center Box Office, and the IceRays Front Office. Coverage begins at 6:55 p.m. on SportsJuice.com, FASTHockey.com, and 87.7FM in-arena.