PREVIEW: ICERAYS @ WILDCATS (GAME #15)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

at

WICHITA FALLS WILDCATS

Friday, October 30 at 7:05 P.M.

Game #15 • NAHL Game #150 • Series: WFS leads 2-0-0
Kay Yeager Coliseum • Wichita Falls, TX
Radio: SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX 1230AM) • Mobile: TuneIn Radio (KSIX)

Video: FASTHockey.com • Twitter: @goicerays

Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. with Countdown To Faceoff

Tonight’s Game: The IceRays make their first trip of the season to the Texoma Region for the first of a two-game weekend set against the Wichita Falls Wildcats from the Kay Yeager Coliseum.

Head-To-Head: The IceRays were swept at home in their first meetings of the year in the beginning of October and move to 3-6-0 against the Wildcats over the past two seasons. Overall, the IceRays own a 17-25-6 record against the Wildcats including a 5-12-5 record from the Kay Yeager Coliseum over the past six seasons. Last year, the IceRays went 1-3-0 in their road half of the season series.

Last Game: The IceRays scored late in the third period but fell 2-1 in overtime to the Topeka RoadRunners on Saturday night at the American Bank Center on Pink In The Rink. RoadRunners forward Carlos Fornaris (16:05 1st) put the road team up 1-0 with a loose puck coming right in front of the IceRays’ net. With the netminder pulled and on a power play, IceRays forward Mason Krueger (PP, EA, 18:58 3rd) shoved a pass in on a back-door play coming from forward Brad Power to tie the game, 1-1, and send the game into overtime. However, Topeka forward Marcus Russell (4:28 OT) knocked in the game-winner and finalize the score, 2-1. Topeka netminder Vladimir Cibulka (2-4-0) saved 26 of 27 shots in the win, and IceRays goaltender Graham Hunt (2-4-1) stopped 34 of 36 shots in the loss.

Points Are Points: Despite the loss on Saturday night, the IceRays earned three points against Topeka in a weekend series, the first time that has happened in junior franchise history. Over their last two seasons against the RoadRunners, the IceRays are 3-3-2 and have earned two wins in a single-season for the first time in the last six years. At the American Bank Center, the IceRays are now 2-1-1 in the last two years against the RoadRunners and are the only home wins of record against Topeka.

Rocky Road: After dropping three-straight regulation games, the IceRays have recorded points in three-straight games and five of their last eight games, going 3-3-2 in that span. However, the IceRays have still been on the losing side in five of their last six games despite the points run while being outscored 23-10 including a 11-2 spread against the Wildcats in their two meetings. In addition, the team has been held to two goals or less in those five losses while only earning their first four-goal game on Thursday.

No Time Like Overtime: Thanks to Saturday’s loss, the IceRays have dropped two-straight games in overtime in the new three-on-three format. It also breaks an nine-game winning streak in overtime at the American Bank Center dating back to their last loss on Feb. 7, 2014 in a 7-6 loss to Topeka (Daniel Rzavsky, 1:31 OT on Ben Myers). Over the last two seasons, the IceRays are 9-3 in overtime games.

Power Surge: IceRays forward Brad Power has been heating up as of late after being paired with Carter Johnson and Brad LeLievre, recording four points (goal, three assists) over his last three games and factoring into the decision in all three games. Of the 18 points recorded over the last three games by IceRays players, the combination of Johnson, LeLievre and Power have notched eight points (44.44%) combined including three of the team’s six goals. Power is the only player with an active three-game point streak.

Keep A’Rolling: The Wichita Falls Wildcats earned three of a possible four points on the road last weekend against the Lone Star Brahmas, claiming a 2-1 overtime win on Friday and a 2-1 overtime loss on Saturday from the NYTEX SportsCentre in North Richland Hills, Texas. Goaltender Justin Kapelmaster was one of the stars to lead the way for the Wildcats in net, stopping 40 of 43 shots on the weekend in their overtime win and overtime loss. The other was forward Rourke Russell, who was the only player to register a multi-point weekend with a pair of goals including the game-winner on Friday night. Seven other players recorded points against the Brahmas.

Running Wild: The Wildcats have been one of the most dominant teams in the NAHL to begin the 2015-16 season. Since their 4-3 opening night loss against the Topeka RoadRunners on Sep. 11, the Wildcats have earned points in every game played, going 10-0-2 through 12 games and earning the second-best record in the league behind the Fairbanks Ice Dogs (11-2-1) with one game in-hand as well as the second-best goal difference (+24) behind Fairbanks (+32). Wichita Falls is building off its best year last season (39-16-5) and are on-pace to blow away that record. At home, the Wildcats haven’t been beaten yet in five games (5-0-0).

South Division Standings:
Wichita Falls Wildcats (10-1-2, 22 PTS)
Lone Star Brahmas (7-1-3, 17 PTS)
Topeka RoadRunners (8-8-0, 16 PTS)
Odessa Jackalopes (7-5-1, 15 PTS)

Corpus Christi IceRays (5-7-2, 12 PTS)
Amarillo Bulls (4-9-2, 10 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays finish off their Halloween weekend set against the Wichita Falls Wildcats on Saturday, October 31 at 7:05 p.m. from the Kay Yeager Coliseum. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX 1230AM) and FASTHockey.com.