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PREVIEW: ICERAYS @ WILDCATS (GAME #33)

CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS

at

WICHITA FALLS WILDCATS

Saturday, January 9 at 7:00 P.M.

Game #33 • NAHL Game #365 • Series: WFS leads 5-0-0
Kay Yeager Coliseum • Wichita Falls, TX
Radio: KSIX 1230AM • Video: FASTHockey.com

Mobile: TuneIn Radio Twitter: @goicerays

Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. with Countdown To Faceoff

Tonight’s Game: The IceRays close out the weekend with their fourth-straight road game coming against the Wichita Falls Wildcats from the Kay Yeager Coliseum.

Head-To-Head: The IceRays have not had an answer for the Wildcats this season, being swept in all five meetings so far and also being outscored 23-5 in that span. In addition, the Wildcats have scored three or more goals in all five meetings, while the IceRays have scored two just once. The IceRays drop to a 17-28-6 franchise record and 5-15-5 record at the Kay Yeager Coliseum.

Last Night: The IceRays ended their win streak at five games with a 6-2 loss to the Wildcats from the Kay Yeager Coliseum. Wildcats forward Adam Goodsir (PP, 15:48 1st) found an opening in front of the net for a quick shot and a 1-0 lead for the home side. The IceRays came back in the second period with two early goals from forwards Drake Lindsay (1:05 2nd) and Brendan Miller (5:22 2nd) to take their only lead of the night, 2-1. The Wildcats answered with four-unanswered in the second period from forward Jonathan Lazarus (6:57 2nd) with a wraparound in front of the net, defenseman Domantas Cypas (8:53 2nd) with a point blast through traffic, Goodsir (12:26 2nd) for his second of the night, and defenseman Matt Hines (13:39 2nd) with a fortunate bounce off his body to make it 5-2 Wichita Falls after two periods. The home side added one more with forward (PP, 5:38 3rd) Austin Albrecht on the back door to finish off the IceRays, 6-2. Justin Kapelmaster saved 18 of 19 shots in the win. Graham Hunt stopped 19 of 24 shots in 13:39 minutes while getting the loss, and Dryden McKay turned away 19 of 20 shots in 26:14 minutes of relief.

End Of The Road: The IceRays’ season-best winning streak ended at five games with last night’s loss, also marking the first loss of the 2016 calendar year. The streak finishes at a share of second-best in junior franchise history with last season’s five-game streak fro January 23 to February 6. The two streaks share a few similarities: the IceRays earned a majority of wins on the road, the start came after a road loss, and the IceRays also swept Odessa but in three games. The streak also provided goaltender Graham Hunt with a five-game win spell, which ties for first in junior franchise history with Anthony Stolarz set from Oct. 8, 2011 to Nov. 4, 2011 during the team’s record six-game winning streak.

Maniscorba: Despite the loss, IceRays forward Drake Lindsay continues to find opportunities to score. Last night’s goal was his third-straight game with a goal started on January 1 in Topeka, and all three goals were results of being open on plays created by linemates, both even-strength goals coming directly from co-Manitoban Carter Johnson. The Manitoba native is the only IceRays player with an active streak of three or more and also has four points (3+1=4) over his last five games. He now also shares the longest goal-scoring streak with Brad Power for the 2015-16 season set from Nov. 13-19.

Sweet Relief: The IceRays changed goaltenders mid-game for just the second time this season, and in both instances netminder Dryden McKay came off the bench to slow down the opposition. The only other instance came on Oct. 16, 2015 in a 5-2 loss to the Amarillo Bulls when McKay came in just about midway through the second period and halted 14 of 16 shots in the last half of the game. Coming off the bench, McKay has allowed three goals (all in the third period) and stopped 33 of 36 shots for a .917 save percentage. In the previous instance, he also started the following night.

Pounced: The IceRays have struggled to keep pace with the Wildcats thus far in the season series throughout each period in various facets. The IceRays have not started well, allowing the opening goal in all five games and allowing six total first period goals while not scoring a single goal in the opening frame. However, in games where the IceRays have picked up the offense in the second and third periods, the Wildcats have done the same, outpacing the IceRays 9-3 in the second period (5-1 before last night) as well as 8-2 in the third period. Last night’s second period was the first time the IceRays held a lead over the Wildcats in any game this season, lasting 1:35 minutes.

Powering Up: The Wildcats have gotten back to their overpowering style during their current three-game win streak over the last two weeks. In addition to outscoring opponents 12-5, Wichita Falls has been testing opposing netminders consistently, recording more than 40 shots in all three games while peaking at 46 last Thursday. They’re averaging a 9.02% conversion rate on shots, meaning that they’re scoring almost one goal on every 10 shots taken. The Wildcats were held to under 10 shots in a period one: January 2 in the third period. 

South Division Standings:
Wichita Falls Wildcats (26-5-3, 55 PTS)
Lone Star Brahmas (21-7-5, 47 PTS)
Topeka RoadRunners (21-14-1, 43
 PTS)
Corpus Christi IceRays (14-15-3, 31 PTS)
Odessa Jackalopes (11-14-4, 26 PTS)
Amarillo Bulls (8-23-3, 19 PTS)

Next Game: The IceRays enter their final weekend of the six-game road trip on Friday, Jan. 15 at 7:30 p.m. to begin the first trip to the NYTEX Sportscentre against the Lone Star Brahmas. Coverage begins at 7:15 p.m. on SportsRadio Corpus Christi (KSIX 1230AM) and FASTHockey.