RAYS REPORT #10: CORPUS THROWS DOWN WITH TOPEKA

 

The Corpus Christi IceRays split a pair of games with the Amarillo Bulls over the past weekend at the American Bank Center.  The team is loading up the bus for their furthest trip away from the friendly confines of the ABC with three games coming this week in Topeka.  Read all about it here.

GAME #1: Corpus Christi 3-2 Amarillo: – Sam Cheraso scored a late third period goal as the Corpus Christi IceRays knocked off the Amarillo Bulls, 3-2, in front of 4,864 fans at the American Bank Center on Friday night.  It was the first victory of the season against Amarillo for the IceRays.  Brandon Marshall had two assists for Corpus Christi while Josh Obregon and Joey Parizek tallied the other goals for Corpus Christi.

GAME #2: Corpus Christi 1-4 Amarillo: Two power-play goals and strong defensive play sparked the Amarillo Bulls to a split of the weekend series with the Corpus Christi IceRays, winning 4-1 in front of 4,126 fans at the American Bank Center on Saturday night.  Sam Cheraso scored a goal in consecutive games for Corpus Christi in the defeat. 

UPCOMING PROMOTIONS: Although there are no home games this weekend, the front office is busily preparing for the “Pink in the Rink” promotion on February 11th when the team hosts the Texas Tornado at the American Bank Center.  The team will wear special pink uniforms which will be auctioned off after the game with the proceeds benefitting the American Cancer Society.  For more information or to find out how you can donate to the Seats for Survivors program, contact the front office at 361.814.7825 or visit the all-new pink website at www.goicerays.com

AROUND THE SOUTH DIVISION: Corpus Christi currently sits fifth in the South Division with a record of 17-23-2 (36 points).

 

PLAYOFF PICTURE: The IceRays are six (6) points behind the Wichita Falls Wildcats for the fourth and final playoff spot in the South Division.  Wichita Falls has played one fewer game than the IceRays.  There are no remaining meetings between Corpus Christi and Wichita Falls.  The Wildcats play Friday and Saturday in a home-and-home series with the Texas Tornado.

 

CORPUS CHRISTI’S RECORDS AGAINST THE SOUTH:

 

AMARILLO: 1-5-0 (6 games remaining, 2 at home, 4 on road)

NEW MEXICO: 7-2-1 (2 games remaining, 2 at home)

TEXAS: 1-6-0 (5 games remaining, 4 at home, 1 on road)

TOPEKA: 0-3-0 (3 games remaining, 3 on road)

WICHITA FALLS: 5-6-1 (series complete)

 

ICERAYS LEADERS:

 

GOALS: Michael Benedict, 19

ASSISTS: Beau Walker, 29

POINTS: Beau Walker, 43

PLUS/MINUS: Mychal Monteith, Chance Creger, Jason Souva (+1)

PENALTY MINUTES: Brandon Marshall, 177

SHOTS: Michael Benedict, 134

WINS: Pheonix Copley, 12

GOALS AGAINST AVERAGE: Pheonix Copley, 3.95

SAVE PERCENTAGE: Pheonix Copley, .886

 

TWO NEW…The IceRays have called up their last two affiliate players for the season.  Forward Joseph Ginley (Fairbanks, AK) and defenseman Kevin Chilton (Oak Park, CA) have joined the team and are expected to play in Topeka.  Ginley will wear #52 while Chilton will wear #58.

 

BENNY FOR 20… Michael Benedict is one goal shy of reaching the 20-goal plateau.

 

CHERASO CHEWS UP AMARILLO…Sam Cheraso scored twice on the weekend. It was the first time the Brunswick, OH native had scored in consecutive games since late September when he had back-to-back two-goal games against New Mexico and Amarillo.

 

TANGLING WITH TOPEKA…Corpus Christi and Topeka quickly found some bad blood as the teams combined for over 100 penalty minutes on three consecutive nights including a high of 186 on January 8th at the American Bank Center.

 

“WALK”ING TO 40… Beau Walker became the first IceRay to eclipse the 40-point plateau with a third period assist on Saturday January 22nd against New Mexico.  Walker leads the team with 43 points in 40 games played.  He is T-12th in the NAHL in points.

 

SAUCE’S SEASON-HIGH…Colton Saucerman tallied four points against New Mexico on January 14th. It was a team-high for a single-game this season.  On the night, “Sauce” tallied two goals and two assists.

 

STLOUKAL STRIKES AT THE BUZZER…Petr Stloukal tallied as the 3rd period buzzer sounded in the team’s 6-3 loss at Amarillo on Sunday January 29th.  It was the latest goal scored by an IceRays player this season.  The Czech Republic native has four goals and five assists for nine points in 11 games played for Corpus Christi since being acquired from the Chicago Steel (USHL).

 

POWER OUTAGE…Corpus Christi was shutout for the sixth time this season in a 6-0 loss to New Mexico on Friday, January 21, 2011.

 

FINE JEWELRY OUTLET PLAYER OF THE MONTH…Michael Benedict (Eden, NY) received the FJO Player of the Month award for the month of December.  During the month he tallied four goals and had two assists for six points in seven games played.  The month included a two-goal performance at home against Wichita Falls in a 5-4 shootout victory.  Benedict also tallied in the shootout.

 

ONE GOAL IS THE DIFFERENCE: Corpus Christi has played the most one-goal games in the NAHL.  In those games, the team is 11-5-2 (24 points).  The 11 wins are the most in the North American Hockey League.

 

HOME ICE FOR SECOND HALF:  Corpus Christi will need a strong second half of the season to propel themselves into the playoffs.  They will be helped by the schedule as 15 of the team’s final 26 games are at the American Bank Center.  Currently, the team is 3-4-0 at home in 2011.

 

NEW FACES:  A total of 43 players have played in a game for Corpus Christi this season. 

 

NAHL GOALTENDER OF THE MONTH:  Goalie Pheonix Copley was named the NAHL Goaltender of the Month for the month of November.  In the month, Copley went 4-3-0 with a 2.56 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage.  He became the first Corpus Christi player to win a monthly award.

 

SECOND PROSPECT TOURNAMENT…The Corpus Christi IceRays will send two players to the send Top Prospects Tournament to be held in Ann Arbor, MI on Feb. 20-22, 2011.  Michael Benedict and Beau Walker will once again represent the team.

 

THREE TOP PROSPECTS:  Corpus Christi was well represented at the 2010 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in Boston held on Dec. 5-7.  Michael Benedict assisted in Team Rafalski’s first game while Kyle Hughes was a plus-2 (+2).  In the second game, Beau Walker scored a second period goal to help the team to victory.  Overall, the team was 2-1-0.

 

COLLEGE-BOUND…  Two members of the Corpus Christi defensive corps are both committed to Division-I schools.  Colton Saucerman will suit up for the University of Massachusetts-Lowell (Hockey East) in the fall of 2011 while Mychal Monteith will play for Mercyhurst College (Atlantic Hockey) in 2012.

 

JANUARY JOLT…After dropping their first three games of January, the IceRays responded and won four of their next seven in the month to 4-6-0.  It was the first month this season that the IceRays did not have a game reach overtime or a shootout.

 

DREARY DECEMBER…The IceRays went 2-5-0 in the month of December after a strong month of November.  The record includes two losses in the final minutes to Wichita Falls and Texas on the road.

 

I’LL BE GONE TILL NOVEMBER:  Corpus Christi was on the road for the majority of November on a seven-game road trip.  It was the longest road trip of the season.  The Rays went 4-3-0 on the road trip and was 5-4-0 for the entire month.

 

A STRONG SHOWING AT THE SHOWCASE:  Corpus Christi announced their arrival into the NAHL with a 3-1-0 record at the NAHL Showcase held in Blaine, MN on Sept. 15-18, 2010. 

 

LARGEST SINGLE-GAME CROWD IN THE NAHL:  On Saturday October 23, 2010, Corpus Christi set the benchmark for attendance in the NAHL with a crowd of 5,912 watching the team battle the Texas Tornado.  It was Military Appreciation Night at the American Bank Center which honored various law enforcement and military personnel and their families at the game.

 

WHAT’S ON TAP?Corpus Christi heads to Topeka for three games against the ‘Runners on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  All games start at 7:05 PM local.  Fans can listen to all the action with the voice of the IceRays, Ryan Holt, beginning 15 minutes prior to the games on the Rays flagship station, News/Talk 1440 AM KEYS.  The game is available for free online at www.1440KEYS.com or on the league’s pay-per-view website, www.fasthockey.com.  Be sure to get your tickets now by calling the IceRays front office at 361.814.PUCK (7825) or crash the net at www.goicerays.com.

 

 

              “THE NEW ICERAYS…TOMORROW’S STARS”