Corpus Christi gave Topeka all they could handle last weekend, but were swept in their lone visit this season to Landon Arena. The team is back in town as they take on Texas twice at the American Bank Center on Thursday and Friday. Friday is PINK IN THE RINK night at the rink with proceeds benefitting the American Cancer Society.
GAME #1: Corpus Christi 3-5 Topeka: Jason Souva scored twice and the Corpus Christi IceRays scored three power-play goals, but they could not overcome the Topeka RoadRunners’ third period comeback and fell, 5-3, at the Landon Arena on Thursday night. Beau Walker had a three-point night with a goal and two assists in the losing effort.
GAME #2: Corpus Christi 3-5 Topeka: Led by Michael Benedict and Beau Walker, the Corpus Christi IceRays mounted a furious third period comeback, only to see a late third-period tying goal disallowed, and fell, 5-3, to the Topeka RoadRunners on Friday night at the Landon Arena. Benedict and Walker each scored late third period goals for the ‘Rays, but it was not enough as Jason Souva’s apparent tying goal with 16 seconds left was waived of by referee Steven Thompson.
GAME #3: Corpus Christi 0-6 Topeka: Corpus Christi could not solve Rasmus Tirronen and were shutout, 6-0, at the Landon Arena on Saturday night. With the loss, the IceRays have now dropped their last four contests and are 17-26-2 (36 points) on the season. With the victory, Topeka is now 31-8-3 (65 points) overall.
UPCOMING PROMOTIONS: The front office is busily preparing for the “Pink in the Rink” promotion presented by CC Disposal and Radiology and Imaging 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. There will also be numerous items available for bidding in a silent auction throughout the game. 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 17-26-2 (36 points).
PLAYOFF PICTURE: Corpus Christi’s playoff chances took a hit after being swept in Topeka.The IceRays are eight (8) points behind the Wichita Falls Wildcats for the fourth and final playoff spot in the South Division. Wichita Falls has played three fewer games than the IceRays. There are no remaining meetings between Corpus Christi and Wichita Falls. The Wildcats beat Texas, 4-2, in their only game last weekend after they had one game postponed due to weather. Wichita Falls plays on Wed. and Fri. this week at home against Amarillo.
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: 0-6-0 (series complete)
WICHITA FALLS: 5-6-1 (series complete)
GOALS: Michael Benedict, 20
ASSISTS: Beau Walker, 29
POINTS: Beau Walker, 48
PLUS/MINUS: Mychal Monteith (E)
PENALTY MINUTES: Brandon Marshall, 189
SHOTS: Michael Benedict, 142
WINS: Pheonix Copley, 12
GOALS AGAINST AVERAGE: Pheonix Copley, 4.06
SAVE PERCENTAGE: Pheonix Copley, .881
TRADE DEADLINE … USA Junior Hockey’s trading deadline passed on Sunday evening with no activity from the IceRays. Kevin Chilton and Joe Ginley who joined the team in Topeka as affiliate players were returned back to their NAPHL club.
20 SUITS BENNY WELL… Michael Benedict scored in third period on February 4th in Topeka to become the first player in the NAHL IceRays’ history to reach the 20-goal plateau.
TANGLING WITH TOPEKA…Five of the six meetings between Corpus Christi and Topeka this season featured over 100 combined penalty minutes. The last meeting, a 6-0 Topeka win, featured 202 combined penalty minutes.
BEAU HAS A GOOD WEEK… Beau Walker led the IceRays with five points in three games against Topeka with a three-point night in game one and two goals on Friday which included a third period tying goal. 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 48 points in 43 games played. He is 9th in the NAHL in points.
RAYS ROBBED…Corpus Christi appeared to have tied Friday, February 6th’s game against Topeka with 16 seconds remaining in the third period, but Jason Souva’s apparent goal was waived off after referee Steven Thomson deemed the puck was covered.
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 seventh time this season in a 6-0 loss to Topeka on Saturday, February 5th.
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 done well in tight games decided by one-goal. In those games, the team is 12-5-2 (26 points). The 12 wins are tied for the most in the North American Hockey League. (Owatonna)
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 45 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 returns home to take on the Texas Tornado on Thursday and Friday. Both 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”