RAYS REPORT #17: CLOSING TIME…YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO HOME BUT YOU CAN’T STAY HERE!

 

The Corpus Christi IceRays have just two games remaining in their inaugural 2010-11 North American Hockey League (NAHL) season, both at the American Bank Center.  Having just scored their biggest win of the season, 10-3, over Amarillo, the team is looking to finish the season strong and build momentum for the beginning of next year.  Check out what happened this past week for the ‘Rays and see what is coming up in the jam-packed final week of the season.

GAME #1: Corpus Christi 0-5 Texas:  Taylor Herndon scored twice and Jimmy Kruger made 22 saves for his third shutout of the season as the Texas Tornado dominated the Corpus Christi IceRays, 5-0, at the Dr Pepper Arena on Friday night.  Seth Blair won his first NAHL fight with a knockout victory over Tom Rizzardo.

GAME #2: Corpus Christi 2-3 Amarillo: Mitch Rogge scored two power-play goals as the Amarillo Bulls came-from-behind in the third period to knock off the Corpus Christi IceRays, 3-2, at the Cal Farley Coliseum on Saturday night.  Cody Milligan scored his second goal in three games in addition to his second fight in as many nights.  Michael Benedict matched his jersey number with his 24th goal of the season.

GAME #3: Corpus Christi 10-3 Amarillo: Three different IceRays had multi-goal nights, Chance Creger scored his first NAHL goal, and the Corpus Christi IceRays scored a season-high 10 times as they drubbed Amarillo, 10-3, on Sunday night at the Cal Farley Coliseum.  Brandon Marshall was snakebit on a few chances in the first period, but scored two goals in nine seconds during the third period.  Colton Saucerman and Joe Smereck also had two-goal efforts for the IceRays.  Beau Walker tallied his 20th goal and went over the 60-point mark with a three-point night.  Terry Portra dished out three helpers and was plus-4 +4 on the evening while Justin Lustch did not register a point, but was strong defensively in a plus-4 (+4) effort.

UPCOMING PROMOTIONS…Corpus Christi has just two games remaining at the American Bank Center on March 24th and 25th.  AT&T will be handing out RALLY TOWELS next Thursday on COLLEGE NIGHT with tickets for college students on sale for $5 dollars.  Friday, March 25th is PACK THE HOUSE NIGHT where the team will hold the raffle for the custom Harley-Davidson motorcycle with proceeds benefiting the RISE school of Corpus Christi.  Raffle tickets are $10.  Fine Jewelry Outlet will be on hand to give away their $10,000 diamond.  In order to be eligible, text “Fjopromo” to 96362, “like’ the FJO facebook page and head to the game for your chance to win.  YOU MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN.  The first 1,000 fans will receive IceRays goalie masks presented by Radiology and Imaging.  Also, public skating will be available for $10 dollars and fans will be able to leave with the skates!

PINK IN THE RINK DRAWS NATIONAL ATTENTION: The IceRays’ third annual Pink in the Rink Night drew national attention for the team’s tremendous donation to the American Cancer Society.  Through a silent auction, donations, and a post-game jersey auction, the team raised $24,250 for the ACS.  Over the past three seasons, the team has averaged a donation of $36,000 for breast cancer research and awareness.  Brandon Marshall’s jersey went for the most after the game as his pink sweater fetched a $1,900 donation.  Check out the story from the North American Hockey League website, online at http://www.nahl.com/news/story.cfm?id=2352

AROUND THE SOUTH DIVISION: Corpus Christi currently sits and will finish fifth in the South Division with a record of 19-33-4 (42 points).

 

CORPUS CHRISTI’S RECORDS AGAINST THE SOUTH:

 

AMARILLO: 3-9-0 (series complete)

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

TEXAS: 1-10-1 (series complete)

TOPEKA: 0-6-0 (series complete)

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

 

ICERAYS LEADERS:

 

GOALS: Michael Benedict, 24

ASSISTS: Beau Walker, 41

POINTS: Beau Walker, 61

PLUS/MINUS: Josh Obregon (+2)

PENALTY MINUTES: Brandon Marshall, 206

SHOTS: Michael Benedict, 171

WINS: Pheonix Copley, 14

GOALS AGAINST AVERAGE: Pheonix Copley, 4.23

SAVE PERCENTAGE: Pheonix Copley, .880

 

HANG TEN…Corpus Christi’s ten-goal output on Sunday in Amarillo was the most goals scored by the team this season.  Their previous regulation-game high was six which occurred in New Mexico in the sixth game of the season on September 25th!

 

SOMETHING NOT EVEN THE PROS COULD DO…The IceRays’ 10-goal game on the road was the first time, professional or amateur, that the team had put up double-digits in the score column on the road.  First time in 13 seasons!

 

MARSHALL’S QUICK…Brandon Marshall scored the quickest two goals by one player in the 13-year history of the franchise on in Amarillo on Sunday.  His two goals covered a span of just nine seconds in the third period.

 

POWER PLAY IS POWERFUL…In the 10-3 victory over Amarillo, Corpus Christi scored three power-play goals which matched a season-high.

 

SEVEN’S ENOUGH…The IceRays’ seven-goal victory on Sunday was their largest of the season.  It was also the worst defeat for the Bulls who had previously only lost by four goals on one other occasion.

 

TAKE A CHANCE…Defenseman Chance Creger scored his first NAHL goal on Sunday when his shot from the point pinballed off multiple bodies and into the back of the net.  The 17-year old is also the youngest member of the team.

 

ONE PUNCH…was all it took for Seth Blair to win his first NAHL fight as he knocked Tom Rizzardo out cold on Friday night in Texas.

 

MILES START TO PILE UP…Corpus Christi has put the most miles on their bus of any team in the North American Hockey League (NAHL).  With this weekend’s final road trip, the team will have racked up roughly 18,660 miles on the odometer this season.  For that amount of time, the team could have traveled round-trip across the country 2 and ½ times.

 

SHOOTOUT SNAPPED…The IceRays dropped their first shootout of the season in a 7-6 loss to Texas on Friday March 11th.  Pheonix Copley, who was 12-13 on shootout chances, allowed three goals in eight rounds while Cody Milligan was denied for the first time in five chances.  Michael Benedict, who is tied for the league-lead with five shootout goals, could not cash in on his opportunity.

 

CHERASO’S FOUR FOR FOUR!  Forward Sam Cheraso is now four-for-four in fights this season after a knockout victory against Texas’ Seth Johnson on March 11th.

 

MARSHALL HITS 200…Brandon Marshall’s coincidental matching penalty with the Bulls’ Derek Hills on Monday night meant the Howell, MI native became the second player in the NAHL this season to hit 200 PIMs.  Dakota Klecha leads the league with 242.

 

“COP”ING OUT A VICTORY…Copley was tremendous for the IceRays on Saturday night, February 26th as he and the team won in a shootout over Amarillo.  The 19-year old made 45 saves in regulation and overtime while denying Amarillo a perfect four times in the shootout.  In addition, Copley denied Matt Johnson on a penalty shot in the second period to keep the game tied. 

 

3 OR FEWER…The IceRays are 16-7-1 this season when they allow three goals or fewer to their opponents.  When the team allows four or more they are 3-26-2 on the season, including a 0-21-2 mark when they allow five or more tallies.

 

20 SUITS BENNY WELL… Michael Benedict scored in the third period on February 4th in Topeka to become the first player in the NAHL IceRays’ history to reach the 20-goal plateau.

 

HALFWAY TO 100…Beau Walker became the first player this season to reach 50 points on February 11th with a first period assist.

 

ON THEIR BEST BEHAVIOR… The IceRays collected just 10 penalty minutes in the game on February 10th v. Texas, their fewest of the season.  Texas had four penalty minutes.  Combined with Corpus Christi’s 10, the 14 penalty minutes were the fewest combined PIMS in an IceRays game this season. 

 

ON THEIR BEST BEHAVIOR PT. 2…Corpus Christi continued their clean play the following night on February 11th matching their season-low with 10 penalty minutes.

 

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 five goals and six assists for 11 points in 15 games played for Corpus Christi since being acquired from the Chicago Steel (USHL).

 

POWER OUTAGE…Corpus Christi was shutout for the eighth time this season in a 5-0 loss to Texas on Friday, March 18th.

 

FINE JEWELRY OUTLET PLAYER OF THE MONTH…Jason Souva received the Fine Jewelry Outlet Player of the Month award for the month of February.  During the month, he twice scored two goals in a game. 

 

SECOND IN ATTENDANCE…The IceRays is second (Wenatchee) in attendance this season.  Over 80,000 fans have watched the team at the American Bank Center in their inaugural season in the NAHL.

 

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 were represented by Michael Benedict and Beau Walker at the second Top Prospects Tournament held in Ann Arbor, MI on Feb. 20-22, 2011. 

 

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.

 

FEBRUARY FUNK…Corpus Christi did not pick up their first victory in the month of February until their final game on February 26th in Amarillo.  Overall, the team went 1-5-1 in the month with the only victory coming in a shootout.

 

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 single 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 concludes the season with two home games against New Mexico on Thursday and Friday, both at 7:05 PM.  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”